Monday, January 30, 2012

The Power Of Love

In John 13 God commands us to "Love one another as I have loved you."  Christians know this verse... even non-christians often know this verse.... It is so common that it sounds like something you would learn in kindergarten class-  "Love your neighbor as yourself."  We say it so easily but do we really know the power of love?  Do we really know what it looks like to love your neighbor as yourself?  Because I don't know about you... but I think I love myself a lot... but I don't necessarily in my flesh love strangers the same way I love myself... so the big question.... how can I love people that I barely know... or even people that I don't know??? 
     The Answer..... (hint... it is not me...)  God is love... It is who He is... it is His character... God isn't just loving... He Is Love!!  When we walk in the Holy Spirit, we walk in the power of Jesus which means that we also love in the power of Jesus' love... so what does this love look like???
  • This love looks like 20+ volunteers showing up on a Sunday afternoon to stand out in a parking lot serving food to the homeless.  (Thank you all of you!!)
  • This love looks like pans of homemade cookies still warm on the plate as weathered hands reach for them... and then ask, "Can I take a couple more?"
  • This love looks like a truck overflowing with bags of clothes that the Riverside Basketball Team brought because their coach challenged them... rather than making them... The boys stepped up to the challenge and overwhelmed us with their generous offerings!
  • This love looks like kind women stirring piping hot chocolate and laddeling it into paper cups.... to be later sipped while resting at a nearby table... a time of safe, non-threatening rest for the weary.
  • This love looks like homemade hats made of warm flannel... placed lovingly on the head of a homeless man by a caring volunteer... with the unsaid message- yes you are worthy... you are not despicable...
  • This love looks like a friendly smile, a hand shake, direct eye contact, and true desire to know your name.
  • It looks like.... the want to find a hairbrush for someone who has such a simple request.
  • It looks like... taking off your gloves, belt, or jacket and handing them to a stranger who needs them more than you.
  • It looks like... praying with a stranger beside a busy road.
  • It looks like... a cup filled to the brim with meaty hot stew... in the hands of a hungry new friend.
  • It looks like....a woman pouring out her heart in tears with a new friend that she just met....worlds apart.... yet belonging to the same God....
  • It looks like... a group of volunteers and homeless holding hands together... praying to the Lord God Almighty as one family.... thanking, requesting, trusting, and celebrating!
Romans 8:38-39 says, "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through HIm who loves us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!"   Yes Jesus' love is enough!! Yes... in His Word He promises that His love is enough to help us through the lowest points of our lives as well as the highest points... His love is enough to conquor the destruction of drugs, alcohol, abuse, addictions, and our past....

It is only through His Love that our Sundays can be transformed into a time of fellowship, provision, and celebration of God's Creations... yes... celebrating truly special people who are hurting unbelievably- not so much from the outdoors and the conditions, but rather from broken hearts... past hurts that have ripped them to pieces.... crumbled children's hearts in big people bodies. ....... Jesus' love heals all.... His love is always enough... His love conquors all!!!!

Close to 90 homeless were fed, they were able to hear the message that has poured out week after week-  "Jesus has not forgotten you!!!"  "You are worthwhile and special" "God has a purpose for your life".  God provided clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, toothbrushes, shoes, deoderant, socks, hats, and gloves.  He provided these things through the hearts of people who love Jesus... the message passes on from one side of the box to the other....

It truly is amazing -   "The Power of Jesus' Love"..... shown through so many genuine acts of kindness... Yes it does make a difference!!!
Jesus, It is an honor to serve you every week.  I feel like my heart is being formed week by week... a little more defined than the week before.  Thank you for protecting and loving our 1st Street friends... thank you for oozing your love- through us... your broken little pots  :0)

1 comment:

  1. Amen & amen! Love the broken pot line :)
    "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:16-18).