Several years ago, when our neighborhood hosted a garage sale, I rallied my family to set up a water/soda stand to raise some money for a local charity. While this may sound somewhat noble and exciting, I assure you, it was a brutal battle of stubborn wills. My kids fought me the whole way to the curb and tested my love-o-meter to the max.
Quite frankly, I wanted to fold up my card table, put away the homemade signs, write a personal check to the charity, and call it a day. It would’ve been easier. Yet in the tangled middle of my frustration, I felt God nudge my heart.
I was reminded that in order to serve Jesus I needed to serve others.
I had been reading through the book of Luke and freshly looking at how Jesus interacted with people. How he responded to their interruptions. How he reacted to their pain. How he met their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs.
Jesus was and is quite the man of action.
When people encountered Jesus, they were changed and challenged. They were healed and helped. They longed for His presence in each town and looked for His purpose in each teaching.
Jesus fed the hungry, healed the diseased and paralyzed, ate with sinners, cared for the children, and just plain showed compassion in crazy-practical ways. What an amazing picture of love. A perfect picture of love. Jesus is perfect love.
Perfect love cares.
Perfect love makes time for the interruptions of life.
Perfect love meets the physical needs of others.
Perfect love shows compassion to souls that are darkened by despair.
You and I are called to this mission as well because we’re commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. As I consider the way Jesus lived and loved on this earth, I have to reflect and wonder …
Are those around me surprised by the love I show?
Am I ministering to my community through service?
Am I sharing the hope of Christ with those who are lost or hurting, and am I looking for opportunities to bless others in practical ways?
Those are some seriously challenging questions – because this perfect love thing is totally hard!
This challenge flies in the face of our natural compulsions to be self-absorbed. It contradicts everything Hollywood would try to sell us. It’s political, yet non-partisan. It sears past policies to flesh and blood. It touches and feels.
The perfect love of Jesus transcends socioeconomics, race, politics, religion, and denomination.
Ours should too.
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go. He told them “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field” (Luke 10:1-2 NIV).
I’m compelled by the ways Jesus loved those around Him and am challenged to become more intentional to do the same. Now, I could’ve closed down our garage sale fundraiser when the grumbles came, but I’m glad I didn’t. My family and I would’ve missed out on the tremendous lessons God taught us that day. And boy did He teach us some love lessons!
Today let’s ask the Lord of the harvest to open our eyes to ways we can live love and let’s choose to move beyond comfort to serve and care for the people around us.
Dear Lord, You’ve shown me that perfect love serves and called me to be an active harvester for You. Please increase my love for others and use me to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of hurting people in my community and around the world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
What are you currently doing to serve God? Does your service extend beyond the body of Christ to the unchurched, unhealthy, and underprivileged?
Pray and seek God’s leading. Ask Him to show you new ways to live His love.