“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”” John 13:34-35……………..
When I looked back at an especially challenging little season of my life, one thing stood out above all else when it came to my friends who knew what was going on. Only one of them had picked up the telephone, called me, and offered love and encouragement and asked me how I was doing with the specific challenge I faced. Our phone call was short from what I recall, and it took so very little of her time to make the call. But those few minutes she sacrificed of her time were precious minutes in my life showing me that one of God’s children was thinking of me at a time I could have used some extra love, hope, and encouragement.
I knew my other sweet and beautiful friends loved me, but their silence was not a blessing in the way my friend’s little call was. And it was a wonderful reminder that I need to keep doing what the Lord has taught me to do and what I have put into practice. On a totally regular basis now, I reach out to the Lord to seek Him and keep my heart and ears ever open to Him for His Spirit to speak to my heart and lead me concerning anyone He might want me to reach out to in any way whatsoever, whether family, friend, or stranger, and whether He might want me to reach out with a telephone call, a hug, a prayer, words of encouragement, scriptures from the Bible, an encouraging message He puts on my heart, a Gospel tract, a devotional, a Bible, a listening ear, words of hope, food, clothing, absolutely whatever – and whenever. Not for me. For Him. And others.
See, loving the Lord and loving others, I have come to find, is not about comfort and convenience, nor about what and when I’m in the mood to reach out, or how I want to reach out, or not reach out, nor about whom I feel like reaching out to – or not. I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me I showed up just at the right time, by phone or in person. And I can promise you this. It wasn’t about me in the least. It was, and is, about the Lord Jesus Christ, about His love in one of His followers, and about His love poured through me to reach a world in dire need of Christ, of the Gospel message, of His love, of His provision, and encouragement in believing in Him and in following Him now and forever.
Twenty-four seven wouldn’t be enough time to reach out to all the people I know, and to all the people I meet through my streets ministry work whom I don’t know, but I trust the Lord to send His children, His laborers, to the right people at the right time with His truth and His love. My job is to seek Him, to hear Him, to obey Him, and to bear His love to others in His name for His glory even as His Spirit so lovingly and clearly leads me.
I have spent so very much of my life so self-consumed I could hardly see outside myself. Now, the more I set my heart and eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, the greater my desire to share His love with a world in such desperate need of Him – right down to a telephone call. I’m not angry with my loving friends. I love them immeasurably, and know I am loved by them. I am only reminded as I come to you with this message that we all need in Christ’s name to take the time, love, and care to reach beyond ourselves to bring His love to whomever He desires wherever He desires whenever He desires for His glory – right down to a telephone call. Or any other expression of His love He places on our little hearts for others. In His name, for His sake! To God be ALL the glory!