Posted by: pastortomvabeach | September 26, 2017

Thought for the Week October 1, 2017

In my devotional reading from the YouVersion Bible today, Nicky Gumble wrote, “When she was nineteen years of age, Chiara Lubich gathered with a few friends in northern Italy. It was 1939 and, as bombs fell, they asked this question: ‘Was there an ideal that bombs could not destroy?’ Their answer was, ‘Yes, the love of God’. They had experienced God’s overwhelming love and they wanted to share it with others. They imitated God by living a life of love (Ephesians 5:1–2). They helped those in need. They shared what little food they had. They found clothing for those who had none. They comforted the bereaved.

“Such a warmth emanated from Chiara and her friends that people gave them the name ‘Focolare’, which means ‘hearth’ or ‘fireplace’. Focolare now has 2 million members in 182 countries. Members of the Focolare community make it their rule of life, 24 hours a day, to live by the golden rule of Jesus: whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them (Matthew 7:12). Love is practical. Chiara said, ‘Love the other person as yourself. Imagine how the world would be if the golden rule were put into practice not only between individuals, but also between ethnic groups, peoples and nations, if everyone loved the other country as their own.’”

On Sunday we read that Jesus said, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35) I don’t think it is a coincidence that my devotional today said essentially the same thing.

What would we say to the watching world if all Christian churches actually acted as if they loved each other? That is supposed to be the distinguishing feature that shouts to everyone who sees us, “Hey, I follow Jesus! And because I follow Jesus, I love everyone like Jesus loved them.”

Do you think the world sees that kind of love in most of the Lord’s followers? What would it take to broadcast that message so far and wide that those we know would come up with a name for us to describe our love? I think we should take a page from Chiara Lubich’s training manual and make it a point to find ways to love people!

If you can’t come up with a way on your own, connect with a local ministry that is already loving people. There is a family in our church who serves once a month with the People In Need (PIN) ministry to serve the homeless. They go as a family and show their love for people they don’t even know. What if we all found a way to do that? They would know we are Jesus’ followers!

Let me challenge you to find a way to love people, find a way to help someone who is in need, find a way to be Jesus’ followers and love like He loved. If He loved you enough to die for you, what could you do for Him? Just a thought.

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