Thursday, 25 October 2007

Making more connections

Reaching out to people with the love of Jesus is a challenge for every Christian, but it is a part of the our mission and we must be active. God calls us his ambassadors, his co-workers and he even empowers us by his spirit to witness. The message is clear, he expects us to speak up and live out the gospel in our daily lives!

As we go go about our daily business, I believe that God wants us to keep our eyes and ears open to the people around us. After all, he has placed us in the middle of them for a reason. As we work and walk with people, their needs (spiritually, physically, emotionally, practically) become evident to us. Many people will welcome your concern, your help or support, a listening ear or some advice, maybe just a hand of friendship. The challenge to us all as we live our busy lives is are we willing to give or sacrifice our time, talents and maybe even our money and get involved?

As we reach out to others just be yourself! Offer your skills, your talents, your experiences in life and even your interests to connect. If you do not have the ability to help some one, maybe a Christian friend you know does and is willing to help. A thought: Maybe if as Christians we got our act together a little more and worked together, we could have a greater impact in our world. Think about it!

Keep it simple and practical: A man bought a new TV and some of his neighbors were helping him install the antenna on the roof. They weren't making much headway until a new guy showed up with a big fancy toolbox and finished the job. As they stood around congratulating themselves, they asked the new neighbor what he made with such elaborate tools. Grinning, he replied, "Friends, mostly!"

He just used what he had to make friends - easy really. What do you have in the toolbox of you life? Skills, possessions, talents, experiences etc. Are you willing to use them to make genuine connections with others in your life?

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Getting practical with love.

Saw this today that challenged me to my core! We have to make a difference in our world with real practical love for people. Words are just not enough!

Getting Practical With Love

“Little children, let us stop saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.” (1 John 3:18 LB)

The heart is the control center of all actions. How you act reflects what your heart trusts. Dallas Willard says, “You can live opposite of what you profess, but you cannot live opposite of what you believe.”

Eventually what you believe will show up in your actions. If you believe God loves you, then you’ll begin to love others. If you believe God forgives you, then you’ll begin to forgive others. Your experience of God results in an overflow of his life into the lives of others.

As we allow the Holy Spirit to continually fill us, we become a spring of his love and life to all around us. John would say we have “rivers of living water flowing out of us.” We become a conduit for the life of Jesus.

The life of Jesus is a practical life. The disciples were expected to live out what they heard Jesus say. Jesus told his disciples they would be known by the way they treated others.

He gets specific in Matthew 25:35-36:

· You gave food to the hungry,
· You gave drink to the thirsty,
· You invited a stranger into your home,
· You gave clothes to the naked,
· You cared for the sick,
· You visited the prisoners,

And this isn’t an exhaustive list on the ways to offer practical help. Jesus constantly provides us with down-to-earth examples meant to get us started.

What now?

· Love language – Make a list of people you love and pray through it, asking God to show you what you can do that will speak love to each person.

· Take initiative – When someone is in crisis, we genuinely want to help, and we’ll say, “If there’s anything I can do, please, just let me know.” Start changing that to express a concrete form of love: “I’m going to do this for you.” Maybe you offer to bring over a meal or watch the children. Perhaps you offer to cut the grass. Maybe you bring a roll of quarters to the hospital so the family can grab snacks and drinks from the vending machine. Be creative – and let the Holy Spirit guide.

· Fake it ‘til you make it – C.S. Lewis said, if you don’t love someone, then act like you do. Eventually the feelings will catch up with your actions.

· Pray – Be still and ask God to show you someone you know who is in need, and ask him how you should help your friend. Seek God about the timing of your help. Ask him to use your act of service to make his presence known to your friend.

Reach out and make a difference today!