“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” ~1 John 3:16-18
God is calling us to lay down our lives for others. Most of us will not be asked to actually give up our very breath for another, like Jesus did, but we should be willing to sacrifice for others. We are commanded to love others as ourselves, and we definitely love ourselves. We may not think we do, but what happens when someone cuts us off in traffic, or cuts in line at the grocery store?
How do we apply this? Be open to, and willing to obey, what the Holy Spirit tells you in different situations. Perhaps take a few extra minutes from your day and go to the local fast food restaurant to pick up a meal for that hungry man or woman on the corner? Or maybe it will just be to make eye contact and smile at them. (Most shelters will tell you to not give them money, but on rare occasions maybe you are supposed to do this as well.)
Offer your place in line to someone at the store, be kind to the sales clerk, give a little extra to the charity of your choice or serve there with your time. Say thank you to the men and women in uniform. Adopt a child in another country, where a little sacrificially-given money can go a long way to feed and educate and show them the love of Jesus. Help your neighbor. Listen to the lonely person who’d love to have someone care. Leave an extra-large tip. Be a Saint Nicholas all year long, and do kind deeds in secret for each other!
Jesus not only healed the “unclean” people around Him, He touched them. (Luke 5:12-15) This was a huge act of kindness, for no one ever, ever touched the lepers. They could be killed if they even came too close to the people and didn’t announce their presence by crying out “unclean!” Jesus associated with tax collectors and prostitutes, lepers and the poorest of the poor. He treated them no differently than any other person, any other sinner- He loved them with His life. He is our example. We need to follow Him. 🙂
♫ ♪ ♫ Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see! ♪ ♫ ♪