Love them like Jesus!

2This week, while Bev and I were walking through the deep water of her illness, our home was visited by Jesus!  For you who think literally let me make it clear –  the Presence of Jesus is always with us and He did not walk into our living room in the flesh.  Or, maybe He did.  He came with a loaf of fresh baked bread for our dinner one day. He came to help out and sit as company through long, pain-filled hours. He came with prayers of encouragement.  There are those who question the value of being part of a local congregation or who move every couple of years to the church where ‘the Spirit’s moving.’  I hope they never need the support that we are finding in long-time relationships, built with God’s people.

The gifts of encouragement that come our way – hugs, prayers, cards, visits, calls – are the only thing that keeps us going some days. This week, my knees were wobbling, my heart so crushed that I thought I could not go on and then somebody would send a text or extend the love of Jesus.  In their encouragement, I found the strength to go on.

Joseph, who we meet in Acts 4, sold his possessions and gave the money to the church to help those in need. He came alongside of Paul, when the church was still very suspicious of the motives of the former Pharisee and offered his endorsement.  Over time, people forgot Joe’s real name. We know him as Barnabas.  Why that name? “Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus.” (Acts 4:36, NLT)   Barnabas loved people and was Jesus with skin on to many, so they called him – Son of Encouragement!  What a model for us.

The Bible says, “If your gift is to encourage others, do it! . . . And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. . . Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” (Romans 12:8-10)   It is so practical and in the hustle of life so easily forgotten.  Again, the Bible says, “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24, NLT)

So, how you might be an encourager today?

  1. Send a note of sincere appreciation to someone.
  2. Take note of a ‘servant’ somebody working behind the scenes and compliment their efforts.
  3. Offer to pray with a friend that seems overwhelmed by life, then pray a positive prayer full of words of blessing.
  4. Go beyond the job description and do what needs to done, joyfully.
  5. Listen when someone needs to talk. You do not have to ‘fix’ them with advice. Often they just want to know somebody hears their voice!

I do not know who said it first, but I love the phrase. “Be Jesus with skin on.” 
Love like He did. Forgive like He did. Serve like He did.
You never know who is ready to give up on life, who will be saved by your genuine expression of concern.

Here’s the word from the Word – “This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” (1 John 3:11, NLT)  “If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.” (1 John 3:14, NLT)

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.” (1 John 3:16-20, NLT)

_________

Love Them Like Jesus (Link to song by Casting Crowns)

The love of her life is drifting away,

They’re losin’ the fight for another day.

The life that she’s known is falling apart,

A fatherless home, a child’s broken heart.

You’re holdin’ her hand, you’re strainin’ for words.

You’re tryin’ to make sense of it all,

She’s desp’rate for hope,

Darkness clouding her view,

She’s lookin’ to you.

 

Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him.

His yoke is easy, His burden is light.

You don’t need the answers

To all of life’s questions.

Just know that He loves her

And stay by her side,

And love her like Jesus,

Love her like Jesus.

 

The gifts lie in wait in a room painted blue,

Little blessing from Heaven would be there soon.

Hope fades in the night blue skies turn to gray,

As the little one slips away,

You’re holdin’ their hand, you’re strainin’ for words.

You’re tryin’ to make sense of it all,

They’re desp’rate for hope,

Darkness clouding their view,

They’re lookin’ to you.

 

Just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him.

His yoke is easy, His burden is light.

You don’t need the answers,

To all of life’s questions,

Just know that He loves them,

And stay by their side.

And love them like Jesus

 

Lord of all creation,

Holds our lives in His hands.

The God of all the nations,

Holds our lives in His hands.

The Rock of our salvation,

Holds our lives in His hands.

He cares for them just as He cares for you.

 

So love them like Jesus,

Love them like Jesus.

You don’t need the answers,

To all of life’s questions.

Just know that He loves them,

And stay by their side,

And love them like Jesus.

Bernie Herms | Mark Hall

© 2005 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)

My Refuge Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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