More than Facebook ‘friends’

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My cell phone rings signaling a call or buzzes indicating a text message. When I see it is one of my adult children I’m thrilled because that little device creates a connection with people I love.  In our busy world, full of people, there is a question we’re all asking – “Who cares?” Who cares if I am thriving or discouraged?  “Who cares?” It is question of millions!  From little children who spend 10-12 hours a day in day care and live on a poor emotional diet of their parent’s leftover time; to aged Grandmas who long for dinner with their sons and daughters, too many are alone.

In this digital world we have created whole new ways to connect  Our cell phones are never out of arm’s reach. Facebook™ delivers pictures and messages from friends near and far. Though I am physically located in Washington, NJ, I am able to reach out with these message that reaches people scattered across the country, instantly!  And, here is something of which I am keenly aware. Even in this wired world many people feel lonely! \

No text message can replace the touch of a friend, the helping hand of a brother or sister.  Our world-wide network of ‘friends’ stretches us thinner and one downside is that all this can leave us fewer close friends who really know our hearts. We need more than Facebook™ connections.

Disciple, we are sent into the world to care!  Our Christianity cannot just be efficient service. It must be a heart-felt, Spirit-inspired expression of love. This is our primary mission. Whatever we do in the name of Christ – whatever our ministry or service- without the motivation of love the Bible says it is a worthless exercise.

Consider the Word’s challenge. Please do not read it quickly, or say, “I’ve seen this before.” Let it soak into your consciousness….. “If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NLT)

Eloquence, mystical spirituality, even a sacrificial life – these things mean NOTHING if they are not rooted in LOVE! Jesus reminds us that all of God’s purpose for you and me, regardless of our spiritual gifts and abilities, is summed up in this phrase- Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”   Amplifying that commission He tells us to – “Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back?” (Luke 6:31-32 The Message)

It doesn’t have to be a gift of a $million! It doesn’t have to be your blood that you give to show love. Communicate the love of God in the simple ways.

Just take time to listen.
Bend down and look your child in the eye and give them your full attention.
Pick up the phone and really pay attention to the person you call.
Pray for someone, and make it personal, more than ‘Lord, bless him.’

Love does not just benefit the loved, it enriches the lover!  Our knowledge of the reality of spiritual transformation grows when we love well.  John teaches that “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” (1 John 3:14)  There is no wiggle room there, no gray area.

It is simple:  No love, no God! Know love, know God!

Here’s a word from the Word for this day . Invite the Spirit to make you a better lover by helping you to grasp the immensity of God’s love for you. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:7-12)

Remember this – the One who knows you best, loves you most. Now, let’s go love those who are longing to be loved.

_______________

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