The holidays are over. The Christmas decorations are down. (or as least should be down by now) The New Year has come and gone. New Year's Resolutions have been made. (and for some, already broken.)
What were those resolutions? To lose weight? To give more to the needy? To save more in our spending? To get out of debt? Maybe we promised to spend more time with our families or finally take that dream vacation. But what about love?
There are many prayers that are hard to pray. You know what they are. We know we need patience but we have all dreaded asking God to give it to us because we know He will give us the opportunity to grow in patience by placing us in very stressful situations. We know we struggle with pride and we ask God for humility, but we would like for Him to do it privately and not where anyone can see us being humbled. But what about love?
Today at church my pastor preached on I Corthinthians 13, "the love chapter." We have all heard it at weddings at some point in our lives, but have we ever stopped to think about what TRUE LOVE really is?
The love chapter gives us a list of what love looks like:
It says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Loves does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails..."
But the question still begs to be answered...What is love?
I John 3:16 says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
How do we get to that place? The place where we are willing to lay down our life for someone else. We would all love to think that we would be so self-sacrificing, but in the day to day we seldom feel that way. Thankfully according to I John 4:19 we are able to truly love because He first truly loved us.
Therefore I would like to ask you to join me in "28 days of Love". For 4 weeks we will learn what it is like to truly love people. My pastor has challenged us to show love in the following ways for the next 7 days:
Day 1: Meet a Need. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to someone's need you can meet today. When the need presents itself, act. Meet the need without expecting anything in return. Thank the Lord for using you to bless someone else.
Day 2: Don't react. When wronged, offended, or slighted today, resolve by the Spirit's power to allow Him to produce a "longsuffering" spirit in you that doesn't react or strike back. Let it go. Overcome evil with good.
Day 3: Give something away. Loving always involves giving. Bless someone by giving them something of value-some money, an item, some time, your attention (just don't give them a piece of your mind) "Its is more blessed to give than to receive."
Day 4: Pray for an enemy. Instead of stirring up your anger by replaying that person's wrong against you, pray for him or her. Ask God for the grace to love your enemies by praying His blessings upon them.
Day 5: Write a note. Let someone know how much you value their friendship or appreciate their contribution by writing, texting, or emailing a note. Make the effort to communicate what is in your heart. Take some time and write more than a sentence or two.
Day 6: Spread some joy today. Do a random act of kindness for an unsuspecting person.
Day 7: Initiate something. Take a small risk. Go out of your way to talk with someone you don't really know. Engage them in a conversation about something that interests them. Show genuine interest, learn what you can about them, and review it later in your mind.
For the next 3 weeks I will add our new "assignments" as Pastor Steve gives them to us.
Until then here's what I want you to do...obviously stick to the list. Also, I would like for you to link up with me in my FIRST-ever linky party and share with all of us your Random Acts of Love. We are doing something similar at our church where we can post up notes of the ways we have been blessed or how we have been able to bless others during these 28 days.
Let's Pass on God's Love!
Let's Pass on God's Love!