Romans 12:9-16 (The Message)
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
“Father, thank You for Your Word today. Help me to be still; to put aside all the noise of the world around me, and to listen, really listen to what You are saying to me now. I Love You. Amen.”
“Practice playing second fiddle….” I can remember back in school, trying out for a play or a sport, and not making the lead role or first base. I can remember the tears of my own children who did not get a great part or major position on the baseball team they were trying out for. And we would cry. And then at some point I would gently remind them, “Maybe it’s someone else’s turn to be the star. Maybe God needs you to be in the background and help someone else to shine.”
“Lord, where in my life do you want me to be content with ‘second fiddle’? Who do you want me to help to ‘shine’ today?”
“Be inventive in hospitality…” One of my all-time favorite memories of creative hospitality happened at Point of Grace four or five years ago. A dear lady, Priscilla, had just lost her husband, Juan. Her daughter Ruthie went to the same school as the Jost’s children. Lisa Jost heard about what had happened and reached to them. Instead of food or a card or money, (which are also wonderful gifts of love) she found out Ruthie and Juan used to spend time painting and drawing. So, Lisa gave her a basket of art supplies, paints, brushes, paper, etc. It was certainly inventive, and meant so much to Priscilla that someone took time to find out more about her Ruthie! Many of you know these families – and Priscilla and Ruthie have been a part of the Point of Grace Family ever since! I love this example of inventive hospitality and more importantly, how this basket of art supplies led to a friendship, and ultimately to a new relationship between Priscilla and Jesus Christ!
“Lord, is there someone in my life today that You are asking me to reach out to? Please open my eyes to notice. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me a creative, inventive way to love this person.”
“Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.” “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (NIV) Just last night, I got to spend time catching up with a very dear friend. Quite a few times the laughter was uncontrollable. It felt so good to share a good belly-laugh with her. And we also mourned with one another and shed a few tears as we caught up on life and it’s challenges. Within our church family, we have mourned alongside families who’s loved ones are now in heaven. We share joy with our brothers and sisters in Christ who have found jobs, or have announced that they are expecting a baby. That is how God intended the Body of Christ to function - to love one another!
“Thank You Father, for giving me wonderful friends to laugh and to cry with. Thank You for knowing what we would need here on earth, and providing such a wonderful plan of the Body of Christ. You know that we need one another. You know that we need someone to rejoice with and to mourn with. Thank You so much! Help us to love one another in these ways. Thank You for giving us Your Son, Jesus Christ, who gives us the example to follow in all of these ways. Help us to be more like Him today, Amen.”
Please take time to share any stories or thoughts that these verses bring to your mind! That is one way to share this Love – by writing it out on these Blogs – it encourages one another, builds each other up, and gives great testimony to the Father and how He is working in our lives.
Have a wonderful day! -dawn