~1 Peter 1:22-23
Four deaths in just a couple weeks. More saints gone home to be with the Lord. But in the midst of the funerals, we also had chances to be together as a family and a church.
And during this time the Lord impressed upon me that it is critical to love the living. Our time on this earth is limited. And the ever-present reminders of its fleeting nature are a reminder to us to share God's love and His Good News TODAY.
Our life is but a mist, but our mortality does not have to be a sentence of doom. For Christians it is a source of great Hope. As Peter teaches us in the verse above, those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ have been born again to eternal life. If you don't have this 'blessed assurance', I strongly urge you to read the Book of John in the New Testament of the Bible. If you do have this assurance, I urge you to overcome any fears and misgivings you may have and share the Good News this week with someone you care about at home, work or school. The clock is ticking. Although these conversations are hard, I think of a Sara Groves song, “Conversations,” which is about sharing Christ with a friend:
And I would like to share with you
What makes me complete
I don't claim to have found the truth
But I know it has found me
The only thing that isn't meaningless to me
Is Jesus Christ and the way he set me free
And this is all that I have, this is all that I am.
Maybe we can start simply and say something like “can I share with you what has changed my life for the better and helped me make sense of the world?” I know I share other things all the time: my latest diet, a new recipe, my latest fitness routine, a new face cream, an organizing technique… I share freely and there is never pressure for anyone to join me. I want to share Jesus with that ease.
And all of us need to be more intentional about loving those who are dear to us. I was raised in a family that was not big on displays of affection. But I have worked to actively overcome my hesitancy. Hugs have been proven to be therapeutic -- try to dole them out liberally. Take every opportunity to show your gratitude and affection for friends and family. Let them to know you love them, you’re thinking about them, and praying for them. Of course, God's love is more than a 'warm, fuzzy feeling', so go out of your way to be helpful or kind when you can. I have a lot of work to do in this area. While forgiveness comes pretty easy for me, selflessness sure doesn't. Still, we only have NOW to send that 'Thinking of You' card, or take that casserole to a sick friend, or share our faith with a friend at work, or hug and kiss our kids -- and spouse or tell your parents you love them. Tomorrow may be too late. Peter goes on to remind us in verse 24 that 'all people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,...' so make those loving memories TODAY.
PRAYER: Dearest Lord, thank you for all of the people you have brought into my life. Help me to put aside my own fears and selfishness to reach out to them with love and affection. Let me not pass by an opportunity to share your Word with others, remembering that the chance may not come again. And teach me to walk in Your ways, so that I might bring glory to You through your Son, Christ, Jesus. Amen.
Peace to you,