Sunday, 19 February 2017

Do we miss the chance to love?

The consequences of doing the right thing for Jesus, against the odds, or against worldly thoughts, attitudes or actions can have eternal value and can impact and change lives forever.
Two believers in Christ were discussing an issue for which both had different opinions. The older of the two seemed smug as he wielded scriptures like a weapon, chopping away at the things he saw as wrong in the other's life. The younger believer just seemed to be weary of the lecture, weary of the other person and discouraged. As the exchange drew to a close the older man commented on the other's dis-interest; 'you used to be so eager', then he abruptly stopped and said 'I don't know what it is you want'. The younger man replied; 'you missed the chance to love me. In all of the time you have known me, what has seemed to matter the most to you is pointing out what you think is wrong about me!' He went onto to say 'You asked what it is I want, well, I want to see Jesus in you and through you'. Have there been people that we have missed the chance to show love to? Can people see Jesus in us? These are good questions to challenge ourselves with because showing love is much more effective that giving a lecture; John 13:34 'A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another' and 1 Corinthians 13:1 'If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal'.

I can remember one occasion where I witnessed the love of Christ in action. It was a cold wet Saturday afternoon on a muddy football pitch. My son was the manager of a Christian football team, however most of the young men in the team were not Christians but it was a good outreach activity. The team were doing very well and were about to play an important quarter final cup game, which they had all been talking about for weeks. On the side of the pitch there was a young man named John, who was going through a broken relationship which he was really struggling with. He had a very difficult and problematic childhood, most of which had been spent in children's homes. He had recently attempted suicide and had just been released from hospital. I can remember how broken he looked as he stood there with a vacant, lost expression on his face. John was part of the team but not one of the regular players, however all of the other players, even the 'tougher' ones were sad to see him in such a bad place.

Source: The Royal Parks
At half time the team were losing 1-0 and my son (the manager) made the decision to bring John on as a substitute at the expense of one of the better players.  Even though the decision would have reduced the chance of the team winning the other players were so compassionate about John's situation, not a single one of them complained. Even though the team were arguably a collection of 'rough diamonds', helping John was all that mattered to them; Proverbs 3:27 'Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act'. The players would pass the ball to John at every opportunity, the game itself no longer seemed to have any importance however a miracle was about to happen. The ball was passed to John near the half way line who subsequently, with all his might kicked the ball toward the goal. Everyone watched in amazement as the ball flew past the goalkeeper and right into the back of the net. It was one of the most amazing goals I had ever seen. It seemed as if the angels had guided the ball into the net. John was elated with joy and the players made such a fuss of him, not just during the game but for many weeks and months after.

John had walked onto the pitch that day as a broken man and walked off the pitch at the end of the match as a completely different person. The love and compassion shown by his team-mates was exactly what he needed to re-focus and to snap himself out of his depression. Following this life changing event in his life John started to turn his life around, worked hard and has been happily married for a few years to a lovely young woman who gives him the love he has always needed. John and his wife recently celebrated the birth of their first child, a beautiful baby boy.  Significantly, they are both seeking to know more about Jesus Christ and have been attending church. Praise God.

John’s life turned around as a result of a football match on a muddy football pitch on a cold wet Saturday afternoon, where the real winner wasn’t the team who scored the most goals, or who won the 'man of the match' award, no, the real winner here was love; Galatians 6:10 'Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers' and Philippians 2:3-4 'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

The consequences of doing the right thing for Jesus, against the odds, or against worldly thoughts, attitudes or actions can have eternal value and as we have seen, can impact and change lives forever. On the other hand we can easily miss opportunities to put love (God's love) into action and never know what might have been.  

Prayer – Father God in the name of Jesus and through the Holy Sprit we give you all the Glory, all the Honour, all the Worship and all the Praise.  We thank you that through your unconditional love for us you gave us your Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for our sins so that we may be reconciled with you in eternity.  Father we pray for an overflowing of love and compassion for those who you put into our lives and those who cross our paths every single day. We pray that you use us as a vessel of your love so that people will see and feel your love in us. May lives be changed forever as we walk in obedience and aspire to follow the ultimate example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Author: Eileen Greaves

May God bless and enrich your life

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  1. What a wonderful article. Whatever is going on in our lives we never know how others may be struggling or experiencing difficulties at the same time. The story above provides us with an example of how people went outside of themselves to show love and compassion to another, even though they would have undoubtably had their own troubles to deal with. This is a real example of love in action. Thank you for writing this article and God bless.

  2. Thank you SO much dear sister for taking the time to share such a heart warming act of love. What a Blessing. All the Glory to God Always Amen.
    What a challening question to ask ourselves
    "Do they see Jesus in me?" And
    "What would Jesus do?"
    Awesome article.

  3. This is a really wonderful article and a great example of God's love in action through people. This is why whoever God sends to us or puts across our path, we should never judge them or have preconceived ideas about them as we don't know where they've come from or what they're going through. We are called to simply love them, and love them the way God loves us. Unconditionally. Thank you for reminding us. Be blessed.

  4. Thank you so much for reminding us today the command of our Lord Jesus Christ gave that we must love one another as he has love let us never miss opportunity to show the love of God as we see in the blog how it can effect and change lives holy spirit teach to love in Jesus name amen