Deliberate Love

The need and practice of hospitality and deliberate love toward others has not changed for the Christian.

The love of God through people is articulated in the Word often. Its characteristics and methods have not changed over time — even with difficult circumstances. Most of the New Testament books were written during or reference contrary situations. But as Jesus said at the end of a parable about praying and not giving up, “when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” It is a penetrating question. In Matthew 25 the life practices of those drawn close to God make no mention of difficult circumstances causing a halt in the their contact of others or responding to a needs in their sphere of influence.

Whether the pandemic is bothersome to some, or the level of lawlessness in locations is bothersome to others, or the rise of forms of hatred seems to shout from most media, do we give up? Do we shield ourselves from people out of fear and anxiety or cease practicing the basics?

Brothers and sisters, love one another. Letting love grow cold, which means ceasing or curtailing the practical characteristics of love, is not good. What are some of them? Listening to a needy one, which means making yourself available to do so. Meeting needs that surface near you as you are able. Praying for the sick. Looking to the needs of the oppressed and imprisoned. Looking to the needs of widows and those who are lacking a parent or parents, where ever they are, which is close to God’s heart. Practical love also means standing up for those falsely accused, or being truthful as a believer in a negative or anti-Christian situation.

Love does not make excuses for sin, and various types of sine are repeatedly explained in the Word. That said, Jesus nor us can back away from sinners in need. Were we not that way before were saved by His grace? Did Jesus not talk with them and speak of the Kingdom?

Let your home, your apartment, your small little place or your great big place, and your walk in the park or the street be places of  opportunity where you are prayerfully aware of people around you, and you may be able to encourage someone with the love of God and the truth of a living Gospel. Remember the parable about salt. If salt has lost its saltiness, it is of no use. Be salt in the earth. Season your walk and your Christian practices with love and practical hospitality born out of faith in Christ in whatever manner you can. If you cannot do this one way, try another, but don’t stop.

If you are afraid or you feel inadequate or sin besets you, is not Jesus Christ the same today as he was when he walked among us? Do business with God and reset your feet to walk forward. The needs are great and the laborers are few.

 

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