“Lean into the Lord’s love, so your soul will not remain lean but full.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 22, 2021
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
I so admire people who take time from their interests to show love by caring for what someone else cares about. If a work colleague can’t solve a customer issue, the caring team member puts her project on hold and helps out. A wife feels frantic because of her misplaced keys or a phone, but a caring husband is not frustrated, but instead patiently loves by helping her look for the lost items. Especially, when someone feels embarrassed or overly anxious—how calming to feel close in the care of another. Love cares by deferring its own interests for the interest of others.
Paul writes an instructive letter to the church in Thessalonica reminding these Christ followers of how to live out their life of love. What does this quality of love look like? Like the tender, sensitive care of a nursing mom—always alert to say no to her needs and say yes to her needy infant. She is always on call, depriving herself of sleep so her little one can enjoy sweet sleep. Paul knew extra grace and patience was required of the more mature believers as they cared for the new believers. The gospel of Jesus Christ is believed, embraced and lived out in a close, loving community.
They cared by not just communicating truth, but by sharing their real-life trials and triumphs!
“Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep” (John 21:16).
Sheep sometime bite. They can stink and stray away by themselves into dangerous places. And as Jesus describes with an apt illustration of His day—people are like sheep. But, it’s during these messy, inconvenient, time consuming circumstances that these precious people need to know someone will take time to know and understand them. They are searching for significance. They are wandering—wondering if anyone really loves and cares for them. As the famous Russian writer of the late 19th century Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote in The Brothers Karamazov about the superiority of humble love: At some thoughts one stands perplexed, especially at the sight of men’s sin, and wonders whether one should use force or humble love. Always decide to use humble love. If you resolve on that once for all, you may subdue the whole world.
Remember most of all how the Lord loves and cares for you. He cares when you are anxious and fearful, ready to draw you near like a compassionate parent. He cares when you lose your job and wants to lead you to even better employment. He cares when someone you love is not reciprocal in their love, so that His divine devotion will more than compensate and in the process expand both of your loves. Lean into the Lord’s love, so your soul will not remain lean but full.
“The Lord their God will care for them” (Zephaniah 2:7).
Heavenly Father, show me how to love and care for those at home and outside the home, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What cares are overwhelming me that desperately need the care of community and Christ?
Gaither Vocal Band/Michael W. Smith: Because He Lives
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