Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 26, 2019
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14
A pastor friend has quietly and faithfully loved his flock and those in his community over the past 20 years. Hospital visits, funerals, weddings, counseling, celebrating and preaching allowed he and his wife to love, give and serve, growing trust with some families over three generations. Beautifully, while suffering his own personal pain, Pastor David lays down his life for his sheep.
There are wolves who pose as shepherds, but only for what they can get. Self serving, these hired hands do not serve people as a calling, but only for their career advancement. The hired hands run away when the going gets rough. But good shepherds stay, and even search for abandoned sheep when hard times hit. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, laid down His life so all who believe could be saved from their sins. This greater love reflects God’s heart, helping people love and be loved.
Here are three ways love keeps giving:
Love Keeps Giving Time
I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:15
Love can be spelled T.I.M.E. When someone is hurting, love shows up, shuts up and listens up. Giving time to a person trapped in aloneness, is a love investment that may flourish into a friendship that grows over a lifetime. A new mom may feel overwhelmed and ill prepared, but your reassuring words can soothe her soul, give her hope and practical ways to love her little one well. Love gives time to know another, be known and in the process experience rich relationship.
Love Keeps Giving Trust
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Trust is earned over time. When we keep our word, we build trust. When we break our promises, we erode trust. When we follow through on a commitment, especially when it’s difficult, we respect ourselves and we earn the respect of others. Faithfulness, even if we fail, solicits trust. Sometimes telling the truth makes us look irresponsible, or dumb, but being honest means we can be trusted to be vulnerable, even at the expense of being embarrassed. Love is trustworthy.
Love Keeps Giving Truth
I know my sheep and my sheep know me. John 10:14
Truth is a gift of love that is not always cheerfully received, or even received at all. But truth wrapped in love, offers freedom and understanding to grow into a better version of ourselves. If someone only tells us what we want to hear, we will stay stunted in our spiritual, emotional and relational growth, immature and unable to be self aware of our strengths and weaknesses. But when we receive truth as a serum against selfishness, we become more like Jesus. Love tells the truth with the right tone at the right time. Truth received sets us free to fully love others.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Heavenly Father, show me how to love like you love, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
What does it mean for me to lay down my life for my friends?
Love tells the truth with the right tone at the right time. #lovegives #wisdomhunters #Jesus
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