This being my first entry into the Live Love world, I would like to let all readers know, I love the concept behind live love.
“The first, supreme Christian duty, is to live a life of unhypocritical, honest, legitimate, genuine, truthful love, which manifests itself in selfless, sacrificial service to those who have need. Everything without love = nothing.”
That last part immediately called to mind, First Corinthians 13:2 which says, “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
Isn’t that the truth? You could be the most successful minister in history, in terms of church size, annual growth, weekly salvations, and even have faith so strong, you can actually/supernaturally move pike’s peak from its current resting place to another, but if you’re a jerk, Paul said none of that matters. It’s nothing. Love is a powerful thing.
Our society seems like it gets worse with each passing year. I used to see random acts of kindness on a daily basis. After a few short years, I noticed the frequency of those acts turned into weekly occurrences. Today, if someone walks up to a stranger in a parking lot and asks for some spare change, their immediate thought, I’m sure is, “I’m not giving this person my money; my Nickles and dimes, collecting crumbs and dust in my car, so he or she can go purchase some crack.”
We all, to some extent, think we’re better than someone.
“no I don’t! not me! how dare you! I’m very humble!”
This is a pretty common feeling among those who work hard to be better, get better, and provide a better lifestyle for themselves and/or their families.
Admit it, if an alcohol drenched bum approached you on the street and asked you for some change, is your first thought, “I’m going to help this guy…” or do your thoughts run more along the lines of, “ew…I hope he doesn’t touch me.”
After we blow these people off as alcoholics and drug addicts, we begin this conversation in our head trying to justify why we didn’t show that individual love and compassion.
“he would just buy drugs anyway…” “This is what shelters are for…” or “Well, he obviously is being punished by God…” and the ever so popular, “Maybe he should get a job.”
How about this sign: “19, pregnant, hungry, stranded… Anything helps.”
Thoughts: “maybe she should stop having kids she can’t afford. Now my tax dollars are going to go to other low lifes like her while I struggle to make my car payment and feed my own family.”
We are a harsh people. We assume everyone that is homeless or poor has placed themselves in that situation by way of their own mistakes or poor decisions.
Proverbs 14:20 tells us exactly the kind of world we live in: “The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends.”
This is just a stated fact. That’s how it is.
I personally used to sit on a throne of justifications and excuses in regards to the impoverished of our city until I had a reality check.
As He began His ministry, Jesus was homeless. Luke 9:58. Our Lord and savior was a poor, broke, homeless guy that went from town to town loving, healing, and ministering to sick, dying, and dead; spiritually dead people.
Look at Paul’s description of himself and the other Apostles: 1 Corinthians 4:11-13 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.”
Paul called himself the scum of the earth. When is the last time you looked at a homeless street dweller and thought to yourself, “I am such scum compared to that guy.” I encourage whoever reads this to remember, God takes care of the poor and needy…
Those who Live Love to the poor and needy, God blesses. – Psalm 41:1
He delivers the poor. – Psalm 72:12
It honors God when we are generous to the poor. – Proverbs 14:31
Look finally at what Jesus Himself said about the final judgement: Matt 25:31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will:
- separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
- The King will say to the sheep, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
- I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.
But when the righteous hear him say these things, they reply with, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You in those conditions or ever help You? Then Jesus will tell them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ But then in verse 41, He gives a much darker contrast for the goats… “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” These are condemned to hell firstly because they did not know Christ. This was demonstrated by their actions in regards to those who were in need. Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”
Jesus calls us to have compassion on the people who have hit rough times. Of course, we must take into consideration 2 Thess. 3:10 – “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
There is a difference between those who are just unwilling to work and those who physically cannot work. So whats the call?
Love them. Live Love. Though they be a stranger, invite the least to join you for dinner. Buy them a steak. Treat them to a trip to a local farmer’s market. Shoot, just give one homeless mother a giftcard to a local grocery store. By prayerful consideration, God will show you where the opportunities are to serve Him in this way.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.