There is a passage in the Bible that troubles me some nights when my head hits the pillow. I am laying there cozy in my bed with my fluffy pillow under warm blankets in my air conditioned house in a nice neighborhood, and I hear the Holy Spirit whisper this passage in my ear.
I hear it because I am too comfortable. I am not brave enough. I am judgmental and selfish.
I hear it because my Jesus never cared about comfort. He punched fear in the face. He loved with reckless abandon.
I hear the Holy Spirit whisper the words of my sacrificial Savior in my ear: “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…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:35-40).
If Jesus walked the streets of my city today, He would not end up sitting comfy on the couch watching cable. He would spend his time in back alleys, in coffee houses, in homeless shelters, and in prisons.
Jesus loved the overlooked and ignored. Jesus didn’t care about social mores or people’s opinions.
I am thinking that today Jesus would be spending a lot of time with
Idea: Pack “Love Bags” for the homeless. Fill a zip-loc bag with water, a tuna-fish pack, a granola bar, a fruit cup, some crackers, a spoon, and then a note to let them know that Jesus loves them, and you care. Keep it in your car and give it to a homeless person.
Idea: Invite your gay neighbor or co-worker over for a cup of coffee. Bake cookies at Christmas. Listen to their story and express genuine care. Your job is to build a bridge, not a fence.
The Prostitute and Trafficked
Idea: My friend Kathy is part of a ministry at our church that goes in to dark places to visit women who are strippers and share the love of Christ. They give hugs, pray for women’s needs, give away free Bibles, share helpful resources, and invite them to church.
The Orphan and the Poor
Idea: Pray about becoming a foster parent or adopting – so many children need a home. Get involved with a ministry like Compassion International or Samaritan’s Purse that is reaching the Poor with the love of Christ all around the world. You may not be able to adopt, but you can write a letter each month that could change the life of a child.
Idea: Write a letter to a prisoner or his family. Join your church’s prison ministry to share the love of Christ behind bars and help set captives free. Reach out to care for a single parent in your community whose spouse is incarcerated. You can buy groceries and help a hurting family.
To love Modern-Day Samaritans, we must
Listen to their story without judgment. Remember we are all sinners in need of a Savior.
Observe what their needs are and try to help them in practical ways.
Voice the fact that God loves them. Share the truth of God’s Word in love.
Embrace the least of these with the sacrificial love of Jesus. Encourage the hurting in Christ’s name.
Lord, help me to see people with Your eyes. Show me how to really take action and love others sacrificially in a way that pleases You. Amen.
Lyli Dunbar loves teaching. For 17 years, she mentored teenagers in the Christian school setting, and now she has serves as Associate Director of Curriculum at Trinity International University Florida. Lyli married her Prince Charming in her 40’s and has a heart for encouraging young couples and singles in God’s waiting room. She enjoys road trips with her husband, connecting with women through Bible study, and reading way too many books. Lyli writes about life lessons and faith on her personal blog. You may also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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5/13/2015 03:48:50 am
Me, too! I am praying for some Holy Spirit inspiration. :)
5/12/2015 01:04:24 am
Lyli, this is so memorable and so Christ-focused. Glad to have read this post at Titus 2 Tuesday.
5/13/2015 03:48:08 am
MIchele, you are such an encourager. Thank you :)
5/12/2015 07:04:13 am
Last night I heard a presentation at the School Department I work for of this amazing program for families with children. The different outreaches these selfless people provide put me to shame. These are not Christians or Christian organizations, but they are serving as Christ would serve.
5/13/2015 03:47:29 am
Karen, I am praying for God to show me how to do what I can right where I am. I might not be able to "go out" in this season, but I can write a letter. I can pray. I can make a phone call and show love to a hurting person. May God show us the way.
What a wonderful post, Lyli! I love how you encourage to go out there and DO. There is a song that I really love by Ricardo Arjona. It's called Jesus es un verbo no un sustantivo. In English it translates to "Jesus is a verb, not a noun". The idea is that to be a Christian it's not enough to say you are a Christian but do what Christ would have done. To DO.
5/13/2015 03:45:40 am
I love that, Joanna. Yes, the Missional Life is definitely a verb -- and not in the passive tense.
5/13/2015 04:15:56 am
Took your ideas and will keep the love bag in my car. thanks
I have felt the same restlessness for those in the world that have so many needs and I am sitting comfortably. My hubby and I have actually discussed doing some traveling mission work in a few years, when we both retire. Until then, we look for opportunities to help the poor, the hurting, and the forgotten. It seems like the younger Christian church is also focusing on this, as I shared recently in my blog, too. (http://christintheclouds.blogspot.com/2015/05/authentic-christianity-counterculture.html)
This is so refreshing, Lyli! The church so often ignores these people--not out of spite, just because we are conditioned to ignore them--so thank you, thank you, thank you for being willing to step out and remind us to seek out opportunities to love them. Quite a glimpse into the heart of Jesus. :)
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