Today’s Truth

Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field (Luke 10: NIV).

Friend to Friend

Several years ago, when our neighborhood hosted a garage sale, I rallied my family to set up a water/soda stand to raise some money for a local charity. While this may sound somewhat noble and exciting, I assure you, it was a brutal battle of stubborn wills. My kids fought me the whole way to the curb and tested my love-o-meter to the max.

Quite frankly, I wanted to fold up my card table, put away the homemade signs, write a personal check to the charity, and call it a day. It would’ve been easier. Yet in the tangled middle of my frustration, I felt God nudge my heart.

I was reminded that in order to serve Jesus I needed to serve others.

I had been reading through the book of Luke and freshly looking at how Jesus interacted with people. How he responded to their interruptions. How he reacted to their pain. How he met their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs.

Jesus was and is quite the man of action.

When people encountered Jesus, they were changed and challenged. They were healed and helped. They longed for His presence in each town and looked for His purpose in each teaching.

Jesus fed the hungry, healed the diseased and paralyzed, ate with sinners, cared for the children, and just plain showed compassion in crazy-practical ways. What an amazing picture of love. A perfect picture of love. Jesus is perfect love.

Perfect love cares.

Perfect love makes time for the interruptions of life.

Perfect love meets the physical needs of others.

Perfect love shows compassion to souls that are darkened by despair.

You and I are called to this mission as well because we’re commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. As I consider the way Jesus lived and loved on this earth, I have to reflect and wonder …

Are those around me surprised by the love I show?

Am I ministering to my community through service?

Am I sharing the hope of Christ with those who are lost or hurting, and am I looking for opportunities to bless others in practical ways?

Those are some seriously challenging questions – because this perfect love thing is totally hard!

This challenge flies in the face of our natural compulsions to be self-absorbed. It contradicts everything Hollywood would try to sell us. It’s political, yet non-partisan. It sears past policies to flesh and blood. It touches and feels.

The perfect love of Jesus transcends socioeconomics, race, politics, religion, and denomination.

Ours should too.

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go. He told them “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field” (Luke 10:1-2 NIV).

I’m compelled by the ways Jesus loved those around Him and am challenged to become more intentional to do the same. Now, I could’ve closed down our garage sale fundraiser when the grumbles came, but I’m glad I didn’t. My family and I would’ve missed out on the tremendous lessons God taught us that day. And boy did He teach us some love lessons!

Today let’s ask the Lord of the harvest to open our eyes to ways we can live love and let’s choose to move beyond comfort to serve and care for the people around us.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, You’ve shown me that perfect love serves and called me to be an active harvester for You. Please increase my love for others and use me to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of hurting people in my community and around the world.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 

What are you currently doing to serve God? Does your service extend beyond the body of Christ to the unchurched, unhealthy, and underprivileged?

Pray and seek God’s leading. Ask Him to show you new ways to live His love.

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© 2022 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.

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7 Responses to “Living Love”

  1. Avatar photo Lisa says:

    This is a much needed reminder…since covid we have become homebodies. We don’t go out, watch church (sometimes) from home. I have gotten to a place where I am overwhelmed and under motivated to do anything. Even heading into town 2 miles away seems overwhelming, and I avoid going to town as much as possible!
    There was a time I led many things at church, when I was younger, had energy to do so.
    I do pray almost daily that God uses me for His words, His works, and then I hibernate at home It seems the most I can do is be encouraging on social media!
    I do miss the days when we lived at church, working on whatever for whatever. Now, most of my friends have left that church, and that leaves us struggling to know where we should be or go.
    Today, I will pray God shows me where to go, who to help, what to do.
    Thank you for this devotional.
    Blessings to you,

  2. Avatar photo Carol says:

    Thank you, Gwen, this am writing is so important for me; because I can echo the exact words that Lisa wrote this morning.
    Being older and living with a spouse who is compromised, I feel closed down too.
    I know that small efforts are also, puzzle pieces for the Godly bigger picture.
    I am seeking ways to serve outside of my church family. I know today, I’ll be studying Luke, with more of a detailed eye.
    Thank You for the blessing and guidance today.

  3. Avatar photo Tiffany says:

    I’ve studied some of the names of God, but I don’t know “Lord of the harvest.” I’m eager to look into that some more and learn more about God.

  4. Avatar photo Debbie says:

    Good morning,
    I am reflecting on the lifestyle changes we made under the Covid pandemic. Through this message this AM, I view the past restrictions placed on us as God’s will for his people forcing us to change the way we live in many ways. Through it all God is and has been present even in the times of frustration, confusion, rebellion! Our world has most definitely changed and challenged God’s people to remain steadfast.

    I too have become reclusive and lost motivation to step out of my comfort zone. 5 I am encouraged to seek God’s will for my next steps, who I can encourage and support, wisdom to understand the purpose of it all.

    I have 3 grandchildren 1 in junior high and two in high school. It broke my heart to see their spirit broken during the times of home schooling and social events coming to a halt. My grandchildren and their parents were raised in our home church, but now question their faith in living in a time where their future is unknown. My new mission statement this am is HERE I AM LORD! My mission may be as simple as reaching out to a neighbor,a listening ear,a messenger of hope and encouragement.

    I am a 66 yr old single (divorced) woman, who’s immunity is compromised by rheumatoid arthritis along with AS. I continue to work at home in my job of 33 yrs, I do this because I do not have a clear plan for retirement. God has blessed me with two knee replacement surgeries as well as a hip replacement. I have no excuse anymore as my chains have been broken. Who knows in my journey, I may find that I will bloom where I am planted and develop a plan to use my time to bless others as I have been blessed in more ways than I can count.

    This message this morning opened my eyes to the opportunity to serve until the time when God takes me home. God is the beauty in the ashes left in this world. I am truly blessed this morning…Praise be to our Lord of the Harvest….Debbie

  5. Avatar photo Sue says:

    Reading this am devotional and all the comments reminds me I am not alone. God bless you each one of you and give you all the desires of your heart as you delight yourself in Him.

  6. Avatar photo Lisa says:

    I am struggling with how to minister to my daughter who was married to a woman.Her partner rather suddenly died in April and she is deep in grief.We had an agree to disagree relationship that was working and I have really tried to show her compassion and love.But then she does something that really upsets me.Now she wants to come home when her lease is up in November.Being alone is not good for her.I really need discernment as to wether this is a good thing for everyone.Please pray my husband and I will make the right decision.

  7. Avatar photo Jana says:

    My father of almost 91 years just passed this last week. We did not expect it even though he was that age. Mother has been gone for 11 years. During their life together, they served the Lord by providing for others in many ways. As my father aged and was unable to physically do as much, he facilitated the ministry of others through prayer and financial giving. I have always been inspired by their obedience to serve the Lord by ministering to their friends, family, church, and community of 68 years. Of course, it is our mighty God who was faithful to guide them to serve Him in that way. They turned to Him and He directed their path. I pray the Lord will show me the needs around me and equip me to meet them through His power and strength. May God bless you, Gwen, for faithfully sharing this message laid on your heart.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8