LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF
August 23, 2022 12:35 PM
My Hiding Place
Shared on Aug.23/2022
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1 Cor.13:1-8a) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8Charity never faileth.
Dear brothers and sisters,
lately, my prayer has been for Father to teach me His way to love. Here is how He responded to my prayer.
On Aug.17/2022, I needed to run a few errands. I got ready with my 2 boys, when my daughter popped her head through the door and said, ‘Hey mom, do you still need to go to the store? I can take you. My car needs to go for a spin.’
Off we went, to the first and second store. On the way back, I needed to stop at a third store but she decided she needed to go home. So I made arrangements to be dropped at the last stop with the boys, and then my husband would come to pick us up.
While shopping, I received a call from my husband that he was on the way. But when he reached us, he made a strange announcement. He said that our daughter had arrived home accompanied by a homeless man who desired to get baptized!
I have to confess that my initial reaction was not very friendly. I thought, ‘Why did our daughter bring someone to our home without asking for permission? Why did she bring in a stranger knowing my husband was heading out to get me and the boys from the store?’ I was not pleased and couldn’t come up with any good answer. But on the way back home, I told my husband, ‘Let’s just pray for wisdom that Father will help us to deal with whatever may be going on this evening’.
We got home and sure enough, there was a homeless man sitting in our kitchen. He looked very shy and spoke very quietly. My first approach was to get my boys situated with their snacks and their bedtime routine, while my husband had a chance to talk to him. Once I felt my husband a little more comfortable, I took the time to come over and offer the man some food and drink. Then I asked him to share his testimony. While telling his story, he asked in a rhetorical way, ‘Why can’t people just love? Do you see me? Because I see you.’ He wasn’t trying to address the question at us, but that didn’t matter. To me, it pierced my heart! It was as if the Holy Spirit had uttered those words through his mouth, convicting me. Why was my heart not immediately happy at this man coming to our home? Would I have acted differently if he had showed up wearing fancy clothes? Had I been too busy to notice the needs of those less fortunate? While the Holy Spirit did the job of convicting me, it became clear that I needed some repenting. As he continued to share, I was overcome with Jesus’ compassion. Tears began streaming down my face while remembering Jesus saying, ‘They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick’.
So I gave my daughter the go-ahead to get the bathroom ready. I grabbed some clothes for the baptism and a clean change of clothes for afterwards and within a half hour, all was ready to go.
There was our new friend, in our bathtub, ready to confess Jesus as His Saviour and turn from his sins; acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God and renouncing Satan for good. Hallelujah!
Afterwards, we got a chance to share a tea and some refreshments around the table and we encouraged him to pray. Then it was time to drop him off at his request while I tidied up. As I said my goodbye for the night, he re-iterated how thankful he was for our hospitality. Then I gave him a big hug and blessed him in the name of the Lord.
Everything had happened so fast, too fast for me to absorb it all. While I wiped down the bathroom, I examined my heart. ‘Father, I’m sorry that my heart was not ready to have this gentleman over at first, that I questioned what you had in mind rather than just trusting in You.’ As I continued with my cleaning, I remembered that our home is not ours but the Lord’s. On this night, Father had welcomed one of His prodigal sons home through us. We rejoiced with the angels in heaven for this awesome occasion. My heart still felt heavy and desperate for Father’s intimacy. I wanted my alone time with Him and have a chance to properly confess my shortcomings. That’s when I retrieved into our secret place to pray and to listen. This is when the Holy Spirit came upon me with such sweet presence and impressed these words into my Spirit.
Matt.25:34-40 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Thank you, Father for knowing the desire of my heart so intimately – that of seeing many souls come into your kingdom. Thank you, Lord for giving me a heart to share with those less fortunate in various occasions and to open our home to our new friend this evening. May your Word be engraved on his heart and may he follow you all the days appointed for him. May his life bring you glory and may he share your salvation with many more. Dear Father, empty me of all of me and fill me with more of your Spirit. I pray I may be found worthy to be used mightly for your kingdom. To you is all power and glory, forever and ever, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Titus 3:3-5 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
That’s right brothers and sisters. It wasn’t that long ago when we also wondered around without the Lord, chasing after the things of the world, giving ourselves over to sin. And Father had great mercy on us. Now, it’s our turn to do the same to others. The harvest is ready; the fields are ripe. Let’s pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out His laborers. Let’s also pray for His love to abound and overflow in us to be able to share generously.
Hos.6:6a) For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice.
1 John 3:16-18 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today, the Lord is calling us to love His way, through actions and not just words. The kind of love our Saviour displayed for us is so deep. Lord help us to keep dying to ourselves daily and to embrace our crosses, laying our lives down for our brethren. Let us not grow weary of doing good. May the Lord find us occupied in His work and loving each other when He returns!
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
1 Tim.6:17-19 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
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