September 1, 2021
Devotions from Judy’s heart
How well do we love others as we do ourselves? We are probably tested on this every day as we make choices that go in favor of what we want and is best for us, or putting ourselves out for others. James says in James 2:8 (ESV), “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love you neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well.” We can’t change ourselves but we need the power of the Holy Spirit within us to make us more loving, more giving and less selfish. It doesn’t come naturally but is a work of God in our lives changing us from focusing on ourselves to considering others first.
We have people here at Northern Living that play Bingo each week. In the past there was a Pastor who played and when we are in the elevator returning to our rooms there would often be scripture quoted. (in gest) If we had not won a game, we might have shared the verse about rejoicing with him who rejoices and weeping with him who weeps, emphasizing the weeping. (Romans 12:15) Or we maybe quoted another verse about giving to the poor etc. We knew that though we may win one week we may be the one next week who would lose.
But there are so many other times when we seriously need to be there for others especially when they weep as Paul tells us. Our tears can be expressed in tangible ways when others are going through sorrow. Michael Kelly who is Directory of Group Ministries at Lifeway in Nashville wrote about how others were there for them. They had two funerals for family members in one week and they were gone 1000 miles from home for 2 weeks. There were those friends that showed up for the funeral, and also others who prayed very specifically for them before they left and while they were gone. Then before they came back others stocked their pantry so they didn’t have to think of meals when they got home. That is practically weeping with those who weep and expressing God’s love. The Lord asks us to love others just we do ourselves, to listen to them and be there for them. Let us not be so consumed with ourselves that we neglect those whom God puts before us.
Challenge for today: The next time someone is in dire circumstances, ask God what practical service you can do for them.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy