Love One Another
By: Alicia Stewart
Cold and snowy weather leads to all kinds of problems on the roadway. A friend related events he had encountered during a recent snow storm.
Over the course of several days, Mat was put in a number of weather-related situations. First, his vehicle became stuck in the ice and he ended up walking home. (He was wearing flip-flops at the time and was thankful to find a pair of his tennis shoes in his truck!) Next, he encountered a man who was unable to get his car started. Mat took the time and effort to use jumper cables, getting the gentleman moving again. He then helped someone change a flat tire. Finally, Mat helped another person charge a dead battery with his battery charger. Mat recognized how God had provided for him, being a “perfect” Father, by giving him the father he needed in this life. He was thankful our Heavenly Father had provided him with an earthly father who had taught him how to be prepared, taught him the skills he needed, and taught him to love and respect others. It is obvious Mat has a heart to help others. Mat was thankful to God for providing for his needs in these situations.
We often only see the negative side of situations, overlooking the ways our Father God has provided for us. Yet, the Bible tells us that God does provide for our needs. James 1:17 says that “Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above.” While we are not promised to be given our “wants”, we are promised that God will supply or needs. “…God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need…” (Philippians 4:19). In Matthew, chapter 6, verses 25–34, the author explains that we are not to worry about what we will eat or drink, and we should not be anxious about our clothing. God feeds the birds and clothes the grass and we are more valuable to God. It also says that God knows our needs. We are instructed to put God first and He will provide our needs. The Lord is our Shepherd and feeds, guides, and shields us. He will give us what we need (Psalm 23:1, paraphrased). If we are faithful to God, He will meet our needs (Proverbs 10:3, paraphrased). “Observe and consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse or barn; and [yet] God feeds them. Of how much more worth are you than the birds!” (Luke 12:24).
The scriptures also instruct us to use what God gives us to help others. “Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy…for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16). The New Testament also explicitly teaches us to “…be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). The book of Matthew details some of the ways we are to look after the needs and interests of others. We are told specifically to feed the hungry, give drink to the parched, be kind to strangers, clothe those who have a lack, visit the sick and minister to them, and visit those in prison. “Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me” (Matthew 25:35–40, quoted and paraphrased). “Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah)…” (Galatians 6:2). “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
When we think of helping others, we often equate this to giving financially. Tithing and dropping money in Santa’s pail at Christmas does not absolve us of the responsibility to “…love one another: just as I have love you, you are to love one another” (John 13:34), “…keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Specifically, the scriptures say we are to “…not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18) “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them” (Luke 6:31). We are admonished to not just love our Christian brothers and sisters “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great…” (Luke 6:35). “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). Just as Mat was placed in situations where he could bless others, we are often presented with situations in our daily lives where we are given the opportunity to assist others. Will we take the time and effort to give a kind word, carry groceries to the car for an elderly woman, wipe a child’s tears, visit someone who is sick, or comfort someone who is grieving? What has God given us to prepare us to do good for others? “…let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting noble and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint” (Galatians 6:9).
All scripture quotes and references are taken from the Amplified version of the Bible.