Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me” (Matt 25:37-40).
We are working on the Love Others portion of our Family Mission Statement and Values plan. Loving others is really tough sometimes. That is because our love for ourselves often gets in the way! When we deal with others, it is hard to keep this other memory verse of ours in mind: Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Phil 2:4).
But as I shared before, here, sometimes we struggle with dying to self. As for me, this has been the long battle. Motherhood has caused me to die to self more effectively than anything else…but what about the other people in my life??? How can I love them, like I love my children?
I find if I can keep God in mind, when I am struggling with someone else, I can overcome my feelings. Oh, my feelings! They are the Enemy – they are not to be trusted, not good for me, more of a hindrance than a help. I can get myself in a real tizzy when I listen to my feelings.
But when I think about the LORD: His perfection, His sacrifice, His goodness, His commands…I know that I can love Him enough to obey. So then, I can do for others what I would not do on my own. Life is sweeter when I remember that everything I do in His Name is my offering to Him. It is my show of gratitude. It is my hallelujah chorus.
And beyond that, everything I do for Him is my obligation. In a covenant relationship, there are promises on both sides. God has fulfilled all of His promises. But how am I holding up my end? Fulfilling our obligations to God is not about earning salvation – we could never do that.
But as soon as we entered into relationship with Him, and made Him Lord of our lives, we made promises to Him. Jesus is the ultimate Bridegroom. And each of us, as His Beloved, has promised to love Him, honor Him and obey Him.
- When my feelings don’t get me to the place where I can sacrifice for, forgive, or love another selflessly…He gets me there. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised (2 Cor 5:14-15).
- My relationship with Him changes my heart. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (Hebrews 8:10).
- The knowledge of Him has transformed my way of thinking. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2, NLT).
And when I forget how to love, and I do forget, I just have to remember that He says: whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me (Matt 25:40). And that gets me there.
Britta ~ I am justAgirl…just like you!