The “Love Does” Challenge
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:16-18
“I love you.” Three powerful words. It’s a statement that can be so heartwarming, joyful, and encouraging to hear. Love is a word meant to convey a warm personal attachment, and a passionate, tender, deep affection. This word is intended to communicate admiration, affection, attachment, respect, and the utmost care for another’s well-being. Yet, if I were to go up to a complete stranger, and tell that stranger, “I love you,” would they fully receive the intended message? They would likely respond with confusion, disbelief, or at worst offense at the statement. If I went to a person who I had offended, harmed, or neglected in some way, and told that person, “I love you,” they would almost certainly respond by questioning the truth of that statement, and might even respond in anger. But why? The word “love” shows a powerful display of positive intentions and desires for the person you express it to… why wouldn’t that expression make them smile? The reason is simple: a message of “love,” derives its impact and meaning to a recipient from the actions of the person sending that message. In order for someone to fully receive the message of love that you are expressing, they must observe your love for them in the way you live and the way you act, and in the way you treat them. The belief in an expression of love is in many ways dependent on what that love does.
This leads us to our challenge for February, the “Love Does” challenge. In Matthew 22, Jesus describes the two greatest commandments as “Love God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” As Christ-followers, let’s show our neighbors that we mean it when we say “I love you,” by expressing it to them in our actions, whether small or large. Here are some examples:
- Show your love for an ill person in the hospital by visiting, bringing flowers, and maybe a meal for them to partake in. Sit and talk and pray with them. Come to GKC, and we’ll provide the flowers and the food.
- Show your love for local teachers by running by GKC and picking up some sweet treats for them, and dropping them in a local school breakroom.
- Show your love for your local police or firefighters by grabbing some food from the GKC Trade Market and stopping by to give them a blessing at their workplace.
- Show your love for a single mama by stopping by with a food box, easing the burden of the grocery bill while also providing an opportunity for fellowship.
- Show your love for your neighbor by inviting them over for a meal! GKC can provide the food! Hey, just because Grace Klein’s “Come to the Table” Challenge is over doesn’t mean you can’t still challenge yourself to invite your neighbors to come to the table!
Listen, observe, and intentionally pursue ways that you can love your neighbor. Whether it’s helping a friend move, helping your host wash the dishes after a big party, paying for the person behind you in the Drive-thru line at a fast-food restaurant, or just arranging time to spend with a person who needs the fellowship, each action, big or small, will express to the recipient your love, and most importantly God’s love, for them. For when a non-believing stranger, receives the message of love God reveals to them through your actions, many will respond with the question, “why?” This will open their minds and maybe even their hearts to receive the message of Christ’s love, and allow you to plant the seeds of their relationship with Christ, and their eternal salvation. Isn’t that exciting?! So what are you waiting for? Get out there! Let’s use this February to express to our neighbors just how much God loves them, and how much we love them, with our actions. Let’s use our actions to fully express to our neighbors what a Christ-follower means when they say, “I love you,” and, “God loves you more.”
P.S. Remember to send in your “Love Does” stories to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share the stories of how the Lord worked through you in your “Love Does” efforts at the end of the month!