Categories
Christian Living

Together

“Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 – GNT)

Jeff King, in his recent post, Quote for 01/31/2021, observed that Christianity is the premier team sport. “We’re all in this together, the body of Christ, the church,” said Jeff.

When I read these words, I remembered seeing a fire truck roll up to a call one time while I was sitting at a red light. As soon as the rig came to a stop, firefighters scattered from the vehicle like ants! Two guys unrolled a fire hose and pulled it to a hydrant, while two more unloaded a huge ladder.

Meanwhile, at least one person behind me honked—when the light turned green! So I was on my way, but something about what I saw stuck with me: first responders come out in pairs–just like Noah’s ark!

I asked a firefighter friend at church to fill me in about this “two by two” phenomenon. He explained: for safety and efficiency purposes, nobody works alone. Standard procedure calls for two firefighters in and two out. The idea, he said, is “I look out for you, you look out for me, and we both make it home.”

If Christianity is the ultimate team sport, and surely we can agree with Jeff that it is, then we must act like it. Nobody goes it alone! Like the writer of Hebrews says, we should show real concern for and help one another. Our love and good works speak far more than words.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus – (John 13:34 NIV)

The application to the body of Christ, and by this I mean the church universal, is clear. We live at a point in history when both the world AND the church are on fire. I may be mixing my metaphors here, but we need all hands on deck!

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Do you accept Him as the only way to heaven and trust Him to save you from your sins? Then we work at the same firehouse!

If God is your Father, I am your brother.

I look out for you, you look out for me, and we both make it home to heaven.

Categories
Christian Living love

Famous Last Words

The Setting: Christ’s final Passover with His closest friends. (The time has come to sacrifice his life as a ransom for many. He shows the full extent of His love.)

Here’s how an epic Hollywood movie would have envisioned the moment:

As supper is served, Jesus rises from his seat, unsheathes a gleaming sword and says (holding it up to bask in His own reflection),

“Men, this is our finest hour. It’s time to show these religious bigots who we really are–warriors of the Living God! (raises sword toward ceiling) So be brave. Be strong. We shall all die well–except for the traitor.” (drops sword to His waist and stares out the window)

But we both know that’s not what happened.

What Jesus actually did was wash His disciples feet; something none of them was willing to do. His final act of love for them–before His death–was an act of service.

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” Jesus – (John 13:15 NIV)

We are all aware of the seven last words of Christ, the things He said while hanging on the cross, but this was at His very public execution. What was the last thing he said (before His death) to those closest to Him–in a more private, peaceful setting?

Back at the supper table, sandwiched between His prediction of Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial, we find these famous last words:

“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus – (John 13:34 NIV)

Service and Love

These are twin beacons of a true follower of Christ, reflections of God’s nature shared with the world.

Sadly, this is not what we see so much today. Many Christians now act more like Simon the Zealot than Simon the Leper (who hosted a dinner in Christ’s honor).

We have politicized and marginalized the simplicity of the Gospel, mixing it with a militant piosity that would make a proud Pharisee blush.

And how does this look to a lost world?

Perhaps Mahatma Gandhi said it best:

“Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians–you are not like Him.”


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Living kindness

The Emotional Gas Gauge

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

The blogsmith Jeffrey H. King recently wrote about the need for doing random acts of kindness in his post, Quote for 12/13/2020.

However, at least for him, it sounds more “plan”dom—as he watches for opportunities to say kind words to strangers who cross his path.

The efficient waitress, or the couple out in public with a well-behaved toddler (I know, it’s like seeing a unicorn)😉 are perfect candidates for what I shall henceforth refer to as that, “Mister King Thing.”

After all, says Jeffrey, “There’s no way to know how close someone is to the end of their rope.”

I often find myself writing comments on Jeffrey’s blog that are long enough to be posts in themselves. Sorry, brother. It’s a wonder you don’t edit my philosophical ramblings for length and clarity!

The morning of 12/13/20 was no exception, as, when I read the quote above, I immediately envisioned how convenient it would be if everyone had an emotional “gas gauge” pasted on their forehead. This would be super helpful for knowing who needs a kind word and who doesn’t.

However, Jeffrey and I both agreed–in our back and forth comments–that since the EGG (emotional gas gauge) hasn’t been invented yet, it’s really anyone’s guess how close someone is to running on fumes. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate a sincere compliment–even from a stranger?

Therefore, the “Mister King Thing” is ALWAYS the best practice.

Kindness Matters!


Here are a few of my favorite scriptures about the value of kindness:

“A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.” Proverbs 11:17 (NIV)

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NIV)

Do you have a favorite scripture about the importance of being kind, or maybe a story about how you’ve personally seen the power of kindness at work? Please share!