Beloved, Let Us Love One Another
If we want to rise above the attitude of fear and panic prevalent in our world right now, simple platitudes and positive thinking will not cut it. We are inundated with news and information, warnings and bans. The needs in our world are growing exponentially and this is not a time to shrink back from serving one another. In fact, it is a time to ramp up our efforts to love our neighbors through acts of service, prayer and encouragement. Love is the antidote to fear.
3 Minute Read
By Sue Brage
As the Bible tells us in 1 John 4:18 says, perfect love casts out all fear.
Why is this so critical right now? God’s love moves us with compassion to care for those in need—those in our close circles, churches and neighborhoods who are scared and suffering right now. They need to know he loves them more than ever! While we face some limitations during this time, this doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to serve. Our neighbors are in need and this provides a fabulous opportunity to show Jesus’ love in action. The truth is we can’t give them faith—but we can show them love.
Consider Galatians 5:6: All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love.
Sharing God’s Love
For the first time in many of our lives, we are facing an economic crisis that will affect almost every industry; small businesses, travel and air, food service, events, automotive and retail, and yes, even mission agencies. This situation affects all of us, which means we have a tremendous opportunity to minister and connect with those who are struggling.
We have the chance to love people in practical ways, people we may not have even known yesterday! God is opening doors to peoples’ hearts in amazing ways—and the message they are most hungry for is this: God loves you and cares about the details of your life.
As the initial panic dies down and we begin to deal with the fall out and needs around us, I believe God is going to open tremendous doors of ministry for us personally and in our churches. We must be ready to serve and engage in creative ways.
Loving Through Social Media
Regardless of how you feel about social media, this will prove to be a vital place of connection and ministry in the coming months. Churches are streaming services, Facebook groups are being formed, Instagram Live is sharing encouragement and prayer.
Send Tangible Encouragement
Not ready for that, how about good old-fashioned note writing? Everyone needs encouragement right now! The grocery store workers, pharmacists, business owners, pastors. In our own OMF community, missionaries, retirees, ministry leaders and volunteers would all love a note of appreciation or a verse of encouragement. A friend of mine printed a stack of cute animal photographs from the internet to send to her grandma and the residents of her nursing home. She wrote an uplifting note on each to let each person know they are not forgotten.
Support Your Church
Check with your church to see how you could serve from home. Maybe making phone calls, responding or sharing on social media comments, praying for your pastor, leaders and church family.
Consider 2 Corinthians 5:14: For it is Christ’s love that fuels our passion and motivates us, because we are absolutely convinced that he has given his life for all of us. (TPT)
His love is the motivator for the acts of service. As we ground ourselves in his love, refuse to give in to fear, God can use this time for his glory! This is not a time to run and hide—but a time to look for new opportunities to love, to serve, to give and to encourage.
I currently serve OMF (U.S.) in the role of Vice President for Communications. My passion is to help OMF share our mission and vision in fresh and relevant ways and to help others communicate well for his kingdom. As a writer and a leader, my heart is to encourage each of us to draw closer to Jesus and his purposes for us.