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Tangible Love? That’s For The Missionaries.

Tangible ways to show our love to others

What do you think of when you hear the words tangible love?

When I hear someone say tangible love, my mind first goes to missionaries.

I don’t know why, but I do.  I almost immediately pass the buck off to missionaries and completely forget that I even heard it mentioned.

How sad…

 John 13:34-35 says for us to love one another as I have loved you.

How did Christ love us, and how can I learn from how he loved us? Great question, I am glad you asked.

Christ calls us to love one another, but he didn’t just leave us hanging there. He gave us plenty of examples of how we can practically and tangibly love one another.

John 13: 1-17 Paints such a beautiful picture of our Lord humbling himself to a servant. He takes off his outer garments and wraps himself with a towel and fills a basin with water, and calls the disciples over.

Pause there a moment and just put your self in the shoes of the disciples and imagine what must be running through the disciples minds. I can just feel that awkward tension growing in this story. Have you ever been in a situation where someone just gets up and breaks the status quo, and starts doing something with out saying a word?  I have and boy is it weird.

Peter asks Jesus if he was going to wash his feet? As Jesus motions for him to bring his feet near him,  Peter exclaims you will never wash my feet Jesus!

Jesus tells them, you do not understand now what I am doing, but you will soon enough.

He gets done washing their feet, and says “Do you understand what I have done for you?“ I have set you an example that you should do as I have done.

Wow, how awesome is that?  Jesus, the creator of the universe.  The one who has performed miracle, after miracle has just humbled himself to lay on the ground and pick up the feet of the disciples and wash them!  Need I remind you that these people wore sandals, in a sandy, desert environment, so their feet had to be GROSS!  Yet our savior put himself in the role of the servant and washed them.

How often do we walk past that person on the street and just keep walking, avoiding any kind of eye contact because they will ask us for some spare change?  How often do we laugh at “that kid” at school who know one talks to, and always is making fun of?  How often do we rush into the sanctuary at church passing up the new people standing in the corner, because we have to make sure we call dibs on “our seat” at church?

If people are anything like me then we do it everyday…  This is not the example Jesus gave us to follow.  This is not why He lowered himself to that sandy floor and grabbed the feet of his followers, to perform one of the most intimate acts you can do with another person. Jesus wants us to show tangible love to others.  He wants us to serve others, any way you can.

Matthew 25:40  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” -Ephesians 3:8

Peter was called to preach to the Gentiles, but he didn’t want to.  The gentiles were the foulest of the foul, but he knew that is what God had called him to do.  He went and did what he was asked to do, and was richly blessed for it, even though he felt in adequate, and not worthy.

We all have “Gentiles” in our lives.  Maybe it is the neighbor you don’t get along with.  Maybe it is “that kid” at school you can’t stand.  Maybe it is the bully who beats you up, and steals your lunch money. Maybe it is the homeless person you see on the streets in your town.  We all have people we can love on.  Show them tangible love, like Jesus showed us on the cross.

We need to step up and follow what God has called us to do, and that is tangible love.

What are some other ways we can show tangible love to the world?

Jimmy

First and foremost I am a follower of Christ. I am far from perfect, but everyday I try and take a step forward to be more like Him. I'm a 20 something writer, husband, youth pastor, realtor, entrepreneur, guitarist, and nerd.

  • Jimmy! What a great reminder. It is so important for us to love one another, the world we live in is so cold and harsh the Christians NEED to stand out and love! We also need to remember our love may not be received as we intend it to be received, we need to make sure our motives are pure and that we show love out of our overflow of love for our savior! We also have to graciously accept the love of other Christians when they pour it out on us. I have been the recipient of gifts of love from other Christians and it can be awkward but they are doing this as their act of worship and we must not rob them of this! TANGIBLE LOVE what an awesome way to live! Thanks for sharing Jimmy!!

    Ali

    03/21/2012

  • What an awesome reminder that we need to love everyone around, not just the people that it’s easy, or convenient to love. Thanks Jimmy!

    Theresa

    03/21/2012

  • This is sooooo important as a Christian.

    I have friends who constantly make fun of me for being a Christian, but time and time again I hear the same thing. They always tell me
    “you are my closest friend”, “you are the nicest person I know”, “I can’t trust anyone like I can trust you”.

    However, the only thing I do is to try and constantly love them. That is all it takes for them to notice I am different. And hopefully one day they will put the pieces together and realize that it is because God is in my life that I can be any of those things.

    So, even though it is hard sometimes, keep at it. You never know what your love will mean to another individual.

    Jeli

    03/22/2012

  • So true Jeli, our love is so often what is seen. I know I have friends who tease me all the time but when life falls apart I’m the first they call. They know I genuinely love them. Which when the majority of the world doesn’t go to church that may be the only time these people get to see Jesus!!

    Ali

    03/22/2012

  • Indeed, if love does not have a face it is not love. God became man to prove that.

    Steve Robinson

    04/06/2012

  • Yes, being that this is Passion Week I will use the example of Jesus at the last supper. He showed the disciples how to love others, by washing their feet. He became to lowest of the lows to teach them how to love on others.

    Mind you that it wasn’t just a servant that did the feet washing in that day, but it was the lowest servant on the totem pole.

    That is love. God of all the universe picked up a towel, and washed the feet of his disciples, specially with all that HAD to be running through his mind with his impending brutal death coming.

    Jimmy

    04/06/2012

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