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.
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?
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.
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