How do you love someone you don’t know?

2 John: 4 – 6 (MSG) “I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father. But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other (emphasis mine). Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love (emphasis mine). This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed.”

In John’s second letter, Christians are encouraged to remember the command we’ve heard from the beginning; love each other. We must live a life of love; the way God commanded us to live (v.6).

When you love someone you want to be with them all the time. You think about them, anticipate conversations with them, you can’t get enough of them. They consume you. So think about this in the terms of how we go through our daily lives. If I am called to love God and love my neighbor as myself (Luke 10:27), I have to look inward and ask myself a few tough questions:

  • Am I spending time in God’s word everyday learning more about Him?
  • Am I talking to Him (praying) throughout the day?
  • Am I including Him in the events of my life?
  • Do I see others the way He sees them?
  • Do I love the people God loves? (yes, even the unlovable people)

Based on these questions, I know I have some work to do.

So, how about you?

What about the people you don’t know…are you suppose to love them? If we are to love our neighbor, does that mean just the people that live on either side of us or are we suppose to look at the word neighbor differently? I think God wants us to love like He loves…and His word tells us that He loves EVERYONE. So much so that He gave his one and only son that whoever believed in Him could have eternal life with Him (John 3:16).

So how do I love people I don’t know? Look carefully at where God is working around you. Let me give you a few ideas:

  • Go on prayer walks around your neighborhood or mall
  • Serve at a homeless shelter
  • Visit the elderly in a nursing home
  • Spend time with the parents of a sick child in a children’s hospital
  • Go to hospital waiting room and just pray over the people there (God may even give you an opportunity to minister to someone)

Where is God working around you? He is at work in your community., you just have to look carefully. For example: He uses churches and other community organizations to reach people. So what are they doing?  What about going on a mission’s trip? When you hear the news does your heart draw to one story or another? God is at work! How can you be His hands and feet?

May I challenge you today to find out where God is working around you and serve Him wholeheartedly – reach out with His hands – walk with His feet – hug with His arms – love with His heart. You will be amazed how blessed you feel just being a part of it all.

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