Thursday, March 3
Ashley Jacobs, member of RPC since 2007
We love because He first loved us. - 1 John 4:19
Jesus set the perfect example during His life on earth; and we, as followers of Christ, are called to model our lives after the life of Jesus. When we open our hearts to the love of Christ, we are changed in a way that enables us to go out into the world and spread the love of Christ. The compassion that Jesus offered toward others is one of many ways that He expresses His love and concern for each one of us and makes a tremendous difference in my life and personal journey of faith.
It is humbling to know that I matter to God and that He cares about what I think and how I feel. Experiencing the love of Jesus inspires me to let my light shine and is what eventually lead me to become a Stephen Minister with RPC. As I prepare for the joy of Easter morning, I am humbled by the reminder that Jesus loves me enough to have gone all the way to the cross for me. The triumph of Christ's victory over death frees us from the sins of the world and calls us to respond in love. When we choose to love others, we glorify God. While God is the healer, we can share God's love with others by offering compassion to those who are sick, overburdened, hurting or struggling - just as Jesus did during his life on earth.
Matthew 25:35-40 tells us that we serve the Lord when we serve others. The love of Jesus is spread through his broken world when we stop to feed the hungry, offer clothes to the naked, visit the sick or lend a helping hand to a stranger. In fact, Jesus states, "Truly, I say to you, to the extent that you [do these things] to one of these brothers or sisters of Mine, even the least of them, you [do] it to Me." When we show compassion toward our neighbors, the Lord is glorified and loved in return. John 15:5-12 reminds us that God is the vine and we are the fruit. Jesus says, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full... This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." I certainly feel God's presence when people care for me, and I pray that others know the love of Jesus when I offer care for them.
Lord, as we prepare for the joy of Easter morning, remind us that we are your instruments and that your orchestra is beautiful when the words of our mouths, the intents of our actions, and the meditation of our hearts are centered on you. Amen