“If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
~ 1 John 4:12 ~
When my husband and I first began our ministry together, we asked the Lord what He wanted us to accomplish and what He wanted our mission to be. He answered us by giving us Matthew 5:16 and told us He wanted us to meet the needs of the people. We found that what people need more than anything is the love. It kind of reminds me of the song “What The World Needs Now Is Love” written in 1965 by Burt Bacharach and sung by Jackie DeShannon. It was a big hit and many of the things going on now, were happening back then. We were at odds with Russia, there were riots going on in favor for equality and against war. There was ONE big difference – the American people were not HATING their fellow-man like they are now.
In John 15:17 Jesus commands us to LOVE our fellow-man. This is how we “let our light shine” so to speak. When the Lord was telling us to “love one another” he was not just speaking about our inner circles, which is our personal friends and family. No, He was telling us to reach farther. Our instructions to do that are found in Deut. 10:15-21. In verse 16, God tells us to shed ourselves of our old ways and quit being so difficult to deal with. The following verses tells us He doesn’t play favorites and He doesn’t take bribes. He shares His love with everyone, and we should do the same.
Last week Ash Wednesday kicked off the Lint season. I am not Catholic, but the last few years I have participated in fasting my sweets. This year I did not take part in it, however, because I did not understand the purpose. Later in the week, I decided to research what Lint was all about. Lint is not just fasting, there is much more to it! During Lint, one is expected to fast, with the exception of one small meal and two small snacks per day – Have a morning and evening prayer, (each consisting of adoration, thanksgiving, intercession for others, repentance and personal blessings or divine intervention) – Take time for a daily devotion – Attending every Sunday worship service – Performing different acts of mercy (i.e. comforting someone who is hurting emotionally, converting a sinner, feeding the hungry, ministering to prisoners, visiting sick people, offer clothing to those who need them, etc.).
When I found all of this out, I was pleasantly surprised! But, then I realized, as Christians, this is what we are SUPPOSED to be doing. As a matter of fact, Isaiah 58:3-11 instructs us to do just this very thing! AND if we do this, verse 8 says our light will shine brighter than the dawn! This inspired me to jump back on the Lint train, but I am not going to stop after the 40 days is over. No, I am going to continue to walk in God’s love toward my fellow man! This scripture in Isaiah increases my desire to “Let my light shine” and love others! Hopefully, it will have some effect on you to do the same. I can only share with you the ramifications found in Matthew 25:41-46 if it does not! Looking at verse 46, Jesus guarantees us that if we don’t share His love to our fellow man, we will be subjected to eternal punishment.
My final submission on this is not only am I going to do my best to continue to “let my light shine” but I am also going to try to influence others to do the same. Is there anyone out there who will join me in this quest?