Philippians 2:4 (NKJV)
“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others”
Have you ever had to evacuate a house or somewhere else because of a fire or an emergency? What about a flood, tornado, or other natural disaster that affected your whole area? How about if the problem is not only in your area, but your entire state?
People in every part of the world have had to react to every sort of catastrophe imaginable. We see on the news or social media the stories of loss from violence, disaster, and disease. Even when the event so horrific, it may not seem real because it does not affect you personally.
Many among us may say that they could not imagine what it is like being in a war zone, yet they may see a shooting down the street or were in a place where there was an explosion. These may lack some of the duration, but they can elicit the same emotions and psychological effect.
I personally have not had to endure either, but I still remember staring at the TV in disbelief on 9/11/2001. I know the emotions that it conjured up especially when my National Guard unit was activated. With today’s media coverage and increase in social media, it is difficult not to see the devastation that each event brings.
In the US we saw the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, but it still was not to the magnitude of the Indian Ocean Tsunami the year before. I could easily continue to list event after event that left behind a staggering death toll and millions more trying to pick up the pieces. Rather I want to look at that recovery in the aftermath.
Human history is filled with its share of cataclysmic events as far back as Noah. There were countless times that the world was struck with what seemed like an insurmountable manmade or natural incident, but we know that time after time mankind prevailed and rebuilt.
After the wall came down at the end of the Cold War, I witnessed firsthand how Germany rebuilt itself. I walked were the towers stood to admire everything new in its place. I have also seen how three families displaced by a fire rebuilt their lives.
What do they all have in common? People came together to work along side each other to restore what was lost. This happens everyday around the world and I have no doubt it will continue into the future no matter how devastating the circumstance.
This means that it is our choice if we help other people in need. Not just our families, but our friend with three kids, even our neighbor who needs something carried in or even a simple repair. This is the simple love that Jesus spoke about time after time. Selfless, yet intentional, no strings attached love.
When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-40, how did he answer? Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Not just love for the Father, but your neighbor as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s the person on the street struggling, we should introduce ourselves. How about that neighbor who never had a kind word for you, smile and ask them if they need anything. Even that friend who lied to us five times before, we should still reach out to them in love.
We need to remember that too often the person or the circumstance, no matter how great, may be affected by something larger. We find a good reminder in Ephesians 6: 12 (NLT), “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Even though we see our share of natural occurrences, there are shadows and evil forces at work in this world and all around us. It is our choice how we choose to react to them. We can hide away and selfishly hoarding everything for our own personal gain or stand strong with God and be aware of the needs that He shows us.
When we do, we honor Him the way Jesus explained it in Matthew 25:37-40, “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
Look out your window and not just look toward the heavens or at the ground. See the houses and the people that are there in your neighborhood. If you have to go out anywhere, see the others that are there. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those in need with the love that God tells us to share.
So, no matter what is happening in our personal lives, in our community, or even in the world, remember to be God’s shining light of hope. We can do our part to make someones day much brighter just by sharing our faith and love. As you do please also enjoy “Keep Reaching Out In Love.”
REACHING OUT IN LOVE
There is a new Shadow rising threatening to block out the sun,
With a fear that goes before it that makes it feel it’s far from done.
To protect yourself and family is foremost in your mind,
being sure that you provide for their needs of every kind.
Then as darkness continues to grow there are questions what to do,
Like do we have the strength to do everything just to make it through.
With how the pace of all the changes is increasing twenty-fold,
We cannot help but Wonder Lord is this the end that you foretold?
My children each trial that faces the world is not there to divide,
There is still much more to this journey and I am still by your side.
Though you may find it difficult you must be ready when others call,
Do not isolate yourself from those around you by putting up a wall.
If you faithfully pray to me for guidance I can show you what to do,
Because many outside your family may not be as fortunate as you,
As the sun rises on a new day you can first count your blessings from above,
Then see those in need around you and Keep Reaching Out In Love.
Simple Faith Christian