Bringing Love to Life
By Maria Fontaine
Download Audio (6.7MB)
The other day I heard something that touched my heart. I heard from a young woman that she had saved up money to take a course that would help her in her mission work as well as in bringing in finances. However, the Lord then laid on her heart to give a large part of this money to one of her fellow missionaries. This person hadn’t asked for the money, but the woman knew she needed it. And even more than that, she knew the missionaries needed the encouragement.
We have all experienced deep discouragement at some point in our lives. Were you ever pulled out of that discouragement by a note from someone telling you they cared, that they were praying for you, or were going to do what they could to help? Or maybe in a time of great trial you suddenly found the light breaking through and you were inexplicably pulled out of the despair you felt, and you had faith again that the Lord was going to make everything okay?—Maybe as a result of someone’s private prayer for you?
There are people around us who are struggling and who need a boost, an uplift from a friend or fellow laborer. Is it possible that Jesus is waiting on you to give, to write, to befriend, to pray for someone that He lays on your heart? This brings to mind that little chorus, “Lord, lay some soul upon my heart and love that soul through me. And may I bravely do my part to win that soul for Thee.” Through doing what the Lord shows us to do, we can encourage, uplift, and help others. It doesn’t have to be a lot; little is much, if God and His love are in it.
Sometimes we might feel overwhelmed by the need surrounding us, and of course none of us can help everyone that we’d like to help. But one thing that I can do, that you can do, that we all can do, is to pray.
Most of us are almost fully occupied with the challenges of everyday life. There’s so much to think and pray about, so much to do. You might be relocating or starting a new mission-related venture, or looking for work, or putting your children through school, or struggling to keep up with all the details of life, or trying to find time to spend with your spouse or family. You might feel under a great deal of pressure already, so much so that it’s hard to think of anything but the job at hand.
You might wonder how you can help someone else, when you feel so in need of help yourself. You might feel like the widow of Zarephath, with not even enough for you and yours. Being faced with someone else’s need when you barely have enough for yourself might seem very much like Elijah’s request that the widow give what little she had to him.1
I’ve often thought about that woman and how much faith it must have taken for her to put the needs of someone else above hers and her child’s, when they were in such great need themselves. Elijah’s request must have sounded absurd and completely unrealistic. And yet it inspires me to think of how great God’s goodness is toward those who take steps of faith like that. The principle of giving what you can, even when you have little yourself, and God’s rewards for doing so, stands as true as ever.
The Lord does not ask the impossible; He just wants us to do what we can to love, care for, and support others—even during those times when it takes a great measure of faith and love to do so. The Lord will bless us if we will spend a few minutes in prayer for others, offer words of encouragement, or help someone in need. He doesn’t necessarily ask us to give a huge chunk of time or a big sum of money, but He rejoices when we give what we can to others. We may not have a lot, but the heart filled with Jesus’ love always has something to give.
We are privileged to fulfill His mission, which is really all about putting love into action. Part of fulfilling the mission involves teaching people to live Jesus’ words and to show His love to others. We know that one of the most effective ways to teach others to love is by being an example of love ourselves. As the old saying goes, charity begins at home. We can prove that Jesus’ words can be lived and that His love can be alive in our hearts and lives through our personal choices to support others, to give, and to bear one another’s burdens.
If we help someone in need or someone who may be weaker in health, we have let Jesus’ love come alive in us, and others will see that love manifested through us. If we are gifted at something, we can manifest our love by teaching others something that we’re knowledgeable in. As we each are attentive to Jesus’ leading concerning others’ needs, I believe that He will pour out His blessings and in turn supply whatever you personally might need.
Imagine what can be accomplished if we each take time to be aware of others in our lives who are in need and to ask the Lord what we can do to help them. Maybe we can pray for those who need help in one way or another. Maybe we can write a note or speak encouragement to those who are discouraged. Maybe we can teach someone a skill that will help them in their mission work. Maybe someone needs a place to stay, and we have an extra room to offer. Maybe a family needs someone to help them with their children while they prepare for a move. This type of assistance goes a long way.
As we do whatever we can, our own needs will be met as well. The Lord has promised, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”2 “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”3
I know that God is faithful and that He cares for His own. He has given us the privilege and blessing of helping Him to do this by being His eyes, His hands, and His feet for others. Will you ask Him to show you today what you can do to care for others in need, how to be a channel of Jesus’ love and encouragement to them?
Originally published October 2010. Adapted and republished January 2014.
Read by Tina Miles.
- Keys to a Vibrant Prayer Life
- A Woman, a Slave, and a Gentile
- Death Is Not the End
- Seek First
- Little Things Make a Big Difference
- God in Three Persons: The Trinity
- Walking with God through Trials
- The Sacred of the Ordinary
- The Holy Spirit
- Current Events: Speculations and Opinions