Tag Archives: giving love

Loving People

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

At a Toby Mac concert, his drummer shared a story of a man who had three kids with three different women. He wasn’t a present father in their lives and was a mess of a human. The Diverse City band loved him when he was broken and didn’t deserve it. They showed him the love of Christ through their actions and led him to the Lord. He then revealed he was that man. It reminded me of a quote from Mark Batterson’s book “If” that has hit home with me. He wrote, “Love people when they least expect it and least deserve it. That’s how you change someone’s life forever.”

When I think of that quote, I think of what God has done for each of us. At our worst, He still loved us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (NLT). God didn’t wait for you and I to clean ourselves up and to start living right before He demonstrated His love for us. He did it while we were covered in the filth of sin. He did it when we were living in rebellion to His way of life.

He expects us to demonstrate that kind of love to others. He expects us to love those who least deserve it. 1 John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]” (AMP). The more we love others when they least deserve it (the way God loves us), the more we get to know who He is.

After the Toby Mac concert, I went to find the drummer. He was taking photos with fans and signing autographs. He looked each person in the eye and said, “I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it!” I smiled when I heard him say it and thought, “That’s exactly what God says to each of us.” We’ve got to get to the point where we love others no matter who they are, how they live, or what they do. If we’re truly interested in changing lives and winning souls, it starts with loving people where they are.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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Jesus Is In The Details

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We got up early yesterday ready for a day full of work. We loaded the trucks and headed for the white, dirt road that leads to Myan. It’s a slow, bumpy ride that takes us out of the city, over the mountain side and into the quiet life of the country. As we got closer to the orphanage in Myan, my heart began to beat faster. On my first trip here, the foundation was being poured. On my second trip here, we stained and varnished beds as well as built shelving units. But on this trip, I’d get to see the first children who were brought in last week. I could hardly wait.

As is the custom when we get to Myan, we get out of the trucks, meet the locals who followed us and head up Prayer Mountain. When we got to the top, for the first time there were orphans running around on the property. We then heard all of the miracles that have taken place over the last 2 years that made this orphanage possible. We tried to balance the poverty we saw against the beauty of the country side. Your mind wants to figure out how you can be surrounded by such beauty, yet have so many who survive on less than $2 a day. We began to pray over the orphanage, the community of Myan, the staff, future children and the stewards of Coreluv.org.

We made our way down the hillside hand in hand with the local children who followed us up. As we approached the gates to the orphanage, Epoli opened them to us with a smile on his face. The girls went to the girls house and the boys went to the boys house. We looked through the rooms and began playing with the kids. It didn’t take long for most of these newly orphaned children to put down their defenses and to allow this team of American students to embrace them. Laughter begs to fill the air. Games of chase started up. Kids were being kids.

We brought the kids into the cafeteria and sat them on benches. Courtney, one of our students, had prepared Vacation Bible School for the kids. When she finished, a pastor from Port au Prince came and shared a message with the kids too. We’ll repeat that each day as part of giving our students the opportunity to minister and so we can plant the seeds of God’s love in the hearts of children. They will know what true love is by the time they’re grown up because we believe in loving them unconditionally and because they will know their Father in Heaven loves them as well.

After the lessons, we broke into three teams. One team set up the medical cabinets at the orphanage and prepared it to have a pharmacy in the future. Another team went room to room on the boy’s side and stained the newly installed bed rails. The third team painted the cafeteria a pastel green. We had someone use a paint gun, some used rollers and some cut the edges where rollers and paint guns can’t get. It took all afternoon and we only got about half way done.

As I helped paint the baseboards, ceiling crease and corners, I couldn’t help but think that God is in the details. We like to try to find him in the broad strokes of a roller. Those are quick, easy and cover a lot of ground. While He is there too, I found that He does His work in our lives in the creases and in the slow, tedious details. He is patient and kind with us. He takes His time and does the work the right way because He knows it’s when you take care of the details, the larger things are possible.

We capped off our day with a soccer game at the Gonaives orphanage. Many of our team members were among the crowd of kids running back and forth on the dirt field. The rest were loving on orphans and kids from the community. There is great ministry in just loving on people. When you give love, you give more than just your time and talents. You give a piece of your heart and that’s what changes lives.

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