Love as a Witness to the World
Edith Bennich once drove down an Alabama Highway and observed a group of Prison inmates working. She said to her grandsons, “Don’t you know those men would love a cold Coke today?” Then making the question a reality, she headed to the nearest convenience store. C
Kim Bolton once found herself in the middle of a fight…at Big Lots…in the check out lane. She prayed and prayed as the women verbally assaulted one another over caramel popcorn. The storm of words subsided and Kim approached her car, noticing one of the ladies was in the car next to hers. Kim felt compelled to do what Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” So she knocked on the ladies window. The lady rolled her window down and Kim gently spoke kindness and love to her. “Hey, are you alright? The whole time you two ladies were duking it out in there, I was between you praying. I said, ‘Lord, what is wrong with these ladies that they have to fight over popcorn?’ And the Lord said to pray.” As Kim spoke, tears began to pour down the woman’s face. Finally the lady was able to speak. She said, “I know Jesus. I am far away from Him. Will you pray for me?” So in the parking lot of Big Lots, Kim ministered love to that lady.
Love is at the center of the ministry of Jesus. Over and over he admonished us to love one another…and it will affect the world. But it has to be-in the center of us. We must wake up ready to love the world in Jesus name. Every person we see, or cross paths with through the day are targets for God’s love to flow through. And then, guess what? The world will be changed.
So what are you doing today? Are you ready to let God’s love flow through you?
- Think about ways you can “love on” some people today. Perhaps you can hold an umbrella for a mom with lots of kids, or you can take someone’s cart back for them, or you can offer a listening ear.
- Dare to see the emotions of those around you. Is the checkout lady tearful? Offer to pray for her. See her situation with a heart of love. God will tell you what to do…just be open to bear her burden.
- Write someone a note of encouragement today. Perhaps you are homebound and cannot drive
any more. Find people to encourage through notes. The “Nurture Team” would love your help and will help you know who needs encouragement.
The Call of Wisdom
My husband Ed is one of the wisest men I know. He is a voracious learner. Verse 5, “A wise man will listen and increase his learning.” Not only does Ed constantly read the Bible and articles about current events, but he also loves to take classes. Verse 5b adds, “And a discerning man will obtain guidance.” Thus far, my husband has a PHD and is halfway through seminary. I admire such a thirst for knowledge!
Where does knowledge begin? In verse 7, we are reminded that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Have you ever heard someone in extreme anger yell, “You fool!” The Biblical definition of a fool is found in this verse. They are people who are undisciplined and devoid of wisdom.
The passage goes on in verse 8 to give wise counsel, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not reject your mother’s teaching.” I know of no two people who love me more deeply than my parents. They have guided me for a lifetime. I have learned that their counsel is worth hearing and their teaching will safeguard me from danger. The passage in verse 9 describes my parents’ wisdom as a “garland of grace on my head and a gold chain around my neck.”
Over and over this passage graphically spells out the consequences for not listening to the Lord. Verses 29-31 tell us, “Because they hated knowledge, didn’t choose to fear the Lord, were not interested in my counsel, and rejected all my correction, they will eat the fruit of their way and be gutted with their own schemes.” Whew! This alone would make me sit up and pay attention!
I am drawn to the final passage that gives me one last promise of hope. Verse 33, “But whoever listens to me will live securely and be free from the fear of danger.”
So, I ask you to dare to consider these questions:
- Do you hate knowledge? How do you feed your mind?
- Do you fear the Lord? Honestly, DO YOU FEAR THE LORD?
- Are you interested in counsel? It takes a humble person to seek counsel. Would you be willing to listen to counsel to be wise?
- Have you rejected the correction of the Lord? You are destined to destruction if you do not receive the opportunity from the Lord to be corrected. Listen for God’s voice. Listen in this moment. What is God telling you to do to be wise? Obedience is the next step to pleasing God. Are you willing to obey?