~Agape: “Self-sacrificing love, such as that which Christ demonstrated for us by being crucified. Can and should be lived out in any context and at every opportunity.”~
Some people lovingly give, without reservation or hesitation. They may not have much money, but they give all they have, and all they are – not just financially, but primarily of their talents, time, energies, etc. They don’t care if they ever receive anything in return, rather their desire is to give for the sake of blessing others and honoring God.
These are the people who, often without realizing it, daily practice living out Christ’s admonition to be salt and light. These people make this world inhabitable!
However, after years of sacrificial living, these precious souls may become discouraged and lonely, feeling unappreciated and useless. They ache to be loved as they’ve loved others. If you, dear reader, are one of those people, God has a word for you today!
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER.” – Psalm 107:1 (NIV; emphasis added)
Don’t feel guilty that you want to be loved unconditionally, and appreciated for who you are! God created all of us with a craving for His AGAPE love. The key is to always bear in mind that God, and God alone, can satisfy this longing, no one else! Just as doubtless you’ve failed others, so others doubtless will fail you.
~”And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because He is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” – Matthew 10:42 (NIV)~
It is perfectly normal to feel that your “small” deeds of kindness are insignificant. However Jesus makes it abundantly clear that there are no small or insignificant acts of kindness! He sees all that you do for Him by loving His children, and He will honor it. Rest in His arms – He will always love you. You don’t have to perform for Him, or live up to a certain standard. He knows your failures, and loves you anyway. He died for us knowing that we’re wretched sinners. You’re not by any means a disappointment to Him. You’re His beloved child! No matter what you do or don’t do, He will always cherish you!
~”‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” – Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)~
~”Then He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the One who sent me. For He who is least among you all – He is the greatest.'” – Luke 9:48 (NIV)~
~”As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ He said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'” – Luke 21:1-4 (NIV)~
So take heart and keep up the good work! Your reward awaits you in Heaven!