~Agape: “Self-sacrificing, unconditional love, such as that which Christ demonstrated on the cross.”~
Some people give unreservedly, unhesitatingly, and unabashedly. They may not have much money, but they give all they have and are. They dedicate their time, creativity, energy, talents, etc to honoring God by serving others. They don’t think for a second about receiving anything in return. These people daily carry out Christ’s admonition to be “salt and light”. They are the ones who make this world inhabitable!
However, sadly, those who live so sacrificially are typically underappreciated and unnoticed. Resultantly, they become discouraged and lonely, feeling that their outpouring of love upon others has been fruitless. They long to be loved and appreciated.
If you’re one of those who practice agape, God has a word for you today!
~”Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER.” (NIV; emphasis added)~
Don’t feel guilty that you crave receiving (as well as giving) agape love. God created each of us with an inner longing, which only His love can fulfill. Let me remind you though, that just as you’ve surely failed others, so other people will surely fail you sooner or later. So let GOD shower you with HIS “enduring” love!
~”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)~
~”‘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)~
~”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)~
After years of sacrificial love that reaps no immediately noticeable results, it is normal to feel that those “small” acts of kindness are pointless, inconsequential, and insignificant.
But think about this poor widow! She probably hadn’t any idea that the God of the universe stood nearby, admiring and appreciating her sacrificial love for Him. She could easily have allowed herself to believe that there was no way those two cents could possibly change the world, and just kept them to provide for herself.
Thankfully, she instead wisely chose to go forward in faith, trusting that her God could use her sacrifice. Guess what? He did! God has used her seemingly insignificant gift to teach generations of His disciples to love sacrificially and to inspire us to give all we have to God. May we find the faith to do likewise….