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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Using My Resources to Encourage God’s Family

In review of Romans 12:10 it says, ”Love one another with mutual affection” (NRSV).

Today’s verse in Romans 12:10 tells me to love others with genuine affection, and to take delight in honoring them. This form of love means to show genuine affection and to give brotherly love, and show warm devotion to others. It’s taking delight in honoring them, above myself. With an eagerness to show them respect.

I can honor others in one of two ways. One involves selfish ulterior motives; such as honoring my leaders so that they will reward me, or my team so that they will work harder, rich so that will give to me, powerful so they will use their power for me. However the other way, God's way, involves me showing and displaying genuine love. As his follower I give genuine love and honor to others because they too have been created in God's image, because they are my brother or sister in Christ, and because they too have a unique contribution to make to Christ's church. So instead of competing against, my only competition should be to out do others in showing honor. Put others first!

God wants me to invest in other people in God’s family. An interesting word for this would be “Mutual Fund.” The Bible says in Romans 12:10, “Love one another with mutual affection” (NRSV).

How can I invest in this Mutual Fund? By using some of my money to encourage fellowship, to build relationships, and to demonstrate love.

Anytime I give my money to God, it draws me closer to God. Anytime I give my money to someone, it draws me closer to that person. When I give money to people in my small group or invest in my small group, I grow closer to them. Anytime I write a note of encouragement, I’ve invested in the Mutual Fund. Anytime I prepare or buy a meal and take it to somebody who’s sick, I’ve just invested in the Mutual Fund.

Anytime I open up our home to a small group and we provide refreshments and that costs us, we’ve just invested in the Mutual Fund. Anytime I provide a babysitter for somebody who needs to go to a conference or retreat, I’ve invested in the Mutual Fund. When another believer is discouraged and needs somebody to talk to and I take that person out to lunch and pay for the meal, I’ve just invested in the Mutual Fund.

I can give to God, and God says that’s storing up treasure in heaven. But I can also give to other people. God says that when I do that as an act of love, it’s like banking it in heaven. Anytime I use my funds to show love to somebody else in the family of God, I’m investing in the Mutual Fund.

Why should I do this? Why should I give to encourage fellowship? The Bible says, “This service you do not only helps the needs of God’s people, it also brings many more thanks to God. It is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of Christ—the gospel you say you believe—and because you freely share with them and with all others” (2 Corinthians 9:12-13 NCV).

I can give without loving, but I cannot love without giving.

Bottom Line:
Love genuinely, be eager to give and show honor to others

What this means to me:
I am to genuinely to love others, taking delight in honoring others more than myself.

In summary I am to love others with genuine affection, and to honor them above myself. My motive should not be for selfish gain, rather because they have been created in God's image. Anytime I give or invest in them, it draws me closer to not only them but to God as well. It helps build his Kingdom.

Today’s verse is a good reminder for me to continue to invest in, help, encourage and honor others. I had grown greatly by others investment in me. This morning Father I pray that you help remind me of this as I interact with others. Help me to recognize the opportunities I have to invest in others. I also ask for your wisdom and guidance in handling responsibilities and tasks face today. Help me to lead others well in accomplishing the task. Help me to respond in a loving and caring manner. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, Amen!