Monday, April 8, 2013

Go Beyond The Fence Row

Love covers all.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16-17

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:9-11

"Is someone says, "I love God", and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also." 1 John 4:20-21

"My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him." 1 John 3:18-19

I must ask myself, "Rob, what do your actions show? Do they show a girl after God's own heart? If someone peeked into your life, would they know that you are a Christian?" These are questions that should prick our heart daily. Daily I am to check myself. If I just go from day to day without really thinking about my words and actions I am going to be off track quickly.

You know what I mean. Life gets busy and we get crabby. Life gets crazy and we get lazy. If I'm not careful I will take my eyes off of Christ and down I go. Not just a skinned knee, but I fall face first in the dirt. And wouldn't you know there just happens to be a crow right there for the eating. It's easy for us to say we love our neighbor, but do we really? Really?

I have neighbors that I have never had a conversation with. If I was asked their names I couldn't tell you. We have waved to one another in passing, but as far as me moving to talk with them? Nope. Is that love? If they needed sugar, sure I would give them sugar. If their house was on fire I would help and call 911. Is that love? Well, that's just being nice. That's not really love. Love would be going beyond our fence row and inviting them to know Christ. That is love. So, why haven't I? I can't even answer that question without feeling humiliated. Fear I suppose. What if they become angry and never speak to me again? Hello, we aren't exactly sharing coffee now. What if they slam the door in my face? Well, I suppose I just turn around and come home. I could spend all day with a what if scenario. Couldn't we all?

We see people in need every day. Every day we pass people in need of Jesus. Pass by someone whose car is broken down? See someone at the grocery store put something back because they can only afford the milk and bread in their hand? If we look past ourselves there is always someone with a need. Aren't we suppose to walk beyond our fence row to help?

Ever think about just how much a smile can do for another person? Inviting that girl who sits in the back pew out to lunch? Taking that older couple a meal during the week just to help out? Friends, we can do so much more. I can do so much more.

It's spring and what's on my mind? Spending time outdoors, going shopping, planning a vacation. The list goes on and on. While I'm thinking of which dress I will wear to church there is a woman with a bruised cheek that is covering up with make up so no one in the next pew notices. People are hurting everywhere. Unless we go beyond the fence row we are never going to know just how we can help.

As Christians we should be praying for God to open doors for us to move through. We should be uniting ourselves with others and making a way to reach our neighbors. I need to be asking God to lay names upon my heart. Prayer is mighty. Prayer is more than me just sharing with the Lord. Prayer is listening to the Lord. Prayer is bringing hurting people to the foot of the cross. Prayer is love. Prayer is powerful. Prayer is needed, and yet what do we do? What do I do? I get lazy. We begin thinking that someone else will do it.

"Goodness, don't they have family that can help? Isn't there a committee for these things? I can't help everyone." These thoughts move from our lips as we make excuse after excuse. There is always someone in need. We are to be an extension of Christ's love. We are to be His hands and feet. We aren't just to sit idle and be concerned with ourselves. We are to go beyond the fence row.

When we move beyond the fence row roses bloom. All of heaven joins in praise as the Lord's work is being done. Friends, we can't just wait for someone else to do what needs to be done. For us to be Christ-like we are going to have to see beyond ourselves and cry out to Christ for opportunities to love and boundaries to be crossed.

We must remember that Jesus crossed the fence row for us. He gave all for us. He didn't leave it for someone else to do. He gave all of Himself. We cannot forget that faith, hope and love are key to following Jesus. We must be willing to reach beyond our comfort zone. We must get busy. There isn't time to waste. The time to reach out is now. We must make an effort and be willing to be uncomfortable.

Let's just not do what we can, but go beyond that. Go beyond the fence row. It's when we go beyond that we truly see the power of God at work.


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