Who do you love?
Sure, you love your family, friends, those who have special significance in your life. Maybe a spouse, a son or daughter, parents, a buddy or kindred spirit. Those people are generally easy to love. They make our lives complete. They encourage us, provide for us, help us when we’re down or sick, and enable us to live our lives and be more effective. Often, we reciprocate to them what they do for us. Love is the glue that holds all this together. We need it. God gave us to one another. We need to cultivate these relationships and develop good communication so these relationships will grow, mature, and become stronger as years go by.
But these people are not who I’m talking about.
What I want to know is who has God put on your heart to love that you would not normally love? Who is a part of your life that you reach out to not because of what they may do for you, but simply because they are there and you have determined to love them? In other words, to whom do you minister?
Paul, Silas, and Timothy had a burden and a love for the Thessalonians. Why did they love the Thessalonians? Think about it for a second. Who were they and how did Paul, Timothy, and Silas meet them?
Remember, Paul was a church planter. He took several missionary journeys and on one of them happened to stop in Thessalonica where he shared the gospel and a church was born. He didn’t know those people or have a reason to connect with them, except because God put them on his heart. We know this because of what he wrote to them in 1 Thessalonians 2:8, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
So back to my original question: Is there anyone that you love like that? Is there someone you love that you would not normally reach out to, but God has put them on your heart?
It may be a friend, a coworker, or even a particular group of people that need the Lord, like the Filipinos that Kim and I have come to love.
It may be a difficult boss, or a hateful neighbor, or the man who works on your car.
If we love them, like Paul, Silas, and Timothy did the Thessalonians, we will pray for them, spend time with them, share our resources with them, and help them learn to grow into Christlikeness. That’s the kind of love God calls us to so his kingdom will expand. Find someone to love today, and see what God does.