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On "Reaching Your World with Luis Palau" Luis talks about how the love of Christ takes shape in our lives. It is manifest in patience, kindness, contentment, and humility.
Do you ever find yourself saying how jealous you are of someone else? You might be joking, but usually there is an element of truth. It’s easy to be jealous of many things: homes, cars, relationships, vacations, bank accounts, degrees. You name it, humans have found a way to be jealous about it.
After first saying that love is both patient and kind, the Apostle Paul goes on to say that there is something that love is not. It is not envious. It’s a pretty big deal for envy to come in third on the list, but God is really concerned with envy. It is one of the 10 commandments, after all: do not covet.
Maybe this is because God knew how easy it is for us to fall into the sin of desiring things we cannot have. We humans try so hard to control our environments, to make sure we are safe and comfortable; to make sure everything around us is perfect. But that is impossible. We can’t control much; instead, we have to trust God and that He will give us what we need, right when we need it. Another word for that is contentment.
Being around someone who is content is like breathing fresh air. There is no competition, no jealousy, only joyful love. It is in those people that we can see the love of Christ. We should be content because of the love of Christ within us. No envy needed – contentment can change the world for Christ.
This is Luis Palau.
Are you familiar with Random Acts of Kindness? It is the idea that in order to spread joy, you do something unexpectedly nice for someone else. You do this without asking anything in return. You are just practicing kindness. You can pay for someone else’s coffee, give a big tip, help carry grocery bags out to someone’s car. You can do your sister’s chores, leave a kind note for a boss, or surprise your spouse with her favorite dessert. The kindness does not have to be big, but it is supposed to be unexpected.
Sometimes being kind to a stranger, or just being extra kind unexpectedly, can be much easier than being consistently kind, especially to someone who is not usually kind back. But God doesn’t tell us that our love is only kind when the other person is kind too. He just says, “Love is kind.”
This makes sense. How can you reflect the loving heart of God if you are mean to those around you? Even if it is someone who was mean to you first. That person probably expects you to be mean back to them. Call it an “expected act of meanness.” Instead, if you show them an “unexpected act of kindness,” not just once but over and over, hopefully your kindness will motivate them to wonder about what you have. That makes an opportunity to share the love of Christ. His love should always be expected. This is Luis Palau.
I wonder how many of you are driving right now. Many of us listen to the radio when we drive. Listening to the radio can make traffic a little less terrible. Sitting in traffic seems to bring out the worst in people. Horns start honking, people make rude gestures, blood starts to boil – it’s amazing how people who are normally very even-tempered can lose their cool when they are driving.
Patience, though, is one of the hallmarks of the love that God shows us, and that we should show each other. In fact, it’s the first quality in the list describing what love is, in 1 Corinthians 13. That must mean it is important.
Think about it. How much patience does God show us? We are continually messing up, making mistakes, doing what we think is best. God is continually having to wait for us to realize that we are going the wrong way. He is always taking us back, accepting our apology, and loving us just the same.
God is so patient with us, so we are called to be patient with others. This way we can show the world that we love with God’s love. Our love needs to be patient, as we love others regardless of how they frustrate us. So, the next time you are stuck in traffic, just smile and wave at other drivers. You never know how your patience could show someone else the love of Christ. This is Luis Palau.
What does evangelism look like in our culture today? Is evangelism something we can still do in our everyday lives? The short answer is, "Yes!" This week on "Reaching your World," Luis Palau talks about evangelism in this day and age.