My hair was soaked wet the morning I greeted my friend at my front door. I was half put together, my house was a mess, and I was relieved to see her. She offered her help this morning, and I was eager to take her up on it. I've experienced all day pregnancy nausea for over a month now. Life is a challenge for me, so anytime somebody offers help, I accept it.
As I invited my friend in, I apologized for the mess. It seemed as if I at least acknowledged the mess, then it wouldn't seem as bad. To my relief, she quickly dismissed my comment. Then, she proceeded to spend the next few hours graciously offering her help. While I lay in bed, she supervised a play date with my daughters. What did I do to deserve such a gift? I did nothing. My friend chose to put aside her own agenda for the morning to love me unconditionally. She is the body of Christ.
Countless times over the past few months, I've received encouraging messages from two other friends of mine. Text messages with Scripture and reminders of their faithful prayers have encouraged me on hard days. Words of affirmation are my love language, so when I received words from them, I felt loved. My friends chose to be intentional by offering words of encouragement. They are the body of Christ.
A bouquet of flowers arrived at my doorstep last Saturday. “Why is someone sending me flowers? My birthday is a few weeks away. Did someone mix up the dates?” I thought. It turns out the flowers were no mistake. They were sent to brighten up my day, to tell me I'm loved and prayed for. Knowing my dear sister was thinking of me during my hard days gave me the encouragement I longed for. She is the body of Christ.
As believers, we are called to put others above ourselves, (Philippians 2:3). Can you honestly say you are doing this? I'll be the first to admit. I'm not. Yes, I'm going through a difficult time right now, but my struggles don't exempt me from living obediently. In Isaiah 53:3a we learn Christ was “. . . a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. . . ,” and yet he put others above himself— to the point of death. Praise God for his sacrifice!
If we truly began putting others above ourselves, how would our lives be different? Would your interactions with other believers be different? What would you do differently when you see your brothers and sisters on a Sunday morning or Wednesday evening? Would you do more for them? Outside of the church, how would your interactions with unbelievers be different? (What a testimony of God's love if we gave unconditionally!)
We are the body of Christ! Let us love others above ourselves! As I shared earlier, my friends set a wonderful example of how the church is supposed to love, and guess what? They loved me with more than their words. It's nice to tell people you are praying for them, but what speaks more to them is when you:
Share a verse that would minister to them
Do something to meet their needs
This week we will be studying about the body of Christ. I hope you will join us for more than one day in this study! You will truly be blessed by the power of his Words and presence! (This is what I pray for you!) Please click here to download the reading guide. Let's begin by reading Monday's verse.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
As you read these verses, consider the answer to the following questions:
1) What are two commands these verses give us?
2) How does humility lead us to consider others better than ourselves? (think about our roots and the story of our salvation)
3) Is it possible to do something nice for someone out of our own selfish ambition?
Photo: Mariana Vusiatyt