March 13, 2018 – Choose Love – Pr. Noleen Mendes

If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet. – Deuteronomy 22:4 (NIV)

This commandment seems like a no-brainer. After all, why shouldn’t we help our family in Christ? It seems simple enough. But the truth is, it isn’t always that simple. Some may not have a heart of compassion and this commandment pushes those people to rise above what their heart is saying to what God is saying. Others may be challenged when they are in a conflict and feel like they don’t want to help the one they’re in conflict with. Others may just be weary from taking care of their own needs and not want to add anything extra to their plate! However, the beauty of reaching out to others in their time of need, regardless of our own situations, is that others will be more than willing to do the same in our own times of hardship.

Although we no longer live under the law but under grace, Jesus does call us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. The same love and grace shown to us at the Cross is the same love and grace we need to show to others. Sometimes the most difficult ones to show love to are the ones who are closest to us. Nevertheless, it is a commandment which calls us to obedience.

The most challenging years for me was when my husband would sink into those dark holes of depression. My church family came to my rescue, providing strength and much needed respite. Some of the men would take time out of their day to come sit with Howard, allowing me to take breaks from caring for him. I really don’t know how I could have survived those difficult times without them, especially since I was also dealing with a rambunctious teenager as well. When they chose to love me by sacrificing their time and energy, regardless of any of their own needs, they chose the way of the Cross, which taught me to do the very same thing.

Father God, thank you for the Love of my church family, who taught me that Love is more than just a frilly little word. Love is a choice, an action word which had been evidenced by their sacrifice, such as that of Christ Jesus. Holy Spirit, may I choose this same Love of Jesus, especially when it doesn’t make sense to do so. May I walk the talk of Love when my church family is in need. In Jesus Name…Amen!