Originally published Friday, 08 February 2013.
I had the great joy of going to Target all by myself the other day. No Crazy Toddler in tow.
It was like Hawaii without the flight.
Absolutely glorious. 100% me time.
Surrounded by delectable delights for all the senses. So much to get. I just might have to get it all.
Of course, I want it all. But do I really need most of it?
Sometimes I feel like I do. I feel like I really need it. I'm not so cheerful or grateful for what God has provided for me materially. I need a new cardigan (even though I have 10), and a new purse (even though I have 4).
Maybe I need to fill that space, that new-cardigan-need, with God's other provisions? His compassion, acceptance, goodness, love. And love someone else in more than just words, but actions, too.
Filling Up on His Love: Psalm 145:8-17
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.[a]
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
God is rich in love.
What kind of love? Who is God? He is…
- Compassionate (on all He has made)
- Slow to anger
- Trustworthy in all He promises
- Faithful in all He does
- Righteous in all His ways
He upholds all who fall, lifts up all who are bowed down. Gives food at the proper time, satisfies the desires of every living thing.
This speaks of such all encompassing provision. He listens and cares for everything He has made. He lovingly provides spiritually, emotionally, physically, reliably.
God is rich in love. So rich and so generous. To provide for us in so many ways.
Pouring Out His Love on Others: 1 John 3:11-15
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is a difficult calling. To lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
There might be one person in your life for whom you would risk your life. Maybe even a few people. But this says your “brothers and sisters” not “your single most favorite person on earth.”
It seems we should be willing to sacrifice quite a lot for quite a few people.
Then it goes on to say if “anyone.” Any.one. We are to share our material possessions, to provide for any.one. Loving with actions not just words. Not just talk the talk, but walk the walk.
This is generosity towards anyone. This reflects God’s character, His love. Our God who is, as the Psalmist says, “good to all,” who has “compassion on all He has made.”
Our loving God who “upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” Of course, He wants us to have pity on those in need! He does! He gives “them their food at the proper time” and satisfies “the desires of every living thing.”
This is His character, His love. And who He wants us to be.
Today’s Challenge… give to those in need
I’ll be partnering with my sweet friend, Kelli, of Eat, Pray, Read, Love, as I clean out my closet and give funds to those in need. She is hosting a month long campaign called The Closet Project, in support of human trafficking victims.
Clear out your material possessions and give. Clean out your pantry, garage, closet. You can donate your clothes to the Polaris Project or other Human Trafficking organization in your area. Check out the Polaris Project website for links to organizations in your state.
If this is too big of a project, then donate the cost of that fancy latte or frozen yogurt or new jeans. Check out Forgo.it, and “forgo” a luxury in order to give to sex trafficking survivors
Human trafficking may sound like a far away problem, but we all participate in the goods we buy and the lifestyles we lead. Take a quick survey at SlaveryFootprint.org and check out your personal “slavery footprint.”
Did you know…
An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labor (including sexual exploitation) at any given time as a result of trafficking
An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year
(Source: United Nations GIFT fact sheet)
*If you want more information on human trafficking, check out the Polaris Project.
Of course, pray about it. If you feel there is another cause or person God wants you to serve with your material blessings, do it! He has blessed us with the riches of His love, as well as spiritual, emotional, & material provision. Let’s pour it out on those in need!