Tangible Acts of Love
If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, "The seventh year, the year of remission, is near," and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt. Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land." Deuteronomy 15: 7-11 (NRSV)
He said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14 (NRSV)
Jami Gustafson, from Buryatiya, Russia, and her friend had decided to take regular walks through the Siberian Village where they were living to pray for their neighbors and to ask for God's guidance in how best to show them love. One brisk fall morning, they prayed for opportunities to be God's hands and feet to their neighbors.
The very next day, God began to answer their prayer, and neighbors began to ask them for help. This had never happened before! An elderly neighbor needed gas for his stove. Another neighbor's well was broken, and she was home with her three young kids. They were easily able to get water for her. One neighbor was in the hospital and needed diapers for her baby. Another family's car broke down, so Jami offered to drive them in her car.
Such situations continue to this day. People are grateful and amazed that we help them so readily, and they are more open to hearing about Jesus when they experience these tangible acts of love. Jami is thankful for the way God has answered their prayers so that they are able to shine God's light. Serving others has been a joy rather than a burden because of God's perfect presence and provision.
Do you pray for your neighbors? Take time and pray for them today.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to be your hands and feet to the world around us, in Jesus' name. Amen.