Jesus said, “Whatever you did to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40). Jesus is intimately identified with His people. They are His family; His very body. You cannot separate loving Jesus from loving His people. That is why we must never settle for a shallow relationship with God’s people. It by serving them that we honor Him. Jesus loved the church so much that He gave himself up for them, and He calls us to do the same. Here are some ways you can start loving Jesus by loving His people.
Go To Your Knees. Pray! That’s something we all can do; wherever we are. It is one way we can work hard for those God loves (Col. 4:12-13). Talk to the Father about the children He loves.
Unlock Your Wallet. Give! Yeah, money. Few things show how much we care more than generosity. Words are cheap; gifts are not. Our liberality can encourage the saved, redeem the lost, and relieve the needy. You probably know someone right now who needs a gift (2 Cor. 8:2-4; the Macedonian believers unlocked their wallet, even when there wasn’t much in it.).
Open Your Home. “Be given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:13). Ouch! Nothing is so unfashionable, but nothing is so personal than having others in your home. Your house doesn’t have to be perfect, just do it.
Use Your Mouth. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Eph. 4:29). Affirm those who do well, comfort those who hurt, advise those who go astray, and do so without complaining!
Change Your To Do List. “In honor giving preference to one another”(Rom. 12:10). Do your plans for this week show your fondness for God’s people? Check it. Change it.
Smile While You Work. Serving people is hard business. You have to give up time, money, your own space. It’s work. That’s why most people give up. Not us! The work is so meaningful we smile while we work. “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you” (Col. 1:24). The next time it gets hard to serve others, don’t run, don’t give up, rejoice that you get to sweat for others, just like Jesus did.
Surrender Your Wants. Surrender what you might prefer to do to help build up the faith others. “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. … just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved” (1 Cor. 10:24,33).
Quickly Forgive. Learn how to practice forgiveness. It will bring refreshment into your relationships and guard your soul from the devil. “I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us” (2 Cor. 2:10-11).
Finally, the Hebrew writer reminds us,
“God will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10)
“Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14)