A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35 NIV

Jesus calls us to live in community – expressing love to our families, our neighbors, and our greater community. Both Jesus and Paul taught that our family is not just our biological family, but also our fellow believers in Jesus. The early church believers were known throughout the Roman world for generously sharing with fellow Christians in need. Many of the first hospitals established in Europe were started by churches or by individual believers who wanted to treat the sick and injured with compassion.

Romans 12:9-21 is an excellent passage full of practical descriptions of how to actively show Jesus’ love to other people. It speaks of honoring one another, serving the Lord, having hope, being patient and sharing with others. It mentions rejoicing with others, mourning alongside those who are mourning, and being faithful in prayer. This passage talks about being willing to do any kind of work alongside others, and of feeding the hungry. Jesus commands us to love one another, and Romans 12:9-21 gives us great ideas of how we can do that.

My children grew up helping me cook and deliver many meals to people in need. Some were from our church, but some were neighbors or community members. My hope is that now they have their own homes, they also will help to feed people in need. Read over this passage this week, look at your own situation, and find one or two of these ways to serve others in your community. Perhaps you could join us serving at Graceful Café on October 5, or on another Saturday. Maybe you could volunteer to help with Family Promise. Maybe you have a neighbor or family member who could use encouragement. Write them a card, or take them for coffee and listen carefully so you can rejoice with them, or share in their sadness. The South Fellowship Food bank has opportunities to serve on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and on Sundays. Do you have a family member or neighbor you could encourage by offering to babysit? Is there a missionary you could bless with an extra gift, a handwritten note, or do you have an extra room you could offer while they are visiting the area? Be looking for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus and show love to those around you in your community.

By Grace Hunter

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