In John chapter 15 Yeshua gives us both an opportunity and a challenge:
“As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in my love.” – John 15: 9
The word abide means to remain, to continue, to stay. I believe Yeshua wants us to remain, continue, and stay in His love, hour after hour, day after day. Yes, we are all weak and broken vessels, easily distracted and tempted. It encourages me to know that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is with us helping us abide in Yeshua’s love. Of course there are 2 sides to this scenario. Our part: We must make a decision to make abiding in Yeshua and His love a priority. It is essential to recommit ourselves daily to that decision. God’s part: God gives each one us grace, day after day, to abide more often and more fully in Yeshua’s love.
Today I want to focus on one aspect, or outcome, of abiding in Yeshua’s love. When we look carefully at the life of Yeshua in the four gospels I think it would be correct to summarize His lifestyle with the following words: Yeshua, motivated by His love for people, lived a lifestyle of sacrificial giving and service for the benefit of others. When we abide in His love our lifestyle will reflect His lifestyle. His love moves, even compels, us to live a lifestyle of outreach and service to the people around us and make sacrifices for their benefit. His compassion for people works through us. We fulfill the second great commandment to “love your neighbors as yourself”.
My love is small and weak. His love working though me is big and powerful! It is God’s desire that we demonstrate His love more often and more fully, to our family members, to our spiritual family, in our workplace, neighborhoods, etc., to both believers and ‘not yet’ believers. It is important to note that when we truly love people with God’s love we show concern. Not only so we show concern for the situations and problems they face in their daily lives, but also for their personal relationship with the Lord and their eternal destinies.
I’ve been walking with the Lord for more than 38 years and I am convinced that almost all sincere followers of Yeshua want to see ‘not yet’ believers saved and born again into the Kingdom of God. Yet, many sincere believers are having little or no impact on the lost. Why is this? One reason is that most believers are not preachers or evangelists, yet we are taught that we need to evangelize and preach the gospel. I have found that sincere believers will often mentally agree to evangelize or preach the gospel. At the same time, consciously or unconsciously, they are saying to themselves, I am not an evangelist, I am not a preacher, therefore I cannot or will not evangelize or preach the gospel.
A Way For ALL Believers to Impact The Lost
We may not all be evangelists or preachers but we are ALL called to live out the great commandments: To love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Therefore we love Him because He first loved us. We love our neighbors (even our enemies) as we abide in Yeshua’s love and allow His love to flow through us.
A story is told about a young girl walking on a beach. Thousands of starfish had washed ashore and were dying. The young girl was picking them up one at time and throwing them back into the sea. Her efforts could only save some that were perishing. An older, mature woman came by and said, “Can’t you see there are thousands dying. Your meager efforts won’t make a difference”. The young girl picked up another starfish, tossed it into the sea and stated, “It made a difference to that one!”
What an inspiration for us as followers of Yeshua!
My wife, Chantal, is my best friend and partner in ministry. We have been privileged to pioneer ministry in the USA, Belarus, India and Israel. Wherever we go we seek to set an example. We go to train others, to live a lifestyle of loving people into the Kingdom of God…. one at a time.
I am praying for you. Praying that you will abide in Yeshua’s love more often and more fully. That His love would be wonderfully manifest through you to others.
Rabbi Stewart Winograd
P.S. I welcome your thoughts. Please feel free to comment or write me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org