Read: Psalm 15
He does not slander with his tongue, nor do evil to his neighbor, nor bring shame on his friend. (v. 3 NASB)
In a recent sermon I heard, the preacher reminded us that Jesus’ earthly ministry was targeted and personal. Jesus did not travel broadly with hopes of achieving worldwide fame; he focused on what was in front of him. His relationships were genuine, even with those whom other people kept at arm’s length (Matt. 9:10). The preacher then stated, “Jesus created pockets of love in a culture of fear.”
Have you ever known a time when there was a greater need to create pockets of love than now? The power of fear, real or perceived, can be pervasive. If we aren’t in fear of something, the person next to us is. Yet we know that God’s “perfect love casts out fear” as 1 John 4:18 tells us. Praise the Lord!
So how can you create a pocket of love in a culture of fear? A safe place for that neighbor, friend, co-worker, classmate, or inmate you believe is in need of experiencing God’s goodness and grace? First, don’t expect yourself to do this perfectly. Ask God to help you live in a way that spurs interest about your faith, and trust the Holy Spirit to provide direction. Second, ask God to guide your steps as you consider opening your home or schedule to someone. He will equip you to know how and when to engage, and he will help you create the pocket of love that combats fear and brings hope. —Joy Petroelje
As you pray, thank God for his love for everyone.
About the Author
Joy Petroelje is the director of a nonprofit human services organization. She and her husband Steve have three sons and live near Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition to family time and her work in nonprofit administration, Joy enjoys reading, writing, and running.