29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 (NLT)
Sorry to overload your inbox so much this week but I felt I needed to pass on some exciting things. I always appreciate whatever comments, suggestions or criticisms you might have when it comes to my emails/blogs. So don’t hesitate to comment because I always want to learn and grow. Earlier this week I sent out an email in reference to fears and here is a wonderful response that I received:
“I just read the email Abby sent out for your Jesus was Homeless Group. The part about fear was such an encouragement to me! I am a single mom and have been unemployed for several months. God has provided for me in miraculous ways in that time and I have been able to get by until the last week. As November rolled around and there was no job or money to pay the bills I have become more and more fearful despite the fact that I know God has never failed me or let me down. This morning I HAPPILY accepted a job making less than half the hourly wage of my last position. These truly are the times when you realize you really are not self-sufficient and the only way to have peace or rest is to fully trust God for provision in all things! Thanks so much for what you shared, it really spoke to me. Abby has shared a lot with me about you all and what you are doing and I can’t wait to get to meet and work with you!
Love & God Bless, Samantha”
I don’t know what was more exciting for me, that the email had an impact or that it was actually read. (lol) Thanks so much for sharing. As a kid growing up, mainly in a traditional church setting, you become very familiar with the 10 commandments. Growing up, they seemed like a list of “don’t” rules. Pretty big “don’t” rules, but rules nonetheless. Over the past year, the above verse has really had an impact on me. Not only is it a “do” rule, but it supersedes the “don’t” rules. To say “Love God and Love Your Neighbor” are the greatest commandments of all is pretty BIG. But if you do this, I would say you are less likely to break the “don’t” rules. Apparently, God thought this through pretty good. He never ceases to amaze me with his wisdom.
Well, last night was a HUGE example of loving God and loving your neighbor. We had close to 40 people show up last night to deliver food, there was no rain, and we had an incredible night of community and fellowship. As I had mentioned before we had run out of food the previous couple of weeks. This week we were blessed to be able to increase our meal total to 330 to get our motels covered. The additional funds came from a friend of ours husband who had won $200 playing in a poker tournament. When his wife told him we had run out of food again, God laid it on his heart to give all of his winnings to us for food. Now that’s an example of loving your neighbor.
I just can’t describe for you the excitement both Amy and I had last night as we were blessed to witness the Spirit of God at work. All of the new faces that showed up to help, the anticipation of the unknown, and the adventure of looking for God at each motel creates such fun for us. As we continue to let God lead, he continues to bring more and more people into this outreach. We never know who is going to be able to volunteer each week. We don’t have a sign-up sheet. We don’t call people ahead of time. Amy always says, “God will provide the people that need/want to be here”, and he does. Last night was another example of it. Our 1992 “Jesus Van” as we call it had some technical difficulties. Now as not to panic the passengers, I haven’t shared the fact that I know very little about vehicle maintenance. Last night our van began to overheat, my thought was that if we are stopping enough at each motel it will have time to cool down. Apparently that’s not the best idea. But like Amy says God will provide the people that need to be there and he did. We have a gentleman and his son(s) that have been coming with us the last couple of weeks and he happens to be a mechanic. He directed me on the right thing to do and we made it through the rest of night’s delivery. Give us an Amen on that. Lots of people to pray for this week. I will be updating the Prayer/Needs page on the website soon so check back often.
As we go into the weekend and then begin another busy week, I’ll leave you with this thought, are you living life just trying not to break the rules or are you living as a rule doer by Loving God and Loving Your Neighbor? If you want to see what that looks like, then as always I invite you to “Come and See”
Have a blessed week,