Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Finding Fruit in Sharing the Shelter {Linkup}

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. ~Augustine

I am beginning a series for Share the Shelter on the Fruit of the Spirit.  I want us to look at how each fruit can be lived out as we shelter. What good is sheltering if we aren't offering Jesus at the same time?  If we're giving for selfish reasons, then the gift pleases but it doesn't encourage.

Mother Teresa said, "The success of love is in the loving -- it is not in the result of loving. It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing."

Our hearts must be so full of love for our Jesus that it spills over, and there in the spilling we see where love originates -- for it is Jesus loving through us.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. 

Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious, but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Our love born out of pure motives will not always be accepted and the rejection is painful. Other times our love will be embraced, only to have it rejected at a later time. There may also be times when love is returned, only to have it jerked away as our hands close over it. This is how Henri Nouwen urges us to respond to the pain love can bring: 

Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply.  You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause...But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful...you can stand straight in your pain and let the soil on which you stand become richer and more able to give life to new seeds.

So love.  Love and give. Love extravagantly, like Christ does. Throw caution to the wind. Love regardless of reciprocation.  Just give. Tie a short stack of cookies with baker's twine. Add a heart tag and gift them with love. 

Shelter with the fruit of love. Let your cup run over. Let it drip on the easy-to-love and the difficult equally. And most of all, keep your love for Jesus fresh, for only then does He shine through you, giving rich meaning to your sheltering.  

Share the Shelter

Share the Shelter is open to everyone. I love variety so link your craft and recipes ideas we can use for sheltering. Link your posts that encourage us in our walk with God. We're a family here at the Sheltering Tree so make sure you visit the link before yours. Feel free to leave a prayer request in the comments if you or someone you love needs prayer.

Linking with:


Connie Nelson said...

You write so beautifully! Thank you! thanks for hosting too :)

Esther Asbury said...

I agree with the previous comment, "You write so beautifully!" I so enjoy reading your blog!!
Just recently God taught me another aspect of giving in love -- stepping back/letting go in order for others to experience joy - even when it brings you pain. It's been a learning experience and I'm better for it!

Sharon said...

I am entering a new season of learning what it is to love - caring for elderly parents. God teaches us that love is an act of giving - just like Jesus gave. Unselfish, self-sacrificing, gentle, patient, and mercifully kind.

I am loving others, while being continually filled with the tremendous love of my Savior.


Mrs. Chrissy T said...

I needed this encouragement today. Blessings and thank YOU!

Denise said...

You are a beautiful inspiration.

joy said...

This is awesome incouragement about how to show our love to others. .thanks pamela.

Denise said...

Love, love this Pamela! Unconditional love is love that is free; it is the carefree kind of love we give without reciprocation. When we love unconditionally, we are simply following our heart without an attachment of getting something back in return. :) God created us to love!

Blessings sweet sister,

Esther Joy said...

Hi Pamela,
Loved your comment about choosing JOY on Tracy's link-up!
Love, fruits of the Spirit, ...and then this week I post a name for God like "Vengeance"! LOL! It takes God to balance everything, doesn't it?!!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for the beautiful words and inspiration! Have a wonderful day!



Thank you for sharing with us this beautiful writing! I also linked up your wonderful meme. Big hugs,

Mandy @HKCHIC said...

Thank you for coming by my blog and commenting on my first aid kit! :) I see that u have a link party, so i linked up my project! :)

SallyAnn said...

Hi Pamela,

Thanks for visiting my blog. That walk was very refreshing. It was a long one, and challenging, but I felt really good when I finished it.

Your blog is beautiful, in words as well as photos. I am putting your button on my blog.

Have a great day.

Petra said...

Beautiful post, and thank you for visiting my blog, Pamela. So true, it's not how much we do but how much we love that matters (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). And love won't matter - won't be serving and unselfish until God has filled us with His perfect love (1 John 4:10; 1 John 4:18 and 4:19). Blessings!