A Love-ly Thought
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” Luke 6:32
“Love” is something that many people think about in February. In fact, it gets ingrained in us very early in our lives, as we are encouraged to exchange Valentine Day cards almost every year we are in school. But we were always encouraged—maybe told—to give a valentine card to everyone in the class. The teachers didn’t want you to leave anyone out!
This is God our Father’s concern as well, though on a much grander scale. He so loved the world—He didn’t leave anyone out in His love message to this world—that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever—again, He does not want to leave anyone out—believes in Him, in Jesus, should not perish but have eternal life!! [John 3:16]
He has this same expectation of His children, of those who are Christ followers. Oh, He knows how easy it is for us to love those who love us; to love those who seem to have it all together; to love those who are successful, and popular, and generous, and people of integrity; to love those who are kind, and good, and helpful. But that is not everyone, which means some are being left out! God leaves no one out!
His expectation of us as His children is that we reflect Him well and pick up the slack. The beauty of it all is that He supplies the love—the God-love, agape love, a love that just wants to give while expecting nothing in return! And it’s a win-win for everyone involved. God gets the glory when we love on those who don’t—or can’t—love us in return. We get a fuller glimpse of our Father as His love flows through us toward these least of these—flowing from the love tank of His Spirit living in us!
“…the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
And those we are loving on, those who don’t or can’t love us in return, experience a love that can draw them to the greatest love story of all, the gospel! God’s children—Christ-followers—are to stand out as lights in a crooked and perverse generation, in a dark world where people never really feel loved! We need to rise above the “even sinners love those who love them” type of love!
We want to thank all those who support Bridge Street Mission through prayer, volunteer service, and financial gifts. You give us an opportunity to love on God-image bearers who feel unloved with the love that only our Father can provide. We encourage you as well, in this month of “love”, to let His love flow through you to those who are society has labeled “unlovable”. Oh, no one actually says that, but actions speak louder than words! Remember, fellow believers, our orders come from our Head, Jesus Christ. This is what we know about Him:
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
God wants to continue demonstrating His love towards those who have not experienced or felt it, and He wants to do it through us! Yes, the glory and the credit go to God when we unconditionally love those who currently aren’t in a position to love us back. Just think, once they come to experience God’s love, they may even shower it back on us!
In His service—by His grace and for His glory,
Todd Van Ryn
Sober Living Program: Program rolled out January 6th. We currently have 32 people living at our facility.
Mission Grounds Expresso: Our coffee kiosk is doing well! We have been getting a steady flow of new and returning customers and have been receiving generous donations/tips from people as they drive through! All profits support Bridge Street Mission programs with many customers saying they are pleased to know there is a greater purpose in getting their coffee from us. We have given out 300 punch cards that have a Bible Verse on them, and we also have distributed pamphlets with information about who we are and what we do. Mission Grounds Expresso is a great outreach that is heightening awareness in the community of what we do.
Lunch Program: We are averaging serving 35-40 people a day, M-F. We are continuing to build a core group of volunteers to plan, prepare and serve weekdays.
Movie Night: February 14. Movie: Ragamuffin (Based on Life of Rich Mullins)
Music Night: February 21. Guest Musicians: Herb & Lois Westlund and troupe.
Celebrate Recovery: Meets every Thursday.
***All Are Welcome to these community events.