I started the same way this time as I did yesterday- with the definitions of the two words-
Loving- adj., feeling or showing love, warmly affectionate, fond.
Deeds- noun, an act or gesture, especially as illustrative of intentions, one's character, or the like.
So, loving deeds are affectionate acts or gestures that illustrate my intentions and character.
Ok, so honestly, once I came up with that definition I thought... Oh, great. I get a little tense when the words character and intention are thrown around. I mean, those aren't words to take lightly. My next question was what are my daily intentions? What do I hope to accomplish (from an eternal perspective) on a daily basis. This was my list:
1. To instruct my children with biblical wisdom and point them to Jesus.
2. To live a life that points anyone I come in contact with to Jesus.
3. To display grace and live in obedience to scripture.
After all this I decided that I was feeling like a lot of this was just words on a page. I wasn't really feel like God was revealing his true application for my life through just the lists I was making. I stopped what I was doing and started praying again, in honesty, that I felt muddled. And because God is faithful, it didn't take long and this is what He gave me.
Loving deeds are the practical steps to faithful work. Faithful work is the sign on the building, the loving deeds run the business. I can't have successful faithful work without loving deeds. Once I got that down I asked myself- What does this look like in my life?
- By knowing what love looks like- learning God's character. The more I study something, the better I know it. The better I know it, the easier it is to emulate it. The more I emulate it the easier it becomes to do it naturally.
- By training/exercising love in my own life. Everything takes work. I mean seriously, everything. If it doesn't take work it's probably too good to be true. And loving deeds are no different. You just have to keep doing it. Keep working at it. Keep doing it. Keep working at it. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
- By searching out opportunities to exercise love. In the literal sense of the word exercise, it normally doesn't happen naturally. You have to make time to run, to go to the gym, to do zumba. Same thing with loving deeds. Always be looking for a way to show Christ's love to someone.
-Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And this is where I scored a big fat zero this morning. In the middle of being all bent out of shape with my kids, I was hearing the Holy Spirit say... Jessica, there's a better way to handle this. Jessica, Jessica, Jessica. But, I was frustrated enough, upset enough, mad enough that I brushed it aside and justified my anger. DON'T DO THAT. Listen for that prompting. AND OBEY IT!
- Setting myself aside. This should actually be #1. Because this is the root of the problem. I can't have truely loving deeds towards others when I'm focused on myself.
Are you loving deeds setting up shop under your Faithful Work sign or is there and empty building that needs a business running inside it? The last and final phrase from verse 3 that stuck out to me was "Enduring Hope". I believe that Faithful Work is the business name, Loving Deeds is the work, and Enduring Hope is the outcome. But, you can't have one without the others. I'll touch on enduring hope next, but until then, I'm going to make a point to get my business of loving deeds running smoothly under may faithful works sign!