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Expressions of love

A devotion for the third week of Advent

This devotion appears in the 2021 Buckner Advent Guide, containing devotions and fun activities to celebrate the Advent season. Get your free digital copy of the Advent Guide and Calendar delivered instantly to your email inbox today.

"... Through love serve one another.” – Galatians 5:13 (NKJV)

From cute cat videos to hilarious pranks caught on tape, the Internet is overrun with plenty of time-wasting material. On this occasion, clicking the play button on my screen would result in a lesson in love and service.

The video begins with a college-aged young man approaching a homeless man on the street. The pessimist in me assumes the young man and his videotaping cohort are up to no good. I’m expecting them to taunt the poor man, tape their escapades and replay it for their evil pleasure.

I underestimated the power of love.

The young men took the homeless man to a clothing store where they bought him $151 worth of new clothes. Next, they rent a hotel room for the man for two nights, and after showering, the man is taken to a barber shop for a fresh haircut.

After a huge dinner at an expensive steak house, the evening is topped off with dessert. The transformed homeless man can’t stop talking about what a great experience he just had.

This act of service – this expression of love – took the greater part of a day, cost several hundred dollars, was captured in a micro-documentary, uploaded to the digital cloud and available for the world to see.

Not all expressions of love are so elaborate or complex. Not all are so well-planned and so well-resourced. Not all acts of service are recorded for posterity.

A simple act of service can be expressed in a matter of seconds. Like when the man runs to help the single mom who has her hands full with two children and their groceries.

Often, love requires more time. Like the encouraging visit at the bedside of someone in the hospital or nursing home.

The loving choice to adopt, caring for a special needs child, or choosing to persevere in marriage are expressions of love that last a lifetime.

God’s love lasts forever.

You and I will have many opportunities to serve one another through love. Some opportunities will be spontaneous. Many will go unnoticed. Some may even be unappreciated.

However, expressions of love are never wasted. The only wasted love is love left unshared.

How will you share God’s love in service with someone today?

Jesse Rincones is lead pastor at Alliance Church and executive director of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas. He and his wife, Brenda, live in Lubbock.

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