Greetings Family, Friends and Partners,
In honor of the “month of love” I wanted to share 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
“Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.” (TPT)
Wow! I don’t know about you but this challenged my heart. I want to love more deeply, selflessly, celebrate and honor those I come into contact with. I want to never stop believing for the best and never give up on the plans of God in my life and in the lives around me.
Love truly must go beyond compassion, it must be moved to action. While praying for our Beauty for Ashes Valentines Day outreach I saw a vision of men giving the ladies gifts and publicly apologizing to them for the way men, past and present, have treated them and telling them that they are valued and treasured by the perfect man, Jesus himself. The goal of the evening was just to love extravagantly and create a safe place for them to forgive and be forgiven and receive love from a pure place. So I reached out and invited people to come, not expecting much honestly, but thirty people showed up! Thirty! Before walking down to the area we prayed and worshiped and there was such a genuine excitement to love the ladies.
We walked down to the area and played games with them, worshipped, ate, prayed, danced, laughed and changed the atmosphere. During the worship their hands were raised singing out “hallelujah.” The men shared and the ladies were in shock and were so blessed to receive their roses and gifts.
A few moments after eating I looked around to see that every single girl was being ministered to. Even some of the customers were receiving prayer! We saw girls healed of back pains and headaches…we saw the atmosphere shift from despair to joy and hope. One of the ladies walked up to me and said “How do you find so many people who actually love us like this? How is this possible?” Yes, love never gives up.
Another girl who I haven’t seen in over a year happened to be there and when she arrived I hugged her and she started sobbing. After a minute she settled down and I asked her what was wrong. She responded with “I forgot how much love you have in your eyes.” What a joy it was to remind her of where that love truly comes from…redeeming love truly came to the streets on Valentines Day. Jesus was glorified – compassion was in action!
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About Bethany Ricci
Bethany has a heart to see Filipinos of all ages — especially those delivered from human trafficking and prostitution — equipped spiritually, emotionally, physically, and be transformed by the Gospel.