God's Love Language (part 3)
by Hilary MacBeth
by Hilary MacBeth
Title God's Love Language (part 3)
Theme The five languages of Love
Two issues ago, in the introduction to this article, the authour listed the five languages of love as:
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Words of Affirmation
Last issue we looked at the first. In this issue we will look at the second of these languages.
2. PHYSICAL TOUCH
There are many stories in the gospels that illustrate the blessing of being touched by Jesus.
Matt 8:1-3 tells the story of the leper who came to Jesus and said, "Sir, if you want to you can make me clean" Jesus reached out his hand and touched him and he was healed."
Imagine, the disease and all its horrors vanished. This man's life was given back to him, he could return to his home and community and take up his life from where he had been forced to leave it. What a transformation the touch of Jesus makes on a life.
Jesus touched the eyes of two blind men and their sight was restored. What must that have been like for them? To one minute be in darkness, bumping into things they couldn't see and depending on others to guide them to places they wanted to go. To not be able to see the faces of their family members, to not be able to see the beautiful sunsets but to be dependent on others to describe the environment, to hear commotions and not be able to see what is going on. Imagine the frustration. And the next minute to see! And what they saw was the face of Jesus. They saw the love in his eyes and the smile of joy on his face as he took away their suffering. Jesus not only touched their eyes but he touched their hearts as well and the Bible tells us that they followed him.
Then we have the story of Peter's attempt to walk on water. Remember Jesus had fed the five thousand and wanted time alone to pray to his father so he sent the disciples off in a boat to cross to the far side of the lake. On the way over a wind blew up and the boat stared tossing about on the waves. In the early hours of the morning Jesus appeared walking toward them and they were scared thinking they were seeing a spirit. Let's pick up the story.
Peter did fine all the while he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus but as soon as he shifted his focus and began to fear what was happening around him he began to sink. When he cried out to Jesus to save him Jesus reached out and took him by the hand and lifted him up to safety.
There's a wonderful analogy here. Do you ever feel like you're being swamped with pain and stress and you're in danger of drowning? Ever feel like the devil's winning the battle? Do as Peter did and cry out to Jesus to save you.
Call on me when troubles come and I will save you, and you will praise me.
What a difference the touch of Jesus makes in a life. It heals our sin-sickness and restores us to the abundant life we can only have in him. i.e. a life free from guilt, a life free of fear, a life full of purpose and a hope for the future.
To be touched by Jesus opens our eyes and we have a better understanding of the way ahead and of what God desires in us and for us, we can better see the needs of others and how to best meet them.
The touch of Jesus lifts us out of our sin and the messes we get ourselves into. It gives us courage for the difficult times because we know that while Jesus holds our hand nothing can overwhelm us and sweep us away. He holds our hands and brings us safely to the shore of our sea of distress.
The Lord is near to those who are discouraged, he saves those who have lost all hope.
And we can touch the lives of others through practical ministry, through being a friend when a friend is needed, through giving help when help is needed and by practicing acceptance of others in their situations. And we can touch the lives of others through prayer. And when we do this we are speaking God's love language.
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