In 2011, a Brazilian fisherman came across a struggling penguin. The tiny creature’s feathers were soaked with oil and it desperately needed food. So the man took the sickly bird home and cared for it. Once it was healthy, he released it and the bird swam happily away.
Two months later, however, the penguin paddled back! And since then, the bird, nicknamed Dindim, has swum thousands of miles each year to visit the retiree—spending eight months with him before returning to the coasts of Argentina and Chile. The man, who says that Dindim grows more affectionate with each visit, declares, “I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me.”
The author of Hebrews wrote that loving relationships between us and other believers in Jesus is a way for us to show our love for God. “You have shown your love to him by caring for other believers” (Hebrews 6:10).
Like the Brazilian fisherman, our compassionate care reveals a genuineness of faith in and love for Jesus as we “keep on loving others as long as life lasts” (Hebrews 6:11; 1 John 3:16-20). This translates from the original language to literally mean showing the same eager commitment. And committed “faith and endurance” marks true believers who tenderly care for others—all out of love for God (Hebrews 6:12).
It can get sticky at times and be downright difficult as people struggle with the slippery, gritty, pervasive ways of sin, along with spiritual starvation due to poor choices. But, just as Jesus has so richly poured out love and compassion on us, may we continue reaching out by the “power that comes from God” (Ephesians 3:18-19).
We love God by loving His children as if they’re our own.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 12:1-9; 17:1-8
Read 1 John 4:7-8 and think about what it reveals when we show a lack of love toward other believers in Jesus.
Who needs your committed, enduring love today? How has God equipped you to love others well?