By Brian Nixon Special to Assist News
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS - Jan.12,2015)—Look around you: people are everywhere. From the coldest climates to the hottest deserts, from the poorest of the poor to the very wealthy, over seven billion people of different nationalities, colors, creeds, and social classes share this planet.
People have fascinating features as well. Here are just a few:
* The average person produces enough saliva in their lifetime to fill two swimming pools.
* Every minute, your red blood cells do a complete circuit of your body.
* Most Westerners consume fifty tons of food and 50,000 liters of liquid in their lifetime.
* It can take your fingers and toes half a year to grow an entirely new nail.
* The muscles that control your eyes contract about 100,000 times a day (that's the equivalent of giving your legs a workout by walking fifty miles).
* Sixty percent of men and 40 percent of women snore.
* The human sneeze can travel 100 miles per hour.1
The Live Science website states that people do fifteen basic things each and every day: sleep, die, hiccup, blush, kiss, pass gas, laugh, blink, cry, zone out, see in 3-D, get physical sensations (like "pins and needles"), shave, take risks, and have sex.2 Of course, there is more to us than just our bodily functions and common habits. We have trials, tribulations, and temptations. We praise, use profanity, and think profound things. We also ponder our existence, practice our beliefs, and presume lots of things about the world.
When you think about it, people really are complex, unique creations, "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) in God's image.
But here's the most amazing fact about people—and the greatest gift of all: God loves each and every one of us. If there is one truth the Bible clearly teaches, it's that God loves people (see John 3:16). After all, God created us (see Genesis 1) and cares for us (see Matthew 5:45). Furthermore, God yearns for a relationship and clear communication with us through His Son, Jesus (see Hebrews 1:1-2). Jesus is God's clearest expression of His love for us.
Define: Determine your understanding of the terms and issue at hand.
The word love is derived from lufu, a Germanic word that means affection or joy. The Bible uses four words to describe different types of love: phileo (brotherly love), eros (intimate love), storge (affection), and agape (unconditional love).
The word people comes from the Latin word populus, meaning a nation or people group. God's plan of salvation shows His great love for us, and it includes all people.
Discover: What does the Bible teach about this topic?
We should always look to God's Word to see what He has to say about a subject. Even if the Bible doesn't address an issue directly, it does have the principles we need to develop an understanding of what God thinks about people, life, love, and any other bottom-line issue we face.
Here's a sampling of what the Bible says about God's great love for people:
* "But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth" (Psalm 86:15).
* "The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).
* "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
* "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
* "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:37-39).
* "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" (Ephesians 2:4-5).
* "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7).
Develop: Your understanding of the topic should form the basis of a plan to reach a person with the love of God, whether it is someone you know or someone you have yet to meet. Use the acronym LOVE as a guide:
L—Listen to people. Make a sincere effort to get to know them and their situation.
O—Observe their life. Where are they coming from—emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually? Find the root of the issue. Ask yourself, How can I assist them?
V—Voice God's truth. What does the Bible teach concerning the topic, trouble, temptation, or trespass?
E—Embrace them with the love of God in Christ. Empathize based on shared experiences, but keep Jesus the focus of your conversation and outreach.
To learn more about the Jesus Loves People series taught by Pastor Skip, please click here: jesuslovespeople.com.
1 ViralNova, "These 25 Strange Facts Prove Your Body Is a Crazy Miracle," May 22, 2014, http://www.viralnova.com/strange-body-facts/; Editors of Publications International, Ltd.; "16 Unusual Facts About the Human Body," http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/parts/16-unusual-facts-about-the-human-body.htm#page=1.
2 Natalie Wolchover, "15 Weird Things Humans Do Every Day, and Why," April 8, 2011, http://www.livescience.com/33197-10-weird-behaviors-humans-do-every-day-why.html.
Photo: Pastor Skip Heitzig