By Ryan Hakes
thrive...with the body ravaged by chemical dependency or deadly disease, the newborn struggles to stay alive."
Medical teams, hospitals, and researchers have taken a unique and surprisingly effective approach to help combat this tragedy: volunteers are recruited to visit the medical facilities on a daily basis to hold, touch, and speak to these beautiful and precious gifts of God.
Medical researches were able to confirm by providing loving care and attention to the babies, the volunteers selfless actions increase the survival rate of the babies dramatically.
"The truth is plain" Allen comments, "Love makes a difference...without it you will die. Failure to thrive really means "failure to be loved."
These amazing volunteers displayed the spiritual fruit of Agape (selfless, sacrificial, generous) love. They live "the most excellent way" the Apostle Paul mentioned when he spoke the most famous words ever recorded about love:
"And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, b but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:8)
I often reflect on what the late pastor Jarrid Wilson once said in this remarkable illustrated sermon: Life Without Love is a Waste of Time
While each of us may not have the extra time or ability to go spend time with newborns at hospitals in need of love and attention, we all can see an entire culture around us failing to thrive and dying from a drought of agape love in this world. And everyday each of us have a decision to walk by those we see in need of love and attention or choose to sacrifice a few moments of time to make a surprising difference in their lives with love.
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