With all the problems in the world, it’s good for us to remind each other that God is still God – and that He is not at all stressed-out. He sees the big picture, and He knows what needs to be done – and how to do it. Of course, sometimes, I wonder why He doesn’t just do it – make everything good, right now. Just swoop in and turn it all around – in an instant. He could do it – He is God after all – but that’s just not how He rolls. He is patient. And He chooses to work through us. Working through us is the hard way to get things done. But it is the better way. How do I know this? Because He is good – and He wouldn’t do things this way if it wasn’t what’s best for us.
When you think about it, the chance to work for God is a pretty cool thing. The thought that the God of the universe is willing to work through us – through our imperfections and limitations – is a pretty awesome thought. To be His instrument to accomplish His will – is there any higher calling in life? And that calling is for us all. Amazing, isn’t it? I am proud to be a part of a congregation that embraces this belief. I’m not sure there is a simpler way to say it than – LOVE1st. When you lead with love in all your thoughts and actions, you are making the effort to be Jesus in the lives of others.
But let me ask you this: do you think there is a way to take our LOVE1st mission to the next level? Do you think there is more inside of us? More to give? Do we even want to? Are we willing to say yes to God and let Him lead us where we are not expecting to go?
I think this church, this congregation, has another gear. I believe we are capable of doing things that would amaze and surprise us – if we let God lead us into a fresh vision for our lives. Why do I think that? Because we can see all the problems in the world, we can see the darkness and the loneliness and the misery (some of these are even in us!), and we know that we are His children – and we know how He sends His children to give their lives for others. That’s what He did with Jesus – and that’s what He wants to do with us. He longs to work through us to bring His healing and His light to a lost and tortured world.
It only makes sense that His desire to use us, and our desire to be used, would find fulfillment in astonishing ways. Sure, it won’t be easy. It will require letting go of our expectations, and being willing to sacrifice, and may even require a dying to the self. It’s hard to do these things. But anyone who has been a parent, or been in love, has done these things – and more – willingly. We gave and gave and gave because love for another came before thoughts for the self. How wonderful those times are! But can we still live that way and treat others that way even if they’re not our children? Even if we don’t love them? God wants us to. How do I know that? Because we are all His children, and He loves each one of us – always – more than we have ever loved anyone – ever. And He will use us – if we let Him – to let others know exactly how He feels about them. LOVE1st.
You are a beautiful and kind congregation – full of grace and the love of the Lord. What a powerful tool in the Hands of our God! I know you’ve worked hard to get this far, and it would not be unreasonable to expect a chance to rest rather than a challenge to go harder, but as a dear friend had to recently remind me…
…the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. So let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6.
So simple. So impossible. So God.