Sunday, April 2, 2017

Will We Answer the Call to a Deeper, More Lavish Love?


I'm going through the James study at a very slow pace because it's shining a bright light on my heart that's more painful than I expected.

I read these words this morning: 

"How readily do I recognize those in need? 
How thoroughly do I see their need? 
How am I serving those in need?" 

I didn't want to answer such pointed questions. 

The problem is not that I don't care about the needs around me. My problem is that I'm overwhelmed with my own life, my own ministry, my own busyness, my own neighbor. Wading into one more life, one more set of needs, seems more than I can do.

I sat, pen poised over the journal page, pondering. "In what ways do I serve the fatherless?" No words would come. 

"In what ways do I serve the widow?" I don't know.

I've walked in the shadow of men and women completely sold-out to Jesus over the last month. I thought I was an all-in disciple, until I saw the impact that remains nearly a century after true Christ-followers poured themselves out for a people not their own. 

The love they lavished on the rich and poor alike, on the Christian and the Muslim and the atheist alike, was so complete that people in Jordan still talk about it. 

I don't love that way. Not really. I don't know many people who do.

The problem, however, is that, as disciples of Christ, we're supposed to lavish love on all we see. Love God above all else. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Those are the two big commandments that summarize all the rest of the law.

I'm not sure I love in that measure. But I want to... Don't you?

James gives us a mandate, a call to a deeper love. A more lavish love. He gives us a choice. 

Will we abandon our busy agendas to the call of Christ or not? To the work of love or not?

We have a choice to make, one with eternal consequences. 

Will we love big like Jesus, or not?

If we are the followers we claim to be, we'll do what must be done. Adapt schedules. Get rid of busyness. Open our hearts. Reach out our hands. Move outside our comfort zones.

"This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27 nasb
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When a Little Child Leads the Way

Thanks to all those who attended the Jordan Brunch yesterday, who bought pottery and books, and who partnered financially with this ministry. You help make this work of worldwide prayer and outreach possible. Thank you!