~~i want to be everything you dreamed when you called my name~~

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On Loving a Dying World

So Pastor Jim was preaching tonight on love...the general jist of his message was that to know God is to know love. And faith expresses itself through love (Galatians 5:6). We can't truly have faith in God - truly believe God - until we love others the way the God loves others. At one point he (Pastor Jim) said, "love will begin to make you care about the dying world around you..." And that really got me thinking...

There are so many people in the world who are hurting, and who desperately need Jesus - who need to know Him as their Savior. Unfortunately this isn't the reality we oftentimes choose to live in as Christians. People need Jesus! Everywhere we turn, there is evidence of a fallen world, a world so desperately in need of love. And I started thinking about the hundreds of people who I come in contact with who need Jesus...of the thousands of people in this city who need Jesus...of the millions of people in this country who need Jesus...of the billions of people in the world who need Jesus. And my first response was something like, 'right Lord - what am I, one person, going to do'. And His response was...

Have faith in me. Believe that I am big enough to handle this. Trust that I will use you - right where you are - to accomplish my purposes.

Wow! Then I was lead to John, chapter 6 - Jesus was teaching the crowd that had followed Him, and He saw that they were hungry, so He asked the disciples where they could buy enough food to feed everyone (I laugh, because Jesus obviously knew what was coming...yo! disciples - where's the nearest grocery store?!). Anyway - the disciples told Jesus that they would need to work for a month to feed the crowd sitting before them - and they brought to Jesus all that they could find...5 loaves of bread, and 2 small fish (these fish were like the size of sardines...). And we all know what happened next - Jesus, took the food, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples to feed the crowd. John tells us that there was more than enough (vs. 13).

Great, Stacey - so what does this have to do with loving the world? Well, I started thinking about the little boy that the disciples got the 5 loaves and 2 fish from. Do you think he went home to his mom that night saying, "Guess what I did today?! I fed thousands of people, not one person didn't have enough to eat - I'm so amazing!" I don't think so...I'm thinking that this little boy was amazed by what Jesus did, and was never the same again.

Which brings me to us loving the many lost people in this fallen world. So many times in life we approach a situation with our 5 barley loaves and 2 fish - wondering what in the world God could ever do with it. But that's all God has asked us to do - to show up with what we have, with whatever we have packed in our lunch for that day, and trust that it will be enough for Him to accomplish His purposes. Don't you see how that takes us out of the equation - we just get to 'sit back' and wait in amazement as we see what our Creator will do this time!

The Bible says that our Father is going to send us off into every day with exactly what we will need to accomplish His purposes for that day (Philippians 4:19). As each day unfolds, the events may surprise us, but they don't surprise Him! All He asks is that we offer what little faith and courage we do have to Him, and He will make it enough.

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