Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Joy of Service

I worked with a group of women tonight preparing for our Ladies' Retreat at The Creek which starts tomorrow night. I came home with a smile on my face thinking about the evening and what fun we had. Those women were a pleasure to work with because of the joy they had while serving. We were all tired, none of us had eaten supper, and one had come straight from work where she'd been since 7:00 that morning! But the sheer joy of service and Christian fellowship won out over hunger and fatigue. At one point we even took a break and danced to the music that was playing. I came home thinking, "This is how it's supposed to be; using your gifts in service to others, and finding joy and fulfillment working together for a common purpose. And having a blast doing it!"
God is good. He didn't have to allow us to have fun serving Him. But that's the kind of God He is!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why do you call me Lord?

 I love the drama group "One Time Blind". They say so much in a very short time and each message is right on target concerning an area in which we tend to be hypocritical. This one is based on Luke 6:46: " Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?"

How often do we ask things of Him because He is our "Lord", but we don't bother doing things He's asked of us?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

By Our Love

We're getting ready to have a Ladies' Retreat at Cedar Creek next weekend and the theme is "Love Rocks!" We're going to watch and discuss four videos on how to love four different types of people: Joy, Testy, Foe, and Far. Joy is the person that's easy to love. Testy is that person who is sometimes difficult to love because of selfishness, irritability, or simply a lack of character. Foe is your outright enemy; someone you just do not get along with at all. And Far is the person representing the mission field; that vast number of people all over the world that need Jesus but who seem too far away for us to make a difference.
Why, after all this time, do we still need to talk about, study, and discuss how to love one another? We all know we're supposed to do it. We know Jesus modeled it perfectly and called His followers to do it. We know it's what sets the church apart from the world and makes us light. Yet we struggle.
 Jesus said, "By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another." So it stands to reason that if we do not have love for one another (love that is evident), people will not know that we are His disciples. If the devil can get us to harbor unforgiveness and bitterness; if he can entice us to gossip and backbite; when we don't reach out in love to others who are hurting because we are too busy, then we cease to look different from the world and our witness is lost. Satan works overtime on this one. If he keeps Christians from loving each other and the lost, he doesn't have to do much else. We become completely ineffective for the cause of Christ.
Jesus gave the command to love one another when He was on earth. He called it "a new commandment". You'd think He wouldn't have had to give such a command even then, but He did. Then John reminds us of the command in 1 John 2:7, only he called it an old commandment, because by then it was. But the Christians  he was writing to obviously needed reminding. And so do we. Because to love difficult and faraway people takes intentionality. It simply does not come naturally to us. We need reminders and we need repeated looks at the life of Jesus. He loved perfectly. All the time. And people were attracted to Him because of it. He was light in a dark world. And that's what He has called us to be.
And so we study love; the new, old, and most important commandment. (Mark 12:29-31)