Falling in Love

I played football all through my junior high and senior high school years. I really had fun and learned a lot about team or being a part of a community that has one purpose. I remember one rainy night, we were playing Ozark. We had been backed up about 15 yards outside our goal line and it was time to punt. Our coach called a fake where I received the ball and slipped it under the legs of another running back. I ran the right play but all the blocking and the other running back went the opposite way. I was tackled immediately. An example of what happens when we all aren’t doing what we are supposed to do.

The community of believers, the church, is much the same way. Jesus says in John 13:34 that he’s given us, his disciples, a new command to love each other just like He’s loved us. The Greek word used there is agape which means unconditional love…no strings attached. Jesus says the world will know we are followers of Jesus when we love unconditionally.

Agape means “I love you in spite of…”. In spite of the hurtful words you said or the way you treated my spouse. In spite of you neglecting my children by not inviting them or in spite of the lifestyle you choose instead of what I think you should have chosen.

You see, that is how Jesus loves you. He loves you in spite of the sin in your life. He loves you in spite of the poor decision making that has plagued you. He loves you in spite of you being you. Paul reminds us of that in Romans 5 where he says, “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

So he calls us to imitate him and when we do, the world will take notice. They will see the beautiful story of Jesus through our actions and words. “Love people as I have loved you.” When we decide to love no matter what, then we know God and our life becomes a beautiful representation of how we have been loved by a beautifully risen Savior.

Crazy for Jesus

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:13-14, “If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us.”

As we discover how we are called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we are reminded that the world thinks we are crazy for following Jesus. Each of us are commissioned as disciples to live each day giving God glory through our words and actions with every fiber of our being. So, how are you living out your love with Jesus through your emotions, your thinking, your spirituality, and your physical life?

In his books, “Love Does” and “Everyone Always”, Bob Goff shows how he has decided to be a light on the hill for Jesus be standing for children’s rights all over the world and taking on witchdoctors in Uganda, Africa. He’s using his law degree and his heart to show his discipleship.

You and I may never go worldwide with our message of Jesus but what about your own community? How are you showing the love of Jesus at your workplace, in your school, in your neighborhood, with your family and friends? But, who’s to say you couldn’t go worldwide to share the message of Jesus using your gifts? Anything is possible with God!

So my encouragement to you this Monday is that you get risky! You step out. You make a decision today to do something crazy for Jesus! The world is in desperate need of the light you hold within you. Don’t wait. Get your journal out right now. Write down ways right around you that you can use your giftedness to make a difference for Jesus Christ.

I want the world to know that Jesus is more than a formula. I want them to know I’m a satisfied customer. He can and will change your world for the better. He already has so let’s show the world we are a little crazy…for the one who did something extraordinary for us! May the Spirit guide you and direct you. May the peace of Christ live in you. May your light shine brightly!