This is the end of a chapter in the life of this blog. I leave for outreach tomorrow.
Second only to becoming a Christian, lecture phase has been the most significant thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ve had the equivalent of seven years of teachings and worship times as a regular church attender just since January. It’s been crazy. I’ve learned so much. I’ve lived so much. I’ve even loved so much compared to the rest of my life.
As I get ready to get on a plane tomorrow morning, I’m asking myself what I learned or how I’ve changed. All I come back with is love. The most important thing I’ve learned is covered in two verses.
I John 4:16 – So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Luke 10:27 – And he answered, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
I know that the most important thing in the world for me as a Christian is to love God. I know the second most important thing is to love other people. I know that God is love. So I need to love. What is love? Jesus answered the question for me.
John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.
So my very first priority in life is to lay down my life for my God. I’ve started really learning what this means here. I’ve been living with people who are laying down their lives for God and I’ve decided I want to do it too. I want to lay down my life, living and dying, for Him. I want to serve and love Him wholly for the rest of my life. How do I do this? I do it by the second greatest commandment.
Matthew 25:40 – And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
Someday I will stand before the King and give an account for everything I ever did on this earth. Everything that I did to love and serve on earth, He’ll count it as if I had done it directly to Him.
So let me go through this one more time. God is love. The most important calling on my life is to love Him and then to love others. True love means laying down my life for others. Anything I do to love and serve other people is counted as loving and serving God.
This is what I’ve learned here: My life goal is to love God with everything. That means I have to lay down everything for Him. After that, I have to lay down whatever is left for the people around me.
Why would I do this? Why am I giving up on earthly security and all my previous hopes and dreams to love God and people? The answer is in a quote from Jim Elliot, a missionary who died a martyr in 1956:
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose
I don’t know what will happen after outreach. I don’t even know what will happen during outreach. All I know is that in light of what I’m gaining, no sacrifice is too small.
Have a blessed next two months. I’m sure there will be no shortage of amazing stories to tell when I get back.