This month in Element Student Ministry we have been talking about living life in light of the #2 commandment. You know, loving your neighbor as yourself.
I find it very timely that we have been talking about this. It seems like the last 4 years or so I have felt like God kind of has given me 1 word I am supposed to work on that year. One year it was Lord, then it was Healer/Jehovah Rapha, then it was Rescuer, last year the word was Power,…you get the picture.
Each year, I usually find some kind of thread through out the year where God reveals Himself to me through that word. He is always stretching me and growing me, and there are so many facets to God and how He works in our lives and how He expects us to relate to others.
As you can imagine with those words I have learned lots of different things…that there is a difference in having God in your life and having Him the Lord of your life…whoo BIG concept! That is still a daily thing I work on for sure.
Healer, that Jesus came about bringing healing to people physically, spiritually, and emotionally. He expects us to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians) and healing in our world also.
Rescuer, He saves us…wow.
Power, He is great and awesome in power. He gives us the power and strength we need to do His will on earth. He has the power to shift things. He has the power to do anything He wants to do, and He has the power to use you to accomplish His will on earth.
He has taught me so much! I am sure this year will be no exception.
Well, this year, I have felt like the word I am supposed to focus on is Love. I know, I know, so cliche. I talk often about how I love to post Bible verses on my mirror in my bathroom so while I get dressed I can memorize them..etc. Well, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 has been on my mirror since the beginning of the year. I know it is the typical verse that is thrown around a lot since it’s used in weddings…and that has always secretly gotten on my nerves (sorry if you used it in your wedding). Again, it just seems so cliche. I think it also gets on my nerves because I really feel like it is directions on how we are supposed to treat people in general, not just your spouse…and it seems so impossible. I mean, I have the verse memorized, and I was thinking yesterday morning how I still can’t manage to practice up to the first comma…“Love is patient.”
But God,…here is where He comes in…I was also thinking about how this verse is a pattern of how God is with us. I mean, we all know that God is love. Duh. But I can easily say, God is patient with me. God is kind to me. He definitely doesn’t envy me. He doesn’t have to boast or be proud…I mean He’s God. He doesn’t dishonor people. In fact He gives us more honor than we deserve and calls us His children of the King. He isn’t self seeking–He lets us choose whether we love Him and follow Him. He isn’t easily angered with me…and Lord, I am thankful for that! He keeps no record of wrongs…again, Hallelujah! I think I bring up old records of wrongs sometimes, and I feel like God just kinda goes, “Really? Brining that up again? I already forgot about it Caro…” He doesn’t delight in evil, and we know that He is truth itself and Satan is the father of lies. He always protects me. Even when I ask for things and think I am being punished when it doesn’t work out…so many times I see it was Him protecting me. He trusts us with reaching out to people, with the earth, etc. He always has hope for me. And last but not least, God always perseveres…He never gives up on me. Wow…do I feel loved and cherished! Hopefully you do too!
Anyway, that is what I have been learning…and while thinking about this being #2 thing and living out the second greatest commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself…I feel challenged. I feel like I could love my neighbor better if I just focused on one of these phrases already…just by being patient with my neighbor could be loving them better…or just continuing to persevere in reaching out to them could be loving them better…just pick one of those to live out the #2. I bet it will change your life as well as someone else’s!