Whether I’m taking notes for an assignment or spending quality time with the Lord, I’ve found it useful to listen to sermons and worship music. Even if I don’t get every single awesome point the speaker has made, I do feel the seeds of ministry and passion being planted in my heart.
This morning I was listening to one of my favorite speakers, Lisa Bevere. She had a message called “Finding Your Identity” and in it she discussed who we are in Christ, that it is He who defines us rather than this world or the enemy. One thing she said that truly stuck out to me was in relation to the fellowship between men and women in the church. She said, “We are companions, not competitors.”
How often do we treat men and women in the body of Christ as competitors rather than companions? We see them being blessed or experiencing a breakthrough, and you begin to resent them rather than celebrate alongside them.
Somewhere along the line we allowed the slippery deceit of the serpent to filter into our minds where we believe if someone else is getting blessed than there won’t be enough for me. My breakthrough will never happen.
We turn our focus inward and become so wrapped up in ourselves that we miss out on the second greatest commandment given to us by God.
To love our neighbor as ourselves.
1 John 2:9 reads “The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.”
If we don’t understand who God is, that He is the great I AM, the One who spoke all life into being and still knows how many hairs on your head and what you need, then how can we expect to be able to love others fully?
If we are drawing from a contaminated well, we are poisoning people with our broken, festering, dead idea of what love actually is.
Love is not an emotion or a happy feeling. Love isn’t fleeting or temperamental. The greatest example of love is Jesus on the cross. The unblemished Lamb of God taking all of earth’s sin, both past and present, upon His shoulders and experiencing the wrath of God in our place.
That, my brothers and sisters, is love without abandon.
Love is giving grace where we don’t believe it’s deserved. Love is truly wanting God’s best for others, not just empty lip-service. Love is a choice, a moment-by-moment decision to die to ourselves and to live for the Lord.
What if we turned the focus off of ourselves and onto others? What if we viewed that co-worker or family member through the lens of God-given love instead of pretentious tolerance? What if we truly began to grasp the depth of God’s affection for us and we transferred the contents of His bottomless, life-giving cistern into a dry and desperate world?