Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Community that Builds Up

In general, the culture of the West is not communal. Now there are certainly places here and there, small breakaways from the norm, such as The Simple Way, or Solomon's Porch, but they are certainly more the exception than the anything else. For the most part, this culture prides itself on the individuality and space, while many other cultures around the world still live in that communal setting, all joined together, working and living together. 

Because we are not a communal people, many of the things written about the early Church can be very hard to relate to. So what I see more often than not in this society, is lots of people who claim to follow Christ, all struggling (or thriving) on their own, individually. Some can pay their bills and are able to afford such luxuries as healthcare, and have extra left over to be able to give; and let it be known that there are many who give generously according to their ability. Many more are not able to pay their bills, have lost their homes, and certainly cannot afford any luxuries, including healthcare and life-saving medications, such as insulin. But because we are such an individualistic people, everyone is doing it on their own. Many of those who are drowning are going down in silence. They are working VERY hard, but are not in the right job that would afford them these seeming luxuries. And many on the other side are, possibly unknowingly, yet callously nonetheless, labeling them a drag on the economy, a casualty of capitalism.

But in community, no one struggles alone. Your problem, your lack, your deficiency, is my problem, my lack, my deficiency. As it says in the Word, “There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 says this:
"Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: 'He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.'"

Equality was the goal. Simple, divine equality. No keeping up with the Joneses, because they have exactly what you have and all needs are met. For everyone. 

Here’s the real beauty of the Church building itself in that manner: it frees people to be about Kingdom business rather than the business of the world. The early Church was all about spreading, teaching, sharing, equipping, engaging the gospel. Not about surrounding themselves with comfort or building up their portfolios or retirement. For all they knew, they were going to be martyred, so all they had guaranteed was the very moment they were living in, and the blessed assurance that what they had waiting for them was well worth the sacrifice. 

No one claimed that any of his possessions were his own, so all needs were met and the various parts of the body were free to truly live in their giftings and callings. The teachers were free to teach without having to worry about the mouths of their family being fed. Those gifted with hospitality certainly had more than enough room to move and work and love and invite. The apostles were free to come and go, knowing that the needs of others were being met. These men and women knew their gifts, accepted their calling, and then walked in them. Fully. Moreover, they had the backing and support of a community to fill in the gaps that they could not. Their attention was not divided. They were not working day jobs to pay the bills and then serving with whatever they had left over. The fulfillment of the gospel was their day job. All of them.

Look at Acts 6:

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit, and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
         This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
         So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Because we, as a society, have strayed so far from community, there are many, many among the faithful church-goers, teachers, shepherds, apostles, healers, prophets, and those with gifts of administration and working miracles who are waiting on tables to meet the needs of their families. They are struggling to scrape by, to pay the bills, to buy more things, to appease whatever desire is in them, rather than living out the calling on their lives. Because we are not joined together, one in heart and mind, we have lost focus of what it is that we have been called to. We have become enslaved to the duties and responsibilities of the culture rather than the commandment of the Kingdom, so we work to pay the bills and hope that maybe we’ll have something left over at the end of it all to give a little something to the church.

But what if...what if we got radical? What if we sold a house to pay for the medical needs of someone among us? Who would take us in? Where would we live? Would you take a family into your home? What about someone who is homeless? It might get really inconvenient, maybe even tight. Could your kids share a room so that you had a room open to a stranger? A stranger?? What if two or three families were to combine residences? Sell the other homes and pool the resources. It would be tight living quarters, but I bet folks would discover very quickly how to be Christ to each other, or at least the need for it. 

And what if those resources were then used to put together a feeding ministry in a local school, taking over a government-run program? What if the resources were used to buy medication for those who could not afford it, on a regular basis? What if the Church became the healthcare reform that so many are desperate for? And what if the right job that guarantees benefits was simply in the community of the Church, walking and serving in the gifting that given to you? 

What if we just took another look at what we were doing and asked some really hard questions of ourselves? Do we really need all this space? Or could we invite another family in and pool the resources? Don't you think it could be done?

I do.

So did the early Church. 

And their numbers grew by the thousands. Daily.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Who Deserves Healthcare?

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:4-5
All this discussion about the new healthcare bill has sparked new rounds of ugly talk and divisiveness throughout this country. I have heard some, possibly well-intended, comments coming from those who claim to be followers of Christ. Things posted as statuses on facebook, since that seems to be an appropriate place to air political ideologies, such as:

Democracy will cease to exist when you take from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not.

This one was quoting Thomas Jefferson, and I have to confess that I did not ask the one who posted it if it was in reference to the healthcare bill, but if not, it certainly was interesting timing for the post. If this was indeed in reference to the bill, one has to ask the question, are only those unwilling to work going without healthcare coverage? I know plenty of folks who work VERY hard but are just not able to have ends meet at the end of the month. Maybe they just aren’t privileged enough to work the right kind of job?

I saw a status that was apologizing to Abe Lincoln for the decline of democracy, saying that it was no longer of the people, for the people, etc. That’s really a huge assumption. Here’s a thought on that one: Is it possible that there are just as many, if not more people, who are calling, emailing, and writing their congressmen/women on a daily basis, asking for reform? Is it not a possibility that there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people out there who are desperate for reform, and have let their representatives know this on a regular basis? Is it not possible that for every person who became a fan of the “I demand a repeal of Obamacare” page, there are others out there who are working two and three jobs just to make ends meet and so don’t have the luxury of playing Farmville on the internet at home? Is it possible that there is another perspective outside of ourselves that has not yet been considered? Isn’t it possible?

All of this has me asking lots of questions about the state of the Church. To see Christians flinging labels such as socialist and communist, comparing Obama to Hitler, seriously, is this what we are called to? Are we called to contribute to the division or have we not been called to be instruments of reconciliation, called to be at peace with everyone (which is not the same as agreeing with everyone, but it’s hard to be at peace with those whom we are labeling Hitler) regardless of the circumstances or situations? Have we forgotten where our true citizenship lies (Philippians 3:20)?

I often wonder about the state of the Church and how far we have strayed from that picture of Church in Acts 4. I often wonder how different the world would be if we, the Church, were more like the description we see there:

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

Well, those who like to label and name-call might just be able to say that those in the early Church were socialists, as they distributed all they had around to everyone among them. What a beautiful thing. You know what I like even more than that, though: they were one in heart and mind. They were one!! Just as Jesus has interceded for them, “That they may be one,” they were united as a body, together in full force for the sake of one purpose: fulfilling the commandment of their Christ. And they grew as a body daily, because they were different, set apart, didn’t get bogged down by the political nonsense of the day, but stayed the course that was set for them by their Teacher.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

Then before Jesus was taken up into heaven, he spoke to his followers, saying, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Tomorrow I'll look at the community that formed the Church, enabling it to accomplish the command that Jesus gave...

In all things, friends, there is grace and peace,

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Life of Service Fleshed Out

As I was working on organizing all of these thoughts, I was sitting at our local Chick-Fil-A (one of my favorite places, by the way). I was asking God for practical ways to flesh out a life of service in the midst of our busy mommy chaos. How do we create a lifestyle without adding burden to our already burdened lives, because Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

As I was working on my computer, one of the Chick-Fil-A employees came and sat at the table next to me for her dinner break. She had begun to eat her dinner when she noticed a homeless man eating by himself on the outside patio. His hands were thoroughly dirty, as were his clothes and hair. His face was worn and tired, showing the cruel wear and tear of the world around him.

This young girl watched him from her booth inside for a couple of minutes, then got up, grabbed her tray of food, and walked out the door. She walked to his table, set her tray down, and asked if she could join him. I watched her extend her hand in greeting, and I watched him hesitate, staring in disbelief, and then slowly reach out and take her hand. 

Have you ever seen a person soften? Have you ever seen the power of the human touch? As I watched his eyes light up, I wondered how long it had been since someone touched him last? This young girl sat down with him, and I watched the two of them engage in conversation. She was asking questions, and he was answering, telling stories, sharing a bit of his journey. She was listening, caring for who he was, restoring humanity to an inhumane situation. It was so beautiful and so real and so Jesus. She had eyes to see and ears to hear the promptings of the Lord, and she was obedient.

Would I be willing to do the same? 

Would you?

This is what it is to serve. Eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart constantly on the lookout for those in need, open arms to embrace, and open hands to give, ready to give it all away. When we talk about serving, it is a lifestyle choice. Especially after we make a conscious choice to follow Jesus, we are choosing to follow in His steps, love as he loved, give as He gave, and serve as He served.

In wrapping all of this up, I came across Galatians 5:6, which says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” I realize that not everyone is called to serve in Africa or Asia, or Hawaii (hehe). But every single one of us has been called to serve. We have been called to be witnesses, to give an account, to leave an imprint of Christ in every situation and circumstance we come across. And Jesus walked out how He wants us to live. And then he said, "Do as I do." There are so many great projects out there to be done, but unless we are making a human connection and touching an actual life, are we really loving, or are we checking off another errand to run? We may even thoroughly enjoy the errand, but without availing yourself to be a part of a human connection, it’s hard to really love. Just as Isaiah 5 said, that we would be the ones to make the community livable again. That's powerful image to hold onto. 

I'll talk more about that soon...

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Life of Service, Part 3

Here’s the thing: every single one of us has been called to serve. Serving is what sets followers of Christ apart from the rest of the world. Serving is what defines us as grace-filled, merciful, loving, and selfless people. Serving gives legs to the words we profess. The question is simply where and in what capacity. Jesus told his followers in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

We are called to be His witnesses, to be those who will stand and give an account of who he is and what he has done. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we say, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” If that doesn’t happen in us and through us, why are we asking for Him to do it?

What does it look like when God’s Kingdom comes?

What did it look like when the King of the Kingdom came?

He fed the hungry with a small boy’s simple lunch. He actually fed thousands of them.

He visited the sick and raised the dead back to life. On multiple occasions.

He broke bread with the thief after calling him down from a tree. The thief in turn repaid not only all that he had stolen, but more to make amends.

He defended the adulteress by writing a word in the sand and welcoming those who were without sin to cast the first stone. Amazing how quickly a crowd disperses. 

He visited a man imprisoned by his insanity, shunned to the graves by his people, and then healed him by driving out his demons and restored him to community.

He cured the lonely outcasted woman who had bled for 12 years when she touched the hem of his garment. He was her last hope. He came through for her. 

Scripture says:
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He stood before his disciples, those he called friends, and he bent over to the ground, and he scrubbed their dirty, dusty, dry and cracked feet, drying them on the towel around his waist. 

And then he came to the friend who would betray. The friend who would sell him out. The friend who would hand him over and begin the process that would lead to his crucifixion and death. He came to this friend, and he knelt to the floor, washed his dirty, dusty, dry and cracked feet...and dried them on the towel around his waist.

But he still had one more. From there he moved to his friend, his dear, precious friend, with whom he had spent many hours of many days, teaching, loving, sharing, cherishing. And this friend...this friend would deny him altogether. 

Could you possibly imagine how this would have affected the man Jesus? What about the time we spent together? The walks we took? The conversations we had? All that we went through? And you’re going to deny me? You don’t know me at all?

Three times this friend denied that he ever knew Jesus at all. And Jesus bent low to the ground before him, and gently, lovingly, tenderly, scrubbed his dirty, dusty, dry and cracked feet and dried them on the towel around his waist.

What I particularly want you to see is this: Jesus served all of these people, and so many more, without any hesitation, without pretense, without considering whether He was being taken advantage of or being used. He washed the feet of all of the disciples as if all of them were standing on even ground.

I have to say that if it were me, when I got to those last two, I might have been more inclined to dump the water directly on them and walk away rather than tenderly washing their deceiving feet. But not Jesus. Unconditional. I love you, period.

Then Jesus said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

And then that very King allowed himself to be lead through the streets of Jerusalem, after being beaten and scorned. The most powerful being in the world allowed himself to be nailed to a Roman cross by the very hands that He himself created.

This is what makes the follower of Christ different from a humanist or any other ideology around the world. Christ has taught, nay, modeled for us sacrificial, unconditional, “I love you, period” kind of love. Because in the end, we are reminded that it’s not about us or what we get in return. It's about serving and loving the King. It's about representing Him well. 

Tomorrow I'll share with you how God fleshed it out for me...

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Life of Service, Part 2

So what does a life of service look like?

This is what Jesus said about it:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

         You know what I really love about that passage? They had to ask the King when they had served him! They said, “Lord, when did we do those things??” Seriously? They didn’t know?? 

No, they didn’t know they were serving the King in their day-to-day acts of service. Service was such a part of their world, of their everyday life, it wasn’t a chore or extra errand for them to check off of a list; it was their passion of life.

What does a life of service look like? I think that in order to fully answer that, we must first understand what God has asked of us. When He calls us to serve, what does He mean?

Isaiah 58 is one of the most powerful passages on this. Starting in verse 7, this is what God has said,

“What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on…

Continuing in verse 9…

“If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, if you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.

And then in verse 11, for anyone looking for hope, here’s a word for you…

“I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places - firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.

Seriously, yall! As they say in Texas, if that doesn’t light your fire with hope, your wood is wet!

Further Scripture says this about the topic:

James 1:14-17
         What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

2 Corinthians 8:13
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”

Proverbs 3:27
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.

         I know that many have studied the Proverbs 31 woman, the lady who set the bar entirely too high for us. She frustrates me to no end, but when I went back to read about her again in light of Isaiah 58, one thing stood out to me. 

A wife of noble character who can find? 
       She is worth far more than rubies.

 11 Her husband has full confidence in her 
       and lacks nothing of value.

 12 She brings him good, not harm, 
       all the days of her life.

 13 She selects wool and flax 
       and works with eager hands.

 14 She is like the merchant ships, 
       bringing her food from afar.

 15 She gets up while it is still dark; 
       she provides food for her family 
       and portions for her servant girls.

 16 She considers a field and buys it; 
       out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

 17 She sets about her work vigorously; 
       her arms are strong for her tasks.

 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, 
       and her lamp does not go out at night.

 19 In her hand she holds the distaff 
       and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

 20 She opens her arms to the poor 
       and extends her hands to the needy.

 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; 
       for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

 22 She makes coverings for her bed; 
       she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, 
       where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, 
       and supplies the merchants with sashes.

 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; 
       she can laugh at the days to come.

 26 She speaks with wisdom, 
       and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

 27 She watches over the affairs of her household 
       and does not eat the bread of idleness.

 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; 
       her husband also, and he praises her:

 29 "Many women do noble things, 
       but you surpass them all."

 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; 
       but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

 31 Give her the reward she has earned, 
       and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 

Did you hear it? In the midst of all that she had going on in her life, while selecting wool and flax, while bringing food, while buying a field and planting a vineyard, while spinning clothes and making bed coverings, somehow in the midst of all of that, she did not forget God’s command:

Verse 20 says, She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. This excellent wife, this amazing mother whose children rise up to call her blessed, she did not forget the commands of the Lord. Amidst the whirlwinds of her busy life, she did not forget that first and foremost, she has been called a servant of the Most High God. She did not forget what He had called her to do. 

So if this great woman, this example to us all, should we not follow her lead in the area as well?

More to come...

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Life of Service

Serving others is one of the great hallmarks of the Christian life. But before it can be fully embraced and incorporated into life, it is first important to understand whom it is that we serve, what it is that we serve, and to what end. Why do we do what we do? Otherwise it can be easy to lose focus, become distracted and knocked off course. Scripture says that where there is no vision, the people will perish, and so let us contend for the faith, get ahold of the vision of service, and walk in it. 

This is a bumper sticker that is produced and sold by an organization called The American Humanist Association. This is what their website says about them:

We strive to bring about a progressive society where being “good without god” is an accepted way to live life. We are accomplishing this through our defense of civil liberties and secular governance, by our outreach to the growing number of people without religious belief or preference, and through a continued refinement and advancement of the humanist worldview.
Bordered on one side by the transcendental views of traditional religions and mythologies and on the other by atheism and secularism, the values we hold are grounded in the philosophy of the Enlightenment, informed by scientific knowledge, and driven by a desire to meet the needs of people in the here and now.
We count humanists and other nontheists as the core of our movement but are always willing to work with friends and allies on issues of common concern.  The positions we hold and the actions we take are not simply for our own benefit, but for the betterment of all of society.
This organization argues that people are fundamentally good in and of themselves and can essentially work together for the betterment of society by their own good intentions. There are several problems with this, though:

1. People are not fundamentally good in and of themselves. Genesis 6:5 says, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” If this is what the Creator sees of us, how can we possibly think that we can do good all by ourselves?

2. Good is relative. The line of good is pushed and swayed by whatever is acceptable by culture for that time period. The definition is based on what the majority says. Scripture says that there is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death. Even the AHA website says that their worldview is continually being refined and advanced. If we are not basing our directions, our decisions, and our definitions on what Scripture has laid out for us, how will they stand against the shifting sands of time?

I am currently reading the Gayle Haggard’s book called, “Why I Stayed.” For those who don’t know the story, her husband is Ted Haggard. Up until the end of 2006, he was the senior pastor of a 14,000-member mega-church in Colorado Springs. In November of 2006, it was discovered that he had fallen into great sin, including sexual immorality, infidelity, and illegal drug use. The fall of a godly man such as Ted Haggard is overwhelmingly tragic, but what really breaks my heart, was the church’s response to it all.

There was a board of overseers in place to hold him accountable, which is good and biblical. But it strayed from biblical when he was not only removed from leadership (which was called for), but he was also removed from the fellowship of the church. He was essentially put into exile and not allowed to be a part of the body of Christ.

Gayle Haggard writes in her book that she kept waiting for the Church to show forgiveness, to show grace. She kept waiting for the body of Christ to welcome them back into the fellowship, based on Scripture. She was looking at Paul’s letter to the Church at Corinth, when he wrote about the church’s need to welcome back in a previously unrepentant sinner.

Paul wrote, “The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.”

She was looking for the church to step into role, and yet they didn’t. There was no one among them who was willing to step up and shout out, “Wait a minute! What we are doing does not line up with Scripture!”

See, there is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death. Good is relative. The Word of God is not. We cannot rely on our own goodness to serve others, which leads us to the third point.

3. Being good to others without the shadow of the cross in your life will always place self first. It looks like this: I’ll take care of me and my family first and then from whatever I have left over, I’ll serve others. From whatever money, time and energy I have left over at the end of my crazy days, I’ll serve others.”

But that wasn’t the way of Christ. Christ never placed himself first, even though He had every reason in the world to do so. Even in His darkest hour, He still humbled himself to say, “Not my will, but your will be done.” Christ teaches us sacrifice. This is what separates followers of Christ from anyone else in the world. He teaches us to put others first, and our own needs second.

As wives and mothers of young children, I know it already feels like we put everyone else before ourselves. We take care of our husbands and our children to the point of exhaustion.

I clothe the naked every morning as my little ones jump out of their pajamas and run around the house in nothing more than the beautiful skin God gave them. I feed the hungry several times a day as tiny mouths open wide like baby birds waiting for their mouths to be filled.

But is that really what Christ was talking about? Are we really serving the least of these of brothers of His? Who are the least of these?

As a mom, I look at my three angels and am overwhelmed at their potential in this life. What will God do with them? What is His calling for them?  What is my vision for my children? Do I want them to be good, church-going kids who turn into responsible citizens, or do I want them to be world changers, radically in love with Jesus? And just as the King of kings changed the world by sacrificing everything, I want to model for my children what that looks like.

So what does that look like?

More tomorrow to come...

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