What comes to mind when you think of the word love? The crush you have on that guy/girl? The feelings you have towards your Wi-Fi router? Maybe it’s an attachment to someone close?
A couple of years ago I came across an old hymnal book, and while going through it I came across the phrase “the awful majesty of God”.
I laughed. God’s incredible majesty? Unpleasant? There must have been some mistake.
Well, turns out, words change a lot over time. Back then, when the hymn was written, the word awful meant, quite literally, “full of awe”.
To be honest, that’s a pretty cool word…I would have used it.
Love is one of our biggest concepts as a society of humans on earth. Can you imagine if it’s meaning were distorted? If the meaning of our most vulnerable, emotionally charged word was changed at some point? Take a moment to think about it. What kind of people would we be?
It’s for this reason, I believe, that the Bible continuously defines the word love. Check it out:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NIV)
Whoa. That’s more than just a bunch of emotions, right?
I want you to imagine this: through the cheering crowd, you see a man, dripping in the heat. Though He’s not close to you, the distinct scent reaches your nostrils; your hair stands on end as you realize, it is not sweat – its blood. On top of Him is a massive chunk of wood, but He’s not on the ground…He’s dragging it. He’s dragging it up a hill; the lashes on His back and face are bleeding and it takes every ounce of His strength, but He’s dragging it. He has all the power in the universe; all it would take is a command from His mouth for heaven to open and for any of this to stop, but He’s pulling and suffering and He’s still dragging it. He’s dragging it with perseverance, He’s dragging it with truth. He’s dragging it with patience, kindness, honor, humility, and all selflessness. My dear friend, He’s dragging that cruel, blood-stained cross up a dusty hill to His death in love.
In this series so far, we’ve been talking about our name, Reckless Abandon, and how we stand for recklessly abandoning our own desires and…get this…to take up our cross daily and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24) Cool, right?
As Travis mentioned in the introduction article, sometimes we, as Christians, and even churches, tend to gloss over certain parts of our faith that we sometimes don’t like to talk about, often replacing them with concepts like, “Jesus loves us!” and “All you need to do is believe!”. But we can often come away feeling like we’re missing something…and you’re right. Do you think the Bible would include hard concepts like this for no reason?
“Wait a minute,” you say. “Wasn’t all I needed to do is believe in Jesus to be saved?” (John 3:16) And you’re correct. (Ephesians 2:9) But that’s different to being on fire for the Lord, and that’s what we at Reckless Abandon are about.
We are required, as growing Christians, to mature. (Check out Hebrews 5 and 6) What do you think all those verses about being a good Christian are about? What about the 10 commandments? As Christians, it’s in our very nature to grow, to become more Christ-like in every step. To become that godly guy or girl He wants us to be, not to sit around, doing nothing.
The verse I’m focusing on today is 1 Corinthians 16:14:
“Let all that you do be done in love.”
There have been books upon books written on this subject, but for now, I’d like to challenge you on a major part of it:
“Love is not self-seeking”.
Love is selfless. Love is about serving.
We all have gifts. Perhaps it’s your ability to be kind, maybe you have a particular strength in talking to people. For me, it happens to be musical talent, but you know what? My talents and your talents are Christ’s. These talents are God-given gifts.
So what are you doing with yours?
At this point, you’re probably asking: “How can I be more involved? How can I use these talents for Him? How can I serve?”
There are a few answers to these questions, the first and most obvious being: wherever you see the opportunity; it’s a Christian trait we should have.
But can you imagine for a second if you managed to round up all the people who share this passion for serving, and put them in one room?
That’s exactly what it is. One of the Church’s main functions is to provide us with opportunities to serve and get involved in ministry. Great, right!? But remember, although to a certain extent it’s their job to find you, you need to be actively seeking out opportunities to get involved as well.
You can’t just hang around, waiting for someone to show up at your door with a package that says, “Maybe you might want to do this?” No, you need to be out there. You need to be on the frontline looking for opportunities to get involved. Let the church know directly what your talents are, and ask them to use you.
I know this might seem obvious, but a serious point is that you also need to be willing to be involved. If the pastor gets back to you with, “Hey (your name). We have a ministry we think you might want to get involved with: washing the walls.” …would you be willing to take it up for His sake?
And finally, you need to pray. Ask God for direction…ask Him for strength. Ask Him to renew the spark, the passion we have within us for serving.
And so, I challenge you to apply this post to your life. To go out and become a part of His incredible plan. I dare you to live with reckless abandon.