November 5, 2018

Celebrating God – Serving Others!

Jesus replied, ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT)

Authentic love celebrates God and serves others! For 25 years, that has been the purpose of Woodlands Church.  It’s why we exist, to help people experience Christ rather than man’s creation of religion so they can grow strong in Christ and take the Christ experience to the world!  We accomplish that mission in love!

When Jesus restored Peter on the shores of Galilee, He asked him three times, 

“Do you love Me?” 

Each time Peter responded, Jesus gave him this commission: 

“Feed My sheep.”  (John 21:15-17 (NLT)

Jesus didn’t ask Peter if he loved sheep.  He knew that Peter’s success in fulfilling his mission would not be in proportion to his love for sheep.  Besides, Peter was a fisherman by trade, not a shepherd.  He may not have even liked sheep!  The point is that it would be out of his love for Jesus that he would accomplish his calling!

Love celebrates God’s presence in our lives!  God’s love ignites the passion in our souls to serve others!  Only when we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength are we capable of loving others.  Loving others is best expressed in meeting needs and healing hurts.  Love motivates us to action!  Love is something you do!  It’s not just a sentimental feeling.

In what ways are you expressing your love for God by serving others?  The more you do, the deeper your love for God will grow and the more you will experience His love manifest in your life!  The most passionate people I know are the most caring and unselfish.  They look for needs to meet in the lives of others.  They seek to be channels through which God’s love may flow!  They genuinely care.  They are not easily offended.  They don’t keep score.  They joyfully cheer the victories in your life and grieve your losses. They are patient and kind. They never give up on you!  That kind of love is irresistible.  It’s contagious!

Love like that is unnatural!  It’s supernatural!  When Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, Peter realized, by his own recent denials, that his love was limited, human and weak.  He knew he needed a greater capacity to love than he could manufacture on his own!  I do too!  Sometimes, I confess that I don’t feel like loving!  I don’t feel like being a loving husband.  I don’t feel like being a loving father.  That’s when I realize my own inadequacy and pray, “Father, fill me with Your love!”  I find comfort in the promise of Romans 5:5,

 “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” (NLT)

What happens when the Holy Spirit fills our hearts with God’s love?  We serve Him by serving others!  Look for ways this week to celebrate God and serve others!