I recently spent some time speaking at a Christian Camp and I found myself immersed in unusual conversations. You see, too often we allow for the fast-paced environment we live in to dictate the depth of our spiritual interaction with others, but when I actually carved out some time for this camp I spent a great deal of it talking deeply about God’s character and His extraordinary love for us. And, it was in one of those discussions that the book Love Like Jesus by Judah Smith came up. It led to a long conversation about this quote from the book:
“Ultimately, our motivation for saving and restoring lives affects our level of lasting influence. Jesus was motivated by a true and genuine love for each individual; therefore, His ability to reach people and leave lasting change was extraordinary.”
So, do we love people the way Jesus loved people? Do we understand the depth of that extraordinary love? Is it modeled in our lives?
At the camp, we spent much of our time working through the ultimate and unending love that God has for us. And, while many understand the Bible and can articulate it’s stories well, I found that grasping Jesus’ love to the fullest is a real challenge for many. Why is that? Are we a culture, like those found in the book of Hebrews, where we understand the law and scripture, but our relationship with God is rather lacking? As Christians, we might all agree that our leadership and lifestyles are driven to see change happen for the better in others – we want to see God heal and restore people. But, we still all struggle at times to know how can He use us when we too are struggling and broken. Yet, in Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
When we pray, do we pray to a God that we know can do more than we think or imagine? Do we pray in a human understanding, or can we develop a prayer life where what we pray for can be blown away by the one who can do way more than our minds can even think up? It is truly fascinating how prayer can change with a better perspective of God’s loving character and a firm understanding of the teachings of Jesus. Therefore, I challenge you to really seek to understand the amazing love God has for you and pray that you might allow Him to wildly exceed your expectations, leaving an extraordinary lasting change in the lives of those around you.