One of the greatest blessings in pastoral ministry is undoubtedly the people, the sheep that God has entrusted to us shepherds, our so called brothers & sisters in Christ & our fellow servants.
It is the wildest thing.
Just because you are their pastor, all these individuals make a decision to trust you, share their hearts & lives with you, pray with you & for you, and of course love you.
I am humbled because I doubt that I have done much to deserve it. It is this fact that I don’t deserve any of it that keeps my heart tender & overwhelmed with emotions.
Time to time, especially in worship, I find myself getting emotional without being able to pinpoint why except that I feel so blessed.
- Blessed that I am free from what binds me.
- Blessed by the Word of God that whispers love & never changes
- Blessed by this privilege & joy of serving Christ & His Body
- Blessed by the saints that reciprocate Christ’s love
Last Sunday was no exception. I had the opportunity to share about our missions to Taiwan with our whole church, and even though my message was longer than my usual Sunday message because there were so much that I wanted to share, still they all opened their hearts with attentiveness & patience. How humble they are.
Not only that one of the women’s groups at our church made an awesome display & booth devoted to Taiwan missions. They served refreshments and explained how to get involved & support our missions to Taiwan.
My wife & I were so touched by the love of Christ that they displayed. It had the same effect on our children as well. They knew that it was for our missions. As soon as we got home, our 9 year old & 7 year old asked me to open up our missions website, and for the first time, they really explored what was on our family website.
God truly brings me down to my knees because when Jesus defined for us the first & 2nd greatest commandments, they aren’t just laws that we have to obey to please God, but they are actually the means to witness, experience & be transformed by love of God.
As you may know, the first & greatest commandment is to love God, but in order for this to be a genuine act on our part, we must first experience it. But the only way that we can understand love is through human relationships. Unless love is demonstrated through personalities, it will always be an abstraction. This is why Jesus demonstrated God’s love on the cross, and this is why we are called to love our neighbors, so that people may experience God’s love.
We truly felt loved by our siblings in Christ on Sunday, and through their kindness & graciousness, we felt God’s love shining down upon us, and we are not even in Taiwan yet.
I realize that we still haven’t met our budget goal. We still have 2 more months to work prayerfully and diligently to meet our deadline. Still…
- We have already experienced so much of God’s faithfulness & power.
- God has poured into our hearts peace that surpasses understanding.
- We feel closer to God than ever.
- So many are sacrificially serving & supporting us.
- We are constantly blanketed by prayers of God’s people.
- We are convinced that we are loved.
And I’m thinking that we’ve already won! Because of Christ & His people we’ve already won! Everything beyond this point is just gravy on the biscuit, the icing on the cake.
I can’t wait to be in Taiwan this summer to share what has been freely & graciously poured into our lives. I think it’s a feeling that only those who have received something that they know they didn’t deserve can have. It’s both exciting & humbling.
Recently I took my girls to see The Lego Movie, and the theme song repeats the line, “Everything is just awesome!” I find myself singing that line over and over again. Indeed everything is just awesome because of Christ & His people!