I had the awesome privilege today of serving one of the dear families in our Plano community. Well, they are actually being planted in Parker now, as they are in the process of moving into a new home. Anyways, brothers/sisters came together from different communities here in North Texas to do what we affectionately call a “work-ship service”!
Basically, we take a Sunday and those who desire to serve come together to do a whole lot of work in order to help a family or someone in need. There’s always a ton of food, lots of laughs and, did I mention, a whole lot of work! These work-ship services have proven to be some very precious times together in community.
As I was cleaning window shutters today, I began to think about the communities with whom we relate and how precious and sweet they are to one another. They are definitely that way whenever there are needs presented but, even when things are “okay”, they still express their love for one another through the manner in which they serve one another.
I guess since I started reading this book, becoming love, I am on this love kick! Man, it’s potent. Love never fails. It is the force that compelled Father to send the Son to deal with a problem that we could not handle on our own! It was a pretty serious issue we were facing too. And, we weren’t even aware of it. I mean, while we were still enemies of God, He extended His love to us without any promise of return on such a priceless investment. Love which produces self-sacrifice without strings attached or expectation of return. What a novel thought! It is the characteristic that brings the distinction between “going to church” and “Being the Church”.
Over the years of walking with brothers/sisters in the Kingdom, there has been a deep ingraining of this love that quite naturally works itself out through serving the corporate expression. Be patient with me here because I am not talking about volunteering at a religious institution during worship service times. It goes much deeper than a mere religious form. I’m talking about the Church, God’s People learning to walk out the Kingdom, baby!
You see, the thing about the Kingdom is that it is highly inconvenient to our nice, pretty, little organized and scheduled lives. If we have scheduled service times, we can manage our service to fit quite nicely around the things in our lives that really matter. However, the Kingdom is a bit quirky because the King actually thinks He is in charge and that we are NOT our own because we have been bought with a price. And, when the King places a demand for us to glorify Him in our spirit and body which now belong to Him, He is not really concerned if it fits our schedule or not.
It is not so much the “structure” of our religious institutions and the way “church” is done that God is interested in challenging. All of that “church” stuff is just a byproduct; a result of how believers truly exist. The transformation that God is really interested in is the change that takes place in us when He pervades our daily lives and requires something of service then. It is extremely inconvenient and humbling when Father asks you to release your plans so that you might be used by Him to further the plans He has for a brother.
The sooner believers realize that Christianity is NOT an individual sport but that it is fully a team sport, the quicker they will experience significant change and maturity in Christ. Christ willingly laid his life down for us. He expects us to do the same. I am afraid, however, that the average believer does not heed Apostle Paul when he wrote:
For, brethren, you have been called to liberty; but don’t use liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but BY LOVE SERVE ONE ANOTHER. (Galatians 5:13; emphasis added)
Look, Jesus even said he did not come to be served but, rather, he came to serve. If we are supposed to share in the same Spirit in which he operated in while he was here (and we are!) then it is to produce in us the same mentality and heart condition. What’s more, that love should compel us to willingly lay down our lives. Love your brother and reveal it by serving your brother!
It is quite nice to say, “I love you, man!” Give a hug and walk away. But, the warm feeling, if there ever was one, soon passes away. The dynamic is totally elevated when love is expressed through serving and not just merely uttered in words. As Apostle John wrote:
Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity). (I John 3:18; emphasis added)
Jesus came as the Word of God. Father’s love for humanity was undoubtedly spoken. But, the fullness of His love was revealed through the deeds and actions! The power of His love to move things in the spiritual realm and have the natural order of things adjusted in the earth was unleashed by obedient actions and deeds.
As we love our brother through serving deeds, Father’s love is able to be revealed in astounding ways. It is truly life-changing. And, you may just find that the life being transformed the most…………..is your own!
Keep your peace!