Serving those who are responding to God’s call to love.

They Will Know We are Christians by our Love

They will know we are Christians by our love.

What sets you apart from others? Is it your style, your haircut, your house, your stellar personality, your abilities or talents, your wealth, your poverty, your amazing/beautiful children, your job, your position in the community, your world travels, your devotion to service? What is it? These are all great things! God made us all different, giving us individuality and distinct beauty. There is not one thing that triumphs over another, as all gifts are unique and necessary.  
We had a young man work with us this past spring and when we discussed what he wanted on his t-shirt, the one thing he knew for sure was the word, surrender. At the time, I didn’t think too deeply on it…I thought it surely indicated he was in a good place and had come to realize a thing or two about what God wants from us. But that word has been coming back up a lot. I see it played out well and I see it lacking. Surrender. What does this word mean to you? White flag? Giving up?
In good ole’ Merriam Webster, the definition of surrender looks like this:

  • to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed.
  • to give the control or use of (something) to someone else.
  • to allow something (such as a habit or desire) to influence or control you.

Oswald Chambers gives us this about surrender. “Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. We have become so self-centered that we go to God Himself. It is like saying, ‘No, Lord, I don’t want you; I want myself. But I do want You to clean me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want to be on display in Your showcase so I can say, ‘This is what God has done for me.’ Gaining heaven, being delivered from sin, and being made useful to God are things that should never even be a consideration in real surrender. Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself. “
This young man knew that he had allowed so many things keep him from fully giving himself to Jesus that he kept that word in front of him as a reminder. Surrender.
What does this look like then, in our lives when we surrender to Christ? Do we love better? When we remove ourselves (often the biggest obstacle), can we then allow ourselves to be used as vessels for His love? I know for me, when I am ineffective, it’s because I have turned my focus inward and am focusing back on myself. And when I do that, my thirst for self-gratification, self-indulgence, self-esteem, self-fulfillment never gets quenched. It’s an endless pit of need. I can’t have a cute enough style, good enough haircut, big or (tiny as it were) enough house. My personality can’t be cool enough, my abilities can’t be good enough, I can’t be rich enough or poor enough, my kids can’t get any more perfect. My job can’t be more awesome, my position in the community can’t be held in high enough esteem, my world travels can’t go far enough and my service to the world can’t amount to enough. There’s never enough to fill that hole until we surrender. Then…He is enough and everything else is enough and we have more than we ever knew we could have. And the best part is that we love better.
My challenge to you today is to remove your needs from the day. Stop and think. Are my thoughts “me focused” or are they “outward in love focused”? If you really listen to your heart, you will feel the difference.
There was this old song that came to mind today as I was getting ready. And when I mean old…it was like from the 70’s which feels old to me. You probably all remember it, “They will know we are Christians by our love”. The lyrics were simple and fit really well with today’s thought so I am including them below. Blessings my friends…go into your little corner of the world today and love. It’s not so hard.
 
First verse:
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord 
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord 
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored 
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love 
They will know we are Christians by our love

To read more on surrender, click the link below…
http://utmost.org/total-surrender/

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ORGANIZATION

Loves Calling International, Inc.
11953 Ellison Wilson Road
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Phone: (970) 270-0314
EIN: 47-4298542