go//serve//love

I am physically here in Vermont and my heart is somewhere in the south, probably in the Carolinas. I watch the snow fall outside, knowing I won’t be going anywhere today and I am bit thankful for that.

Next week, I begin my first ever blog series, Life Verse, in which I will be sharing some favorite Bible verses and giving commentary and insight on. I’ve reached out to my readers and followers to get their favorite Bible verses so it’s not just a blog all about me. That being said, if you want to share your favorite verse, please feel free and check back often.

Today, though, I want to share on the topic of honor because it’s kind of a big deal.

1 Peter 2:17 says, “Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.”

Romans 12:10 says, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”

When we give honor, we are giving weight to someone or something and placing value on it. Honor may come across as a foreign concept to some, but believe me, it’s a huge subject matter to God! I think we’ve lost a bit of honor in our world today and one thing I hope and pray for is that honor is restored.

Honor flows in every direction, according to 1 Peter 2:17. Honor is about speaking into someone’s life and placing the value in them, even if they don’t see it. Regardless of how selfish we act sometimes, we remain image bearers of God (Gen. 1:26).

I. I am honored to go.

Okay, so I admitted in the past that I am not crazy about Springfield, VT. I don’t like winter; I don’t like driving up snow covered hills. It would be totally different if I could drive a snow mobile to work every day but I just don’t think that will work.

Prior to the ascension of Christ Jesus, he gave his followers the command to “Go and make disciples.” (Matt. 28:20). I want to honor God in this area of my life as well. I don’t want to simply go out and tell others about Jesus because that’s not what Jesus said in Matthew. He said to “make disciples.” On my own, that’s impossible. My flesh tears at my pursuit of Christ but the grace of God empowers me to respond to his call.

I want to honor the one who gave his life for me in my own obedience by going out and making disciples. I want to be intentional about this approach as well. I want to take the time that is necessary to develop the relationships needed. I want to be someone who cares and who listens to others. Not simply someone who tries to reach out to others in the community through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Discipleship isn’t a program; it’s a lifestyle that is built upon the work of Jesus.

I want to honor God by going out into the community and sharing my life with others for the sake of the gospel.

II. I am honored to love.

Relationships require work, sacrifice, patience and understanding. I’ve never really known the depth of relationships and the dependence that sometimes comes with them until I started my new job. While I’ve been there for about six months, my mind is blown away about how we can and often depend on others. In all honesty, it drives me crazy to think that sometimes but I am starting to see that’s exactly how believers should live in response to God.

Jesus said that we cannot do anything without him (John 15:5). As much as I want to be in control of everything, I am in control of nothing. Thank God for that because I really shouldn’t be. I lose my patience way too easily and I have little understanding of the trials and challenges other people face. I understand my own and I can relate to those who struggle with things I have struggled with. Yet, there are so many who need just that-patience, sacrifice, and understanding.

“This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:10) Responding to others in love begins with understanding that God loved us first. In him, we find love and through that love, we can love others. When Christ asked Peter if he loved him, Peter was quick to say “Yes, you know I love you.” With each response, Jesus replied “Feed my sheep.” In essence, Jesus was saying this, “Your love for me is reveled when you love others.”

I want to honor God by loving those who come into my life; by giving myself, my time, my talents and holding nothing back.

III. I am honored to serve.

We are never more like Jesus than when we are serving. Jesus said of himself that he came, not to be served but to serve and to give his life away as a ransom. (Matt. 20:28) Allow me to get a bit personal with you and if this offends any of you, it’s only because it is truth! People can be the worst! We can gossip, blackmail, back-stab, lie and hurt each other without a thought in the world. As a follower of Jesus, I need to be willing to serve the “least of these.” I am called to love my enemies and to honor everyone.

If I am being completely honest with myself, I have to say that serving is difficult because of who I have to serve. People, who might ignore and betray you, who hurt and slander your name all over the place are the very ones we are called to serve. Yet, God in Christ was willing to humble himself and serve us. He was willing to serve me, even though I’ve messed up more times than I care to count.

When God says “Go.” It requires obedience to his voice. When God says “Love” it requires a change of heart towards others. When God says “Serve” that requires action. It means rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty for the sake of others. Serving is living your faith in Christ out loud, so the world might see the Son lifted high.

I want to honor God by serving those around me, no matter what the cost involved might be.

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