This morning I woke up with a heavy heart.
Not the kind of heavy heart that comes from sadness or despair, but the kind that invokes change.
The heavy heart that God lays on you and you can't not make a change.
I find that my life works in themes. I'll explain.
I'll have weeks or months (it's even come in years, if you check out the tab 'heavy on my heart', that has been a recurring theme of my life for years now) where every book I pick up, commercial I hear on the radio, new song I hear, and sermon I listen to deals with the same issue and speaks directly to my soul. Usually Brad has the same thing happen, and we won't even know that we're on the same page, until one day it is so heavy upon one of us that we share, and so often, the other one of us says "ME TOO!!!"
God seems to work in us together, which strengthens our marriage and helps us to set common goals and encourage each other as we walk out our faith on a daily basis.
Anyway...there is a common theme going on in my life, and as I shared it with Brad last night, he said the Lord had been speaking to him in the same area recently.
It's an uncomfortable topic, something that makes me excited one second and nervous the next.
It makes me squirm a bit, thinking about what the implications of living it out might look like for me and for us as a family.
But regardless of all this, I can't ignore when God moves.
I promise, I'm getting to the point! I know that was a long intro and I haven't got to the point yet.
Here it is.
We are called to be radically different from the world.
To be in the world but not of it...our citizenship is not here...this is a temporary home for us but something so much greater awaits us for eternity.
We are called to live radically.
Really, that just means to LOVE radically, with the same love that Christ has shown to us.
We live in a hurting, broken, fallen world, but all to often, I know I find myself seeking out the next pleasure rather than thinking of how I could be a hand in stopping someone else's pain.
I know it's not a bad thing to have fun and enjoy life, but the weights on the balance are way off.
Too much of my time is spent on thinking about me and my blessed little life;
Not enough time is spent serving those in need.
I do some, but some is not enough. I want to serve and love in a way that stretches me and makes me sacrifice and makes me uncomfortable. Not just do enough to feel less guilty and call it a day.
I know to some this seems extreme.
That's the point! I don't want to be lukewarm. Jesus says in Revelation that he will 'spit out' those Christians who are lukewarm. It disgusts him. That's just honest Bible.
Ok, here it is broken down so simply.
We are told in the Bible to do the following:
Value others above ourselves and look to their interests first (Philippians 2)
Look after orphans and widows (James 1)
Feed the hungry and thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned (Matt 25)
Set the oppressed free; provide shelter to the poor; clothe and feed those in need (Isaiah 58)
There are treasures stored up in heaven for those who actually do these things,
plus, Jesus tells us to do them. Why is it we skip over it?
Busyness, selfishness, unawareness...these are all reasons (I'm preaching to myself) we don't actively do what the Bible says to do.
I want to find more ways to live out these things;
to love radically and be Christ to the world until he returns.
I want it to be ingrained in our family. I want our kids to grow up wanting to do for others before doing for themselves, even though this goes against human nature. I pray God instills in them a real love for the least of these.
I truly truly believe that God has a plan, a will for every person's life...I want to surrender all to that plan and die someday with no regrets.
I know I posted something similar months ago, but this is so much on my heart.
If it's at all on your heart too,
I highly recommend the books Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and my other favorite, Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. These are two of the most life changing, inspiring books I've ever read! Read with expectation; let God light a fire in you; and then act before other things snuff out the fire!