"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, it does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
-1 Corinthians 13: 1-7
As time has passed by and now leaves me with only 5 days left until I embark upon this new adventure with God - this mission trip to Africa - I've been thinking about love. Not what the world defines as love, but what God defines as love. It's a lot to live up to... and I'll admit that my first instinct is to despair, because I know there is no way that I can ever fulfill this call to love on my own. But thankfully, I don't have to do it alone...because God is right here with me. He's called me for this: to love. Will I be perfect at it? Probably not. Will I always feel like loving? Definitely not. But what's important is that I give my all to Him, and trust in His power to do a good work in me. I love this song by Johnny Diaz called "Love Like You Loved." It really is my prayer as I get ready to head across the world to share what God has done for me with the people of Africa...hoping to somehow help them find the gift of life that I have been so blessed to find in Christ. The main lyrics to the song are:
"Help me to love like You loved,
To serve like you served,
To speak only words of truth.
Help me to care like you cared,
For a world in despair,
Help me to love like You."
The theme for this summer's Global Expeditions mission trips is One Million Acts of Love. In John 13:35, Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." My prayer is that, preceding, during, and after this trip, God will teach me (and the people going with me) what it truly means to love...and that through this experience millions of acts of love will be poured out to touch millions of lives. It's not enough to just say we love others because Christ loved us. We need to find ways to show that love, even if it involves sacrifice. Especially if it involves sacrifice. Christ gave all of Himself for us...shouldn't it be reasonable, then, that we be willing to give all of ourselves for Him?
In a nutshell: I am totally stoked and feeling very challenged right now. Africa will be a huge mountain to climb, but I'm ready to be pushed...I'm putting my trust in God and I know He is going to provide the strength I will need to come through this...even if he has to carry me up the steep parts. God bless South Africa and Zambia!
Countdown to Africa: 5 days
Verse of the Day: