"During a time worthy of loving, to be able to meet someone worth loving is something extraordinary."
I’m thankful for my net - and even more thankful for a faithful God who’s grown this net from its 3 people (including me) meeting in week 1 to today’s 8 people (only counting the regular ones), and 13 people at outreach last Friday.
Thankful that in April we had 1 salvation, meeting the goal for that quarter. Thankful at GGB edge outreach we met our goal of having 1 invitee each member and had a total of 7 visitors and 1 salvation - meeting the goal of 1 salvation in the month of July. Thankful that at 180 edge outreach we had 13 invitees and 3 salvations! Out of these 5 salvations so far, 3 of them are now regular members at net. Sylvia is still consolidating with her 2 friends who responded at 180.
I have so much to be thankful for, and it may very well seem like I’m asking for a beating saying this, but I wanna be honest about the struggles too. It’s not always easy and it’s not always a bed of roses - I’ve found that what keeps a leader going really isn’t about the fruitfulness, but having good followers! Training up members to become leaders and being patient with different things that happen along the way is proving to be more demanding than expected. And as much as I could pray and ask God to help me persist on and pray that He does something in every member’s heart, I can’t blame every difficulty on my members. I acknowledge my many weaknesses too. While praying the night before I asked God what I should do and this was what I found - leaders can’t just lead with actions and words (basically working for them, setting an example, teaching them, mentoring them with street e/ prayer walks etc), but leaders must love. I always thought I loved my members! As I reflected and thought it through I found it was true - I need to LOVE them, and not just lead them because only love can reach into the deepest parts of a human heart and that’s where life springs forth, where words and actions come from, where change and growth will start from too. Towards my net, I am sorry for how I loved less than I should have, and I am still trying to be a better friend and leader!
Then I asked Him how I could love them and His answer was so simple. You can only give God’s kind of love when you have been filled with God’s love! Some times we get so busy doing and praying for other things we forget to stop and be refreshed and filled again. We can’t keep pouring and pouring without breaks. I needed to go back to being filled with love - not just asking for strength to hang on through the tests, grace to overcome, peace in times of confusion etc, but more than all that, for the love of God to fill me again because I’ve poured out and used up what was last put into my heart. What does the bible say about love?
Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
If I only have God’s perfect love filling every bit and corner of my imperfect heart, I can endure and overcome all things. Works without love just cannot lead to good things fulfilled in true completion. It’s like a tree that produces fruit but the fruits have no seeds in them - there are good things but they’re not complete, there is no true fulfillment of what God had planned! As a servant of God, I want to give my best for everything He’s put in my hands. There’s been so many times I felt like giving up, but I know I shouldn’t and I won’t… I believe that even as I continue to pursue and dwell in His love, He will make all things beautiful and complete in goodness and in fulfillment of His plans in His time.
"Lord, you are our father. We are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the product of your labor." Isaiah 64:8
"Enter His gates with joy and thanksgiving! Don’t let anything distract you from your greatest Love!"
The key to protecting your heart is not allowing it to be anywhere that Christ is not. What I mean is that sometimes we don’t allow Christ to have full access of our lives, we sing our songs and raise our hands, we read our Bibles and pray our prayers. Yet, we don’t long for God the same way we long for others. That is why we fall into bad situations, we end up repeating addictions or bad habits. We end up in the wrong relationships, and damage them in the process.
When we say to Jesus, “Lord, have Your way in me, make something new.” we are telling God to have it all, and with that submission we start to see a change in our lives, a change of obedience, of trust, and how we look at others.
Jesus is the most important thing in all of creation, it would be wise to build your life around what He wants, and what He would do. By surrendering your heart to Him, you end up guarding it so well that you will only desire those holy things that God desires. A good marriage, helping those who need help, loving the unlovable, seeking justice, bringing about Christ’s kingdom to fruition, honoring the meek in spirit, and so on.
It is not enough that we get comfortable in our routines with God, because God is not wanting a robot, He wants a child that He can show the world to. He wants to take you places that you will have to trust Him completely, and He wants to make you a pro in the field of loving others truly.
Don’t wait for that boy or girl, start participating in the grand adventure of life, because we have been called by Christ to do so; and a ship is steered by the direction of its captain."
finally some waves and rain :)
hyperbole is my favorite literary device i use it like 600 times a day