Love Like Jesus – Where’s Norm?

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During the weekend message, Chris Baney, pastor of the Findlay campus, asked us, “What do you do when everything is changing and uncertain around you?” His answer: “You love others like Jesus, even if they don’t love you.”

That was exactly what I decided to do when my job was shut down, and I was stuck at home. I used my gifts of sewing and cooking to serve others, and I started driving a friend to the store and to do some errands. It started off really well, and I felt good about being able to help. However, over time, it became a bit inconvenient, and I forgot the bottom line: If you want to love like Jesus, you have to serve like Jesus.

Serving is not always easy, or convenient, or even pleasant! I have found myself being impatient and unpleasant when my already full schedule is disrupted by the phone ringing with yet another request! Shawn Bellner shared that “loving like Jesus gives us the CAPACITY to serve even when it’s inconvenient.”

Luke 10:30-31
30 … “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. 31 By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.”

Why did the priest move on without helping? Maybe it was inconvenient, or he just couldn’t be bothered. Perhaps, he had a schedule to keep. Jesus, on the other hand,  was a master at eliminating hurry, and he can teach us to do the same.

Hand yourself over to Jesus, and he will teach you to enjoy being used as God’s hands and feet in every situation. Your “to-do” list will always be there, but the chance to make a difference in the life of another is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. When you serve others for the right reason and with a pure heart, it is truly a blessing to both the giver and the receiver.

If you feel hurried, impatient, or annoyed when you’re serving, check your heart. Serving with the wrong motives usually leads to you needing to apologize.  Apologies are rarely fun!  (This is the voice of experience sharing.)

Questions:
Question for Reflection: Am I too busy to see serving opportunities around me? Is it time to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from my life?

Next Steps:
Ask God to show you service opportunities in your home, workplace, and community. Check out opportunities to serve at cedarcreek.tv/outreach or cedarcreek.tv/serve.

Prayer:
Father, thank you for all that you have done, are doing, and will do for me in my life. Open the eyes of my heart to see where you are at work around me and nudge me to join you there. We were created to be helpful to each other and to give you all the glory. Place in my mind and heart a desire to serve you by serving those around me, and move my hands and feet for your glory.  In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Julie Estep. Julie loves her husband John and their combined five adult children and four grandchildren. Her favorite activities are walking their two dogs and golfing. She loves sharing her faith and is grateful for the chance to be a LIO contributor.


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2 replies
  1. Karen P
    Karen P says:

    Julie, thank you for the powerful reminders. For me, another “trap” is if I fail to be thankful for having the ability to perform a specific task. When I embrace an attitude of “ I get to” rather than “I have to” things ALWAYS go more smoothly. Having the ability to even perform certain tasks gives reason to rejoice – yes, even scrubbing toilets or floors – mine or someone else’s. Also, embracing the attitude spoken of in Colossians 3:23 is a win-win. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (NIV)

  2. Luke Shortridge
    Luke Shortridge says:

    Serving those around us is such an attractive concept… but so hard to actually do in practice! It takes time… it means sidetracking our own schedule. It means putting others wants and desires above my own! God, why am I so darn selfish! Thanks for the great reminder of what’s really important, Julie!

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