The church I attend here in San Marcos, Texas (Kyle) is only as open as long as I have lived in Central Texas. Our current series is titled “Eikonic” and it is explaining the name of the church, the core values of the church and what the church believes. Today (April 27th), our pastor began the series with one of the core values that is part of Eikon Church: “We Want To Be Known For What We Are For” and her first statement was, we are to represent Christ in our community. Community: (n) “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” That doesn’t just mean the city of San Marcos or Kyle; for me (Amanda Porter) right now that means my fellow graduate students. How am I showing them that I love christ? Surely not when I talk about them when they say something I don’t agree with, surely not when I laugh at a comment they make in class, surely when I have now formed a relationship with them and have yet to invite a single one of them to church with me? Why, because I don’t want to be rejected. Or so, that’s my excuse. Talk about a slap to the face.
Another quote from my pastor today was, “We often alienate the very people God intended for us to love” and that is SO TRUE in my life today. I am doing life with these people and I am at face value with most of them, and thinking about it all day today, it hurt my heart.
One of our roles as Christians is to meet people right where they’re at and to love them, because we have been loved, we are passionately and extravagantly loved by the Savior of the universe, and yet we get caught in the mundane of our lives and we don’t share that, which is our ultimate goal. I don’t find it any coincidence that my current quiet time is titled “The Risen Christ” (shereadstruth.com) and today we read about how we are called to go unto all the world, he has sent us, his children to share the gospel with all (John 20:21), whether that be in another country, a lady at the grocery store or the girl sitting across the room from me in class.
Luke 19:1-10 is the ever so common Bible story of Zacchaeus (I know, now you have the song in your head, lol). What does this story have to do with people? Well, it shows us HOW Jesus loved and it is an example of how we should love.
1) Jesus sough him out, while he was a stranger.
2) Jesus called him BY name (not by his sin).
3) Jesus accepts and loves him right where he is.
How awful would it be if instead of calling people by name, we called them by their struggle or their sin. You may no realize it, but we do it all too often and without even knowing we are doing it. We don’t look at people for who they are (God’s creation), we see them for what they are or what they have done. Why? We don’t want people to do that to us, so why do we do it to them?
It is the Holy Spirit’s Job to Convict and it is our job to LOVE! That is what we are called to do, LOVE. It sounds so easy, and I’ll be the first to admit it isn’t, but by seeking Christ and his word, having a bold prayer life and honestly seeking to love people like Jesus does, it won’t be hard anymore, we will honestly love them like he does and he has called us to.
All of that to say that my verse for the month of May is a verse we hear so often, but one I know I pass off and put a check mark by because I have heard it before and I already have it memorized. Through this month as I pray over my verse, my goal is to live it out and not just for the month of May, but in my life on a daily basis and through the help of Jesus.
Amanda Porter. San Marcos, Texas. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” -John 13:3-35 (Msg)
Ladies, my prayer for you as you pick your verses, is that they wouldn’t just be verses to memorize or write down everyday or read everyday, but they would be verses you are seeking to live out in your daily life as you seek Jesus and to serve and love his people.