Deciding Out of Love

When thinking about going on a OYC, we often talk about how the decision to go on a OYC requires faith. It requires not faith in a calling or in a sign, but faith in God and His Word.

Yet we must be careful not to neglect another vital factor in our decision: love.

The Bible shows that Jesus’ went on His “missionary journey” because God loves us.

In John 3:16 it says:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The “so” helps us to see that because God loved the world, He acted out His love in a specific way: He gave His Son. In other words, the way Jesus shows His love for us was by giving His own life to us. He went because He loved us.

Most Christians are aware that Biblical love is active, yet it is difficult to direct our love at something or someone that we aren’t familiar with. If you are considering going on a OYC, this might be a difficulty that you are currently facing. It’s hard for you to love a new country or a new place that you may have never been to before.

Fortunately, in many places the Bible teaches us how to grow in our love. Here are just two:

  1. Pray what Paul Prayed.

In Ephesians 3:17-19 it says:

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the LORD’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 Paul prays this for us because we need to grasp God’s love. We need to grasp God’s love to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” God’s love is so big and sometimes so incomprehensible. If you are considering going on a OYC, pray that God will help you feel His incomprehensible love not just for you, but for the different sites you are thinking about. Pray to know the incomprehensible by God’s power. Know that God loves the different OYC sites and He wants all men to be saved.

  1. Love because God Loved.

We love because he first loved us.

We love the verse “we love, because he first loved us”. When we find it difficult to love, it encourages us to look back on how God loved us. Once we realize how He loved us, any obstacle to our own love goes away. If you are considering going on a OYC, know that God went ahead of you and loved the different sites first. He has offered His forgiveness to all nations. Know that God went first, because God loved first.

To start your journey, go to oneyearchallenge.org and register.

 

The Visionary Leader

Are you a visionary spiritual leader? They are: authentic, accountable, anointed, affirming and accredited.

…visionary leaders are both horizontal and vertical. They are able to build up the people and platforms around them (horizontal)—often making them even better than themselves—while demonstrating the attributes of Christ and building the Kingdom of God (vertical) at the same time.

Read the whole thing.

Thinking Faithfully About Competence

The Bible admonishes us to think faithfully about our giftedness and competence in ministry.

When thinking of going on a One Year Challenge or doing anything that will take a big step of faith it is tempting to either simply think in terms of our competence or in terms of faithfulness. Someone who is thinking in terms of his competence will ask questions like: am I good enough? or do I possess the qualifications to complete this? 

Someone who is only thinking in terms of faithfulness will ask questions like: do I believe God will teach me something through this decision? or Am I willing to serve God through this decision? or What new part of God will I experience through this decision?

While there are many places in the Bible where the scriptures encourage us to be faithful, period, there are also many places where the Bible encourages us to think faithfully about our competence.

The Bible encourages us to remember that ultimately our strength and our abilities come from God himself. Instead of thinking in one mindset or the other, we can think in a whole other mindset. This mindset focuses on our abilities and talents as gifts from God. This thinking helps us to remember that God has already provided the means to make a faithful decision. It also knows that not only has God provided for us through our talents and skills, but where we are still lacking He will help us.

Here are just a few examples in the scriptures.

In 2 Corinthians 3:5 it says:

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 it says:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Finally, in 1 Peter 4:11 it says:

If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us be encouraged by these scriptures and remember that our competence ultimately comes from God. God has given us strength, let’s serve in that strength. And where we are lacking, let’s remember that He will provide.