"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
"Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
When I ponder all the work, all the tiring days and nights, the fusses, the times I just wanted to escape, I often think, "Should I really keep writing to encourage all of these wonderful women to hold fast to their ideals? I am asking them to do something that cost me more than I could ever have imagined and the road was so often hard."
But then, if I have one more quiet time, and have any time at all to ponder Christ and his love for children, I know it is a message He has asked me to keep speaking about. When I look at the secularism of Christianity and observe all of the terrible issues that confront our culture, I know that He is the truth and leads us in what is true.
Then, I keep thinking about these verses. We want so much to give our lives to the "bigger" cause. We want to invest our lives for what is important. And yet, is there anything more important than the building of a righteous soul?
The laying down of our lives is not just about moving to the most impoverished country or preaching to thousands, but loving the one right in front of us; the child who would long to have our comforting touch and gentle voice speaking life-giving words, that he may imagine the voice and touch of God when He ponders faith as a young adult and chooses to believe because the reality of God was tangible in his home.
The child who needs one more song to be comforted before sleeping, so that he might be able in adulthood to believe in a God who is patient and willing to answer prayer and hear our voice when we as his children cry out in faith.
The child who is lonely, confused, hormonal, who will feel the touch of God, the sacrifice of God as we give up the rights to our time and comfort to befriend and listen and show compassion and sympathy for what is on his heart.
Love is given through a candle lit and a special breakfast served one more time on Sunday before church as we open the gospel together, that the reality and beauty of God's creativity is validated in how we live. It is shown with the sacrificial life of giving up what we wanted to do, or the job we hoped to have, in order to build a soul through the attention of ourselves. A looking into the eyes with true interest and compassion instead of looking at a screen while half-heartedly listening. These are the sacrifices of our love, the moment by moment giving up of ourselves, the constant, year end year out practice of worship as we serve those in our home in order to please His heart.
It is for Him, for His kingdom that we serve with willing, generous, life-giving hearts, as the building of His kingdom is one heart at a time.
Jesus could have done the big thing, and reached leaders all over the world and brought kings to their knees. But He gave his life to the personal, the love, encouragement, instruction, service of his twelve, the common people, those entrusted into his hands, that they might know and feel the love of God, the touch of God, hear the words of God. He laid down His life in the daily that they might live a life of faith and invest in His kingdom for eternity.
And in the serving of our children, we give them a model and a reason to lay down their own lives for Him. It isn't just an over-spiritualization of life==it is life. Living to love, living to give light, living to tell a story of His love reaching out through us.
Your loving touch, patient service, and sacrifice of time today is not in vain. It is a sacrifice of worship to the One who laid down His own life in moments of time, that we could imagine what God was really like by viewing the incarnate, servant King--the Providing Father.