In John 15, Jesus told us “apart from Me you can do nothing.”
I have no problem believing this as I think about the big things God calls people to and how incapable I would be of handling that type of calling on my own. Or, when I think about really stressful and painful times in life, I will frequently find myself remembering how much I need His help, because I cannot do it without him.
But, specifically, I’m seeing now how I need him in the day-to-day as well.
There are particular areas of life, activities, and opportunities that I now see I’m unqualified to – and incapable of -handling on my own. The biggest one that comes to mind is love because I’m finding that to love as much as God does and as consistently as God does is beyond my ability.
God’s love stands when mine would fail, reaches when I would withdraw, remains committed when I would give up, and forgives when mine would forsake.
This is foundational in the Good News; that Jesus loves us relentlessly, to the point of laying down His life to save us. If I am going to love like He does, I need to be ready/able to love even to the extent of my own ruin. But I can’t do that.
I prove my inability to love/sacrifice like He does by daily refusing the opportunities He gives me to help others, regardless of the personal cost (or lack thereof). I’ll leave dishes for someone else to take care of, feel abused if asked to pick up more milk or toilet paper, I’ll try to avoid difficult customers, and so on. On a moment by moment pace I’ll choose myself over others, only noticing the unique times I choose to treat others as He would.
Loving daily is hard and it’ll take something from me, maybe even everything. But we know this already, that’s why people always say things like, “serve/help but make sure you take care of yourself too, you don’t want to burn out.” And they’re right! Sort of. If I try to love and live like Jesus, I will burn out or cop out in no time. My well runs dry inevitably and quickly. His, however, does not; there’s no reaching the bottom of His well of love and grace. So for me to love like He does, I have to rely on Him, I have to abide in Him, I have to love with His love instead of my own.
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