Love is patient. Love is kind... We've all heard that before, right?
Love has been on my mind a lot lately. The way we give it. The way we show it. The way we receive it. The way it brightens our days and breathes meaning into the darker spaces. In a world that can be so hateful, it is easier to live out of a place of condemnation than it is to live into, and live out of love.
The Bible, in my mind, is God's love letter to us. He loves us--present tense--in the here and now. His love is not a fairy-tale story meant for better days. His love is raw and deep and isn't afriad to journey into the muck to reach us.
I've been listening to a guy named Shawn Bolz speak from a talk he's done called "Translating God", and it's completely blowing my understanding of who God is and what He is in me. What He can do through me. As I was listening to more of this talk today, he said something that made me stop and think.
Relationship is the currency of Heaven.
Relationship is the currency of Heaven. Humans are relationally-driven creatures. We do better when we have friends or family to lean on, and to walk through life with.
Speaking from my own life, I love people. I like being in relationship with others. I love learning from others and caring for others and hearing the hearts of others. After I have a bad day, the first thing I do is reach out to someone, whether that be a family member or a friend. I like knowing that someone is listening to me, and someone values me.
If relationship is the currency of Heaven, love is our foundation.
And I've never met anyone who doesn't want to be loved. Even the people I've met that I didn't get along with have this deep, deep desire to love and be loved. Relationship is the currency of Heaven.
But if relationship is the currency of Heaven, that means that I should be moving in love. Since I have the Holy Spirit, every single one of my footsteps should echo the footsteps of my Father.
I love the Message version of part of 1 Corinthians 13: "Love cares more for others than self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, it's always 'me first', doesn't fly off the handle..."
When we position ourselves under the love of the Father, we allow ourselves to be a gateway: we are continually being poured into as we pour out onto others. As gateways of love, we allow people to get face to face with the heart of Jesus just because we look like Him.
My favorite thing about the Father is that He doesn't play games with us. He isn't trying to trick us. He is with us and around us all the time.
Ministry, whatever that looks like for you, isn't complicated. You don't have to have a job title. You don't have to be on salary at a church. You don't have to be a missionary living abroad.
Relationship being the currency of Heaven with love as our foundation means that we are called to do just that--to love. To love when it hurts. To love when it's messy. To love when it's uncomfortable. To love when it doesn't give you that "warm fuzzy feeling" we all enjoy.
The Kingdom of Heaven starts with us. It starts with moving in love and refusing to settle for less. Relationship is the currency of Heaven.