One of the things I look forward to most about outreach every Monday night is the car conversations we have in between talking with girls, giving lunches and praying with each one that comes to the window.
Don’t get me wrong, the heartbeat of what we do is FOR those we are giving to every week. Our heart is to let them know that they are loved beyond reason by the God who created them and that we care about them too!
However, if those of us who call ourselves part of the AWOL team had no love for one another and there was an unauthentic camaraderie that lingered during our two hour outreaches every week, we’d be a hot hot mess! We’d have nothing to offer these girls and guys we meet. Jesus would not be present, I’m sure. His presence would be far from us. And that’s scary.
The good news is this: where two or more gather in his name (Jesus’ name), he promised to be with us, for his presence to be permeating our togetherness.
It’s an immense privilege to gather with men and women who all adore Jesus AND honor one another. We’re all learning to love as Jesus did – laying our lives down for our friends. Putting their requests above our own, doing what’s best for the team and not just ourselves, listening and responding when they feel God’s spirit tugging at their heart to say or do something… we’re all learning to love.
All. Worthy. Of. Love.
That’s what this whole thing is about, right? Jesus said that the world would know we belong to and are inseparably joined to him when we love each other as he loves us. He loves us as the Father loves him. We love as we have been loved too.
Those we meet on the streets have more often than not never known what it is to be loved as Christ loves, as our heavenly Father loves. They know what heartache is. They know what it is to lose a friend to death. They know that life is hard. They’ve had some form of love, but mostly a twisted, distorted form that really doesn’t resemble love at all.
And honestly, before any of us encountered the love of our heavenly Father we had the same story as those on the streets. This is the story of humanity.
Again, there’s good news! There’s always good news if we’re looking for it 😉 The good news is this: Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. All of us are born into a lost world, fallen and sin-filled. It is when we meet Jesus that we have the hope of knowing True Love, real love. Love is a person – God. He IS love in all of it’s glory and goodness. When we know him and continue to get to know him more intimately, that’s when we are filled to overflowing with love. That’s when we are able to love one another and love exuberantly the hurting world all around us.
The good news of the gospel is forever true: All are worthy of God’s love. THIS is the best good news ever!
Staci has been captivated by the Father’s love. She has experienced deep healing, deliverance and joy in God’s presence and passionately desires everyone on earth experience this same freedom. She is currently a worship leader with the Shoreline Church family in Austin, TX.