I’m thankful that many of you were blessed by my post yesterday. I hope that my thoughts today will also be an encouragement.
In the last week while my dad’s been hospitalized, I’ve rubbed lotion on his hands, sat silently next to him just holding his hand, and helped him walk to the bathroom or find the right word to say when he’s struggling. We’ve played tic-tac-toe together and done simple physical therapy tasks like reaching up high and flexing his wrists. I’ve encouraged my dad to count to ten, and sign his name, and sing the ABC’s. I’ve helped him decide what to order for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then arranged his plate with just half of a sandwich and a few strawberries and a handful of chips so he’s not overwhelmed by too much food.
And I wonder, do I think that he’ll love me more if I do them … or that he’ll love me less if I don’t? No. No. Of course I don’t.
Rather, my deep love for my earthly father *compels* me to serve him. I have a profound sense of gratitude toward my parents. My parents cared for me when I had nothing to give them. And now I’m honored to be able to serve them, in just a small measure of the way they served me. I *want* to take care of them.
Serving my dad is not a burden. It is a joy.
And this relationship makes me think of my relationship with my Heavenly Father. My Heavenly Father loved me while I was still a sinner. He came after me while I was running away from Him. Like the hymn says, He loved me e’re I knew Him.
The gratitude and love that I have for God is immeasurable. It’s like Paul wrote, the love of Christ compels me. (2 Corinthians 5:14) I *want* to serve God because I love Him so much.
If you do not feel that compelling love to serve God, let me encourage you to search your own heart. Those who have been forgiven much, love much. Take a minute and think about the depth of your own sin and how much you need a Savior. Then, consider the great price that Jesus paid to rescue you, shedding his own blood on the cross in your place – so you could have eternal life through Him.
If none of this makes sense to you, I’d love to chat. I’d love to serve Jesus side-by-side with an army of brothers and sisters. Let’s love God and love others because He loved us first.
“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”(Ephesians 2:4-9)