It’s the end of February. The Valentine’s candy has long ago been eaten up, and the roses have wilted and been thrown in the trash. And if you are anything like me, you are so ready to say goodbye to “Love Month” and say “Hellllooo Spring!!!” I know, I know, we are still technically in winter, but the warm weather we recently had set my heart on spring, and my Easter decorations may or may not already be up…
Even though I am fine with forgetting February and moving on to spring, I don’t want to forget all that God has taught me this month through our “Loving Others Scripture Series.”
I don’t know about you, but this month of intentionally looking to Scripture to see what loving, caring for, and serving others is supposed to look like was so good for my soul. It breathed new life into my heart that is prone to wander away from how God has called me to love those in my life, community, and the world. I hope it did the same for you.
But before we close it out, I want to remind you (and let’s be real, myself) of some things. First of all, you need to know that you are gifted. I don’t know how that hits you. Maybe you feel real confident in yourself and in the Lord, and you’re like, “heck yea, I’m gifted!” Or maybe you struggle hearing that. Maybe you hear me say “spiritual gifts” and you think that doesn’t apply to you. But friend, I’m here to tell you (in a pretty stern, but kind voice), you don’t get to decide if it applies to you or not. You don’t get to decide on how God created you. And guess what, He created you with spiritual gifts! Scripture doesn’t say, “and to some super holy Christians, God gave spiritual gifts.” No. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Did you catch that? It says, “As each has received a gift…” Meaning each believer. Meaning you (if you have faith in Jesus).
So now that we have established that you are, indeed, gifted by God, let’s look at the rest of that 1 Peter verse. It says you are to use your gifts “to serve one another.” That means our gifts are not given to us for ourselves. They are given to be used. They are to be received by God, and then poured out for the sake of others. And when we do that – when we walk in the giftings God has given us, and use them to serve and love others – God is glorified. There honestly is nothing more beautiful.
But as I’m sure you know, beautiful does not always mean easy. And that is why in Galatians Paul writes, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people” (Galatians 6:9-10). He knew loving others would be hard. He knew that serving others before ourselves would be hard. He knew that doing good to ALL people would be hard. He knew that spreading the gospel would be hard. He knew that using our spiritual gifts would be hard. And he knew that it would be so easy to grow weary and want to just throw our hands in the air and say, “I quit. I’m done. I can’t do it anymore.” But Paul also knew that if we stick with this hard calling, if we don’t lose heart, we will reap a beautiful, glorious harvest. We will see God’s kingdom touch down on earth and we will be rewarded in Heaven.
So my fellow Bigger-Picture-living friends, don’t just let this past month of learning/remembering how God wants you to love, care for, and serve others be forgotten. Don’t let the verses just be words on a page. Make them the basis for how you live your every day life, even when it is hard, inconvenient, and uncomfortable. We can do this. Not because we are so great, but because He who is in us is.
Praying for you,