The box has been sitting near our desk at home since May 31st.
Each time I saw it, I thought of the lives it represented.
Lives I was praying for…each time I saw the box. Wondering what God was doing in each person’s life…praying that they were being refined by the Holy Spirit.
Now it’s empty…
You see, last Spring I taught through Francis Chan’s book – Crazy Love – during Sunday School. At the end of class on the final Sunday, I passed out note cards and a sheet that listed the “Profiles of the Lukewarm” and the “Profiles of the Obsessed” we had read about in chapters four and eight. I asked each person to write a note reminding themselves of one lukewarm and one obsessed area that they felt they needed to work on – areas in which they (by faith) wanted the Holy Spirit to refine them over the next three months.
We prayed, people wrote, the envelopes were collected, we prayed again, and I said that I would mail the envelope back to each person in September. I went home and set the box near our desk.
The notes are in the mail.
I hope – I pray – that they serve as a reminder and encouragement to each recipient. A reminder of the amazing, crazy, and undeserved (but graciously given) love that God has for us. A reminder of our call, as Christ Followers, to reflect that insane love to the world, for the praise and glory of God.
So why write this post? You may be reading this and say, “So what, I wasn’t there.” Two reasons:
- To encourage YOU, the reader. The Apostle Paul (and others) did this. Paul often wrote to one group of people and reported about other people’s faith in order to encourage people (Romans 1:8 & 12). He challenged Christ Followers to think of ways to encourage each other (Hebrews 10:24). So: If you haven’t read Crazy Love, I highly encourage it. It (and the biblical truth on which it is based) will refine you and make you a better worshiper of Jesus. If you have read it, are you living in light of it?
- To challenge myself and those who lead and teach. We must always remember to encourage people to take the next step – to live the “topic” out…tangibly. Simply teaching and not encouraging “practice” is, quite frankly, a waste of time and really doesn’t foster growth or further the Kingdom of God (Hebrews 10:24-25). Recently, I heard Rick Warren say, “Jesus turned up the heat little by little to mature his disciples.” Shouldn’t we, as teachers and with the love and care of Christ, do the same? Have I mastered this? No – thus the challenge to me as well.
Blessings & Maranatha!