Jesus Didn’t Do Ministry. HE LOVED.

If you asked me what I wanted to do for a living, I would most likely tell you a canned response that I want to work with a non-profit organization or international ministry. While this is canned, it’s also the truth, as I have a strong longing to work in ministry. But something is lacking in this response.
Jesus.
Anyone can work in a non-profit, anyone can work do ministry. There are millions of people who believe nothing about God and the power of the gospel who sacrifice their lives every day to bring food and shelter to the homeless and comfort and love to the orphaned. So what separates me as a believer? What distinguishes my good works from the world’s?
Love.
Because, as much as I love helping people in their physical needs, what gives my heart even more joy is showing the incredible love of Christ Jesus, who heals the broken-hearted and gives the orphan a home, and the hopeless divine hope. I don’t want to just do ministry. I can easily do ministry without Jesus, I can do good works for selfish reasons. It feels good to help people. It makes me feel loved, important. Christ must be at the center, he must be the foundation for the house of good works that I try to build. If he is not, the house will collapse on itself and fall to ruin because I built it on the sand of the shore of me, and like sand I change form, I get swept by the wind, I am always changing, shifting, never steadfast. Christ must be the foundation.
If I feed all the hungry in the world and find every orphan a home, but have not love, I am nothing. If I comfort every broken heart, and dry every tear in the universe but have not love, I am nothing. I don’t just want to do ministry. I want to show people the immeasurable love of their Creator, who is so radical addicted to relationship and love that he came down to earth in the humble form of a man, was tortured and nailed to a cross, bearing our sin and our shame, and defeated death and the grave all so that he might be able to be closer to us and spend all of eternity as our perfect Father. What other religion sounds like that? What other belief system sounds like that? None. God could have come down, judged the earth, and sat upon his mountain, bestowing doom upon the earth, making all fall to their knees and give him glory. But he didn’t. Because he is most glorified in love, and we experience his love most when we glorify him, he chose the route of humble sacrifice, of glorious redemption.
I don’t just want to do ministry. I want to tell people that they’re not worthless, disgusting wretches destined to eternal fire and flame. I want to tell them the truth: that they’re lost children, created in the image of the Uncreated One, who loves them with a jealous love, values them so much, cherishes them, and is eagerly pursuing them with the hope they might turn around and look upon the beautiful face of mercy and come to him. He doesn’t see them as filthy, he sees them as lost. He doesn’t see them as worthless, he sees them as valued. He sees past the filth and sees a person he created in his own image, a potential son or daughter. I want to expose the lies of the enemy that say God is a mean, uncaring being who takes pleasure in throwing everyone in hell. I want them to see his hatred for the things that hurt his children, and his joy when just one sinner repents and runs into his arms.
I don’t just want to do ministry. I want to bring light into the darkest places of the world, I want to bring truth into the deception of the enemy, that it might pierce the night and show people a glimpse of the morning. I want to heal the sick, break the chains of the enslaved, comfort the broken-hearted, and bring sight to the blind. I want to bring heaven down to earth. But I can’t do any of these things with Jesus. I can’t do any of these things without love.
I don’t want to just do ministry.
I want to love.
And love walks hand in hand with its Author.
Either I’m loving like Jesus, or I’m not loving at all.
I don’t want to just do ministry.
I want to love.

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