I never considered myself to be great with kids. I doubted that I could become a leader through the ministry Young Life, because I worried too much about not being able to love those high schoolers the right way. But God has changed my heart during the past two months tremendously. “What a joy it is!” He says to my heart, “to love those younger than you and share with them what I’ve taught you.”
It overwhelms me with happiness now to think that I have been given such a privilege to love another group of God’s children on such an Christ-like mission. Kids at that age need to be shown through loving actions the way their Lord cares about them, and this can only be experienced through people in their lives who recognize their significance and potential as much as their Lord. These real encounters of love in their lives make known His presence. Young people were such a blessing to Jesus. Therefore, we must look at each of them as the gifts they truly are in the eyes of their father.
I am not much older than these high schoolers I will be pouring my heart into and at times I wonder, “Have I experienced enough for this? Gosh, I’m just a freshman in college!” But the Lord reminds me that the things He is teaching me are meant to be shared.
“The very ability to give away our life in Christ is proof of its possession. Nor can we withhold that which we possess in the Spirit of Christ, and still keep it,” says Dr. Robert Coleman in his book, The Master Plan of Evangelism. I was just reading a post from She Reads Truth the other day, and I don’t think they could have summarized our mission as Christians any better. It was simply this, “Love, Serve, Invite, Forgive.” When we practice these things, our eyes are opened to the opportunities God lays in front of us. We can give freely without feeling like we are owed for our time, money, or need reciprocation for the love we give out. We do so humbly, meeting the physical needs of our friends and praying that God would heal their spiritual needs. See, this was the way Jesus was with us. “Nothing was withheld, not even his own life…Love is like that” (Coleman).
This spring has been busier for me, and classes have gotten tougher. But being able to lean into God throughout it has grown my faith in Him in new ways I didn’t know were possible. One of the verses we’ve repeated, practiced, and memorized in leadership training is 1 Thessalonians 2:8. Let it be a reminder for you that fully loving others requires sacrifice, but it will in turn bring so much joy.
“Because we loved you so much, we delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well.”
Love & Encouragement,