“From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Colossians 3:11-14 Message Bible
Signed, sealed and delivered, I’m free! If you believe heart and soul the truth that God set everything right through Jesus, then you’re free too. There’s no earning, just receiving. And with this new life God beckons us to “put on love.” Because it’s when we show genuine love for others that we show Him. His design all along was to send us, his sons of light and daughters of day, out into a dark world to shine! He uses us to play a key role in his plan of renewing all things and through our lives people get a glimpse of our living God. But we can’t take any credit. God himself is at work in us believers because there is no way that we could carry on by our own efforts. It’s the Holy Spirit in us that accomplishes God’s purpose of glorifying Jesus. He transforms us so we can radiate Christ. The wonderful thing is that we don’t have to try harder. We don’t have to perform and impress. Our labor produces nothing no matter how much we strive. All we need to do is fall in love. It’s in the depth of His love that our hearts change.
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." Galatians 5:6
A way I picture wearing love to look like is going out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air. That may sound laughable when you think about the state of our society and take one scroll through social media. But if you look back in the Bible, there has always been suffering and darkness. This isn’t something new in the history of our world. Believers - that’s why we’re here! Jesus told us to be salt and light in the midst of the dark. He wants us to open up our houses and be generous with others so that they will then turn to God who is even more exceedingly generous. We have to check our hearts and see if we grumble more then we’re grateful. How do we treat others? Do our lives look different? Do we live as though faith expressing itself through love, really is what matters?
There are times of great distresses where it will be hard to display confidence in our walk but I believe that God uses those difficult seasons to teach us and show us fresh experiences of His faithfulness and deliverance. Circumstances are constantly changing and yes life is loud and messy, but we can’t let it get louder than the truth. Because the things we see will change over and over again, but His word is unchanging. The individuals that we’re constantly witnessing to with our lives are eternal. Wearing love is living with the perspective that we’re in this for His glory and name. Because He’s worthy no matter what I’m feeling and what the cost. "Love Himself gives of Himself so that we can love." -Ann Voskamp
It can also look like just making the most of every opportunity that you have with the people in your sphere of influence. Where you are right now and the relationships you have at this moment, that is your mission. Keep your eyes open for ways to engage people and make it clear that you are for them, working with them. No projects, just friends.
Also we have to stay alert. Fix your eyes on Jesus and understand that how you run your race matters. God can use us to change cities when we are strengthened by His power and when we get in community and work in humble partnership with others.
On that note, I want to share with you an update about what's been on our family’s hearts. Currently we are still committed to serving the kids and families in our neighborhood with the ministry Crossroads Youth Intervention. What that looks like is this -
· After school tutoring once a week. Tuesdays at Verde Park 9th st and Van Buren.
· Home visits to check in with at risk families and see if there are any needs.
· Raising funds to send kids to camps where they hear about Jesus. More info at cryi.org.
· Thanksgiving banquet for the homeless coming up November 19th.
· Christmas in the park where we’ll hand out 2000 gifts to kids in the inner city.
There’s a link to a video of last year's event in the previous blog post.
The toy drive is happening right now!
Christmas event is December 10th.
With Meira House we are continuing to collect items for the homeless all around us and we give them out as we see a need. We will start collecting warm clothing items to hand out at the CRYi Thanksgiving banquet. If you have jackets, socks, sleeping bags, blankets, toiletries – we’ll take them! Also, we’re always collecting prizes and books to give the kids on Tuesdays.
And coming up is Unite PHX launch on October 8th. The purpose of Unite PHX is to provide a hub for churches and individuals to come together to fulfill the needs of the less fortunate in our community. By committing to a few hours a month on a Saturday, the body of Christ from multiple church families can visibly show the community that we stand united to love our city! On the second Saturday of each month the church communities will gather at a central location (to be posted soon) to volunteer their time to organizations that support those in need. Five local non - profits will have the opportunity to briefly share what their organization does for the community and what projects they need help with on that particular day. The volunteers gathering will then have the opportunity to choose the project that they feel they can have the greatest impact. Organizations will be chosen based on need, ability to provide work for a large group of individuals and location. Opportunities for all ages will be available to promote family involvement. With hundreds of individuals looking to serve and share the love of Christ, we truly can reach Phoenix for Christ!
“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10
If you are interested in getting involved, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow us on social media for updates.
@MeiraHouse on Instagram and Facebook.
@UnitePHX on Instagram and Facebook.
@CryiPHX on Instagram and Crossroads Youth Intervention on Facebook.
How can you help right now?
· Toy drive! We need to collect enough toys for 2k+ kids. All extra gifts will go up the Navajo, Hopi and Apache Reservations.
· Collecting items for the homeless for Thanksgiving event.
· Come out to Unite PHX on October 8th!
The generosity we’ve seen so far has been tremendous. All people are valuable to Jesus. They are worth his blood and life. So when you serve and give, no matter how big or small it does matter in eternity. Thank you for everything.