So, Jesus gives us two commandments to fulfill all the Bible: Love God and Love People.
Simple enough right? I wish it was because in truth, I’m still working on this daily.
How about you?
It’s my belief that loving God with everything we have is a lifelong process; furthermore, loving people, yeah, that’s a whole other challenge. The reality is, love God, love people is a monumental mission we’ve been given, and it requires being daily open to God. This is the deep stuff! This is the meat! This is the metric on how much of God we have in us.
So, when we think of being a ministry leader of any kind, we have to keep this the main thing. But we all know this is attacked all the time through hurts, regrets, mistakes, lies, gossip, division, strife, slander and more.
All of these things show up in every church because it’s how the enemy tries to stop God’s work. Unfortunately, it works way too often as churches crumble, split, fight each other, and in the process, ministry leaders get worn down.
I recently saw a statistic that said 1,300 clergy quit every month and the average church size in America is shrinking. This is not the plan or the will of God because he doesn’t want anyone to perish (see 2 Peter 3:9); therefore, he wants to use people and churches to reach them. The heartbeat of God screams, everyone is someone to Jesus. This is why we must reach them at all cost.
But we know this. So why is it so hard to do?
We get hurt.
This is where everything goes sideways, and in reality, it gets us off track of the main thing. Every ministry leader has been hurt and will be hurt. Have you been there?
The agenda of the devil is to take the sin against us and produce sin in us.
This is where we hold grudges, don’t forgive, get cynical, become negative and shut people out. This is where we let insecurities rule our behavior, and thus, we try to prove our worth all the time.
This is also why, as ministry leaders, we can exaggerate numbers and be self-promoting because deep down, we’re hurt.
I know this because I’ve been hurt countless times as a ministry leader.
How about you?
However, we have a choice to make daily, and it’s between life and death. Notice what God says to us in Deuteronomy 30:19:
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”
Our daily job is to choose life and blessings.
This means I choose God’s ways over mine, and I choose God’s thoughts over mine. In doing this, I surrender my emotions and feelings to Jesus. Then in return, I receive his healing, his peace and his strategies for me.
When I choose life and blessings, I’m empowered all over again to Love God and Love people.
This choice brings me back to God, which helps keep him the center of everything. It’s from this position that I’m empowered to Love God and Love People through everything I go through.
So, what are you choosing today?
Of course, we all want life and blessings, but if we’re honest, some days, death and cursing are easier to reach for. Too many of us are doing this, and in many ways, I understand it.
The emotions and feelings can be overwhelming, and the pain we face is real. The battles can be intense, and the vision we see can seem like a world away. But there’s always hope, and we must refuse to allow the sin against us to produce sin in us. There’s a better way, and it starts by choosing life and blessings daily.
Every day we choose Jesus, period!
We are doing this because he first loved us. We have the privilege of being a ministry leader, representing him to a lost world; therefore, we overcome the mess by embracing his message for us. Love God and Love People.
What are you choosing today?
Through all the chaos, we can choose Jesus! We can keep everything real simple by making our decision him. It all starts with him, and from him comes everything we need, and everything we want. He’s our treasure, the pearl of great price.
So, what do we do now?
Something I’ve been doing is thanking him for all he has done. I know this is real simple, but how often do we take the time to remember? If you’re like me, it’s not enough.
When we thank him for all he has done, we’re empowered with joy, because he has been faithful. Remembering what he has done give us peace for today and hope for tomorrow. It gives us fuel to scale the walls in front of us and see that God is ahead of us. Oh yes, just saying thank you can change our day, and when we remember, something happens in us that produces God through us.
We can do this!
Check out what this promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 says,
“23. Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”
He’s faithful, and he’s with us!
So today, make the decision to Love God and Love People!