Last night, my wife, daughter, and I hosted our church’s Celebrate Recovery leaders in our home to say “thank you” for the important and impactful ministry they are providing to the people in our congregation and community who are searching for freedom from life’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups that have kept them from fully connecting with God and Christ. These leaders are wonderful examples of the kind of loving people Jesus wants his followers to be.
But, as those leaders would tell you, they are also discovering more freedom, more energy, more purpose, and more significance as a result of their efforts to “love your neighbor.”
It reminds me of what Bob Goff writes in his best-selling book Love Does, so I got our leaders copies of the book in order to inspire them to keep viewing the act of loving others as a great and wonderful adventure.
Here’s some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“As I sit on my island, it becomes clear that we need to stop plotting the course and instead just land the plane on our plans to make a difference by getting to the ‘do’ part of faith. That’s because love is never stationary. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.”
“I learned that fully loving and fully living are not only synonymous but the kind of life that Jesus invited us to be part of.”
“And for me, I’ve realized that I used to be afraid of failing at the things that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
“So the next time God asks you to do something that is completely inexplicable, something you’re sure is a prank because it requires a decision or courage that’s way over your pay grade, something that might even save lives, say yes. You never know – there might be some cool flags in it for you.”
“When we accept life’s invitation, it’s contagious too. Other people will watch us and start seeing life as something more amazing, more whimsical than before. When you show up to the big life, people (the type who don’t think they’re invited) start seeing invitations everywhere as thick and as colorful fall leaves. They don’t think about their pain or their weakness any longer. Instead, they think about how incredible a big life really is and how powerful the one who is throwing the banquet is too.”
“That’s probably why Jesus’ disciples never said they were on a missions trip. I think they knew love already had a name and they didn’t need a program or anything else to define it. We don’t either. The kind of adventure Jesus has invited us on doesn’t require an application or prerequisites. It’s just about deciding to take up the offer made by a father who wants us to come.”
“We get to be God’s plan for the whole world by pointing people toward Him.”