Life has been busy the past few months. This week alone I worked my regular prayer room schedule, while somehow finding a way to squeeze in a session with my life coach, a staff leadership training night, a day of teaching guitar students at the Kings School, filming a video for Calvin Christian Collegiate (Emma’s school), engineering a live radio broadcast for CFRY Saturday night, acknowledging our 16th Anniversary (March 10) while preparing to celebrate Katelyn & Madison’s birthday (with two separate parties).
Within the midst of all this good stuff, Jesus reminded me again of an important truth: without love, none of this matters.
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” – Revelation 2:2-4
The church at Ephesus was commended for having given themselves to good works, patient endurance and not growing weary in labouring for the sake of Jesus fame and glory. However, in spite of all their good works, they had forgotten the most important part…loving Jesus.
It is not hard to get busy in this day and age; even being busy with good stuff like working in a House of Prayer. There are always things to do, meetings to lead, songs to sing, sets to mix and people to pray for. There is never a lack of work to be done! But periodically I need to be reminded that working in a prayer room is not my reward, it is my assignment. It is not who I am, it’s what I do. Who I am is the Beloved of God. I am not defined by what I do, but rather by who I love.
God declared to Abraham “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward“ (Genesis 15:1)
Above everything else, it is our greatest reward and pleasure to experience God. Whether we run large corporations or chase after small children, whether we serve in the public sector or labour in the secret place, we are all called to a life of love God preeminently (first, above everything else). However, we are not merely called to the idea or sentiment of “love”, but rather to a living and active relationship that has affection, intimacy and devotion as its core experiences.
I am your exceedingly great reward
The Apostle Paul prayed for the same church of Ephesus that Jesus spoke to. Do you know what Paul prayed?
“For this reason I bow my knees…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3
The desire of God, as expressed through Paul, is that we would know (through experience) the love of Christ!
This is why I enjoy being in the place of prayer. This is why I give myself to the study of the Word, meditation, writing songs and preaching; that the whole earth would be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jesus; and that every tribe, tongue, people and nation would experience the affections of Jesus which surpass knowledge.
God is love. And that love is not a sentiment, it is a jealous and all consuming flame that burns with unquenchable passion. It is that passion which motivated God to take on flesh, walk among us and bare our sins on the Cross. Love is not passive, nor marked by duty or service. Love is as strong as death and as jealous as the grave!
Friends, my desire is that you would experience this love on your hearts. My prayer for you is the same prayer that Paul prayed over his friends in Ephesus; that you would know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge. It is a prayer that we have been praying on our Missions Base for the past decade, and will continue to pray until Jesus receives the reward of His suffering; that all nations would encounter His matchless affection toward them.
Early on in this journey I heard a message entitled “Encountering the Affections of Jesus” that awakened my heart to experiencing how Jesus felt about me. It has had a radical impact on my life, and was a motivating factor is drawing my heart to serve in the House of Prayer. I’d encourage you to listen to it for yourself.
In the end, all of our good works will mean nothing if we hear the words “I never knew you”. Thank God there is grace available to rest, lean in and grow in love for Jesus.
I’d love to hear about your own journey, triumphs and challenges in living a life of love in the midst of busyness.
Thank You for reading, and thank you for partnering with us in this work.