In the three years Jesus spent with the disciples he taught them many things. Jesus taught them how to pray, how to interact with unkind people, how to view worldly possessions, how to live in community and how to commit to something beyond selfish desires or pursuits. He also taught them many other things about living a kingdom life.
What made Jesus’ teaching so effective, so life changing, and so transformative was that he lived out what He taught. It would be hard to follow or believe a person teaching scuba diving lessons who had never been scuba diving. Right? When Jesus called us to be servants of all, he was actually living that calling out in His own life.
I had a teacher that lived out her faith In the classroom. She was always kind, understanding, and encouraging. Her name was Mrs. Love. She was my ninth grade English teacher. I shared a bit about her story in a sermon last week. I have thought over the years that her name suited her well. Mrs. Love was one of the persons that knew what love really meant. Love for her was acts of kindness but also expectations of improvement. Love, for her, was offerings of grace but also clarity for growth. Love for her meant encouragement coupled with a call to something more than mediocrity.
A few weeks ago I received a letter from Mrs. Love. In that letter she informed me that she had had a stroke and is paralyzed from the waist down. This last year has been a tough year for her. But the primary reason she wrote me was to offer me encouragement.
I went to see her the other day. She was sitting in her wheelchair reading a book. We talked awhile and, I thought to myself, as she was talking about her adjustment to life after her stroke and her faith in God that she was was still teaching me about life . Even in her present condition, she offered the same gracious spirit, the same warm smile, and same loving witness I remember so long ago.
I am reminded of the words of Paul. “So do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen for what can be seen is temporary but what cannot be seen is eternal.”
Who will we influence, impact, and inspire by our words and deeds today?...this week?
– Mark Gooden
Published on Friday, October 5, 2018 @ 10:04 AM EDT