Chip Stapleton Highland Presbyterian Church May 6 th , 2020 Hunkered Down Devotions
1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NRSV) 8 So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us. The first time I became aware of this verse, was when I got my t-shirt for our mission trip my senior year of high school and found it printed on the back. Our youth leader told us that this verse would be our theme for the week.
She knew that most of us, me included, thought the whole point of our mission trip was for us to go and ‘do something’ for people that were less fortunate than we were. We all thought that we had signed up to go on a trip and have some fun, sure, but also to give vulnerable and needy people something they needed.
What she wanted us to understand, what Paul was communicating to the Thessalonians, was that that is not exactly how sharing the gospel, how sharing God’s love works. The call that each of us have been given to share God’s love with the world around us isn’t a transactional process.
The only truly effective way to share the gospel and to share God’s love is by sharing who we are and sharing our lives with those around us. When we look to Jesus, we see the model we are to follow. Sharing God’s love is about laying down your life for those you love and care about – sharing your life and God’s love by living it for others.
Jesus laid down his life for us on the cross, of course, but that was only the culmination of his entire life – a life that was lived, on a day by day basis, for those around him – the people he loved and cared for.
We are to do the same. We are, of course, called to share the gospel and share God’s love, but that isn’t simply about doing something for other people, but instead it is about living with those around them and doing life with them. Just as Jesus lived his life with his disciples and he continues to love us by living with us in our hearts and lives. Sharing God’s Love, Chip Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you choose to live with us and love us. Help us to live with and for others as we seek to share God’s love in all that we do. Amen.