Over the last two years of motherhood, the Lord has revealed to me that, goodness, I love to be comfortable. I can idolize comfort and ease. I see this in those early weeks of little sleep with my first born, when I couldn’t figure out how to fit the car seat and the groceries together in the shopping cart and when my planned “to-do list” is constantly interrupted by a fussy babe. The examples are endless, if you need more catch me on a Sunday morning!
Culture can advertise to us in small messages that if things are not easy, they’re not right. Just follow your heart our world would tell you. Do what feels right. I’m not insinuating it always wrong to desire comfort or life situations easier, but we, as believers in Jesus Christ, know that true gospel love is given through sacrifice. Just because something may be hard or uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s bad, in fact, it’s often the opposite. The actual definition of sacrifice from Oxford Dictionary is “an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.” Giving up something valued, plain and simple, is not a comfortable thing to do.
When the Lord gives me the grace to see and confess my idolization of comfort on any given day, I can return to the gospel. I can remember the ultimate sacrifice that was made for me by Jesus, who came to earth as a human, lived a perfect life, died on the cross an excruciating death, and then rose again to life where He intercedes for me and my sins so that I can have a relationship with God once again. I can then, by His grace, sacrifice my comfort and serve my family in whatever way my flesh is balking at in that particular moment. Then my family sees Jesus. I see Jesus. We can see the “something else regarded as more important or worthy.” A small picture of the gospel can be seen right in our kitchen.
We have opportunity every day to live out the gospel practically in whatever season we find ourselves in. While we go to a church that thankfully preaches the gospel every Sunday, we have an opportunity as a church family to live out the gospel together on June 24 with our Fellowship Serves day. We, together, will take our normal Sunday worship time, and instead, will serve different areas of our city.
For you, believer, church is thankfully a comfortable place. God has graciously allowed Fellowship to be a safe place to bare your struggles authentically, to commune with like-minded people, to be blessed by friendship, to be refreshed with the reminder weekly that this world is not our forever home because of Jesus. Even just an hour block of time where you can sit quietly with little distraction and listen is a comfort. For this reason our Fellowship Serves day will take place on our normal Sunday worship time. We want to practice what we preach. We want to live out what we say we believe. We want to put our comfort aside, look to Jesus, and love our city like He loves us.
This is so exciting church! Serving in general is a sacrifice in some way for everyone, but again, we know that this is true love. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:10-12).
“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:3-8).
What a gift of grace to be able to lay down one extra layer of comfort on a Sunday morning to tangibly live the gospel to the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ with our church family!