Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Laura and Kristen from our summer leadership team


My attention has been drawn of late, to the love chapter in the Word. I Corinthians 13. It isn't a long chapter, but it is full of the descriptions of what our love is supposed to look like.

I remember when I was a child that one of the youth in our church memorized this chapter and quoted it in church in dramatic fashion. I've never forgotten her rendition of it.

Then when Deanna and I got married, her father (who married us) had planned to read it. The problem was he got emotional and his glasses fogged up and he could not see to read. He paraphrased it, and did a great job.

Our love for others is supposed to be a disposition of Christ-likeness. It should not be selfish or self serving. It should put their need above our own.

One of the things we learn in our culture as we grow up, is to get all you can out of life and grab it when it is available or you won't get it. Grab for your own needs cause no one else is going to look out for you.

Unfortunately, too many of us carry this attitude into our Christianity. We fail to realize as believers that this is a worldly reflection and should be shed. If we are to truly love others, then we will not put artificial, self imposed limits on who and when we love. We will simply, love.

There are many romantic notions about what missions is or means. Too often, there is an attitude that it happens overseas, and we exclude those around us. Some focus so much on what will happen in the future when they get to the field and have little patience for taking care of obvious needs in their own communities.

The idea that in the USA the Gospel is freely available and usually rejected, leaves many of us looking for an experience where people are actually receptive. This is understandable, but being tolerant of this in our own lives will cause us to miss opportunities that the Lord opens before us.

His will is that none should perish (from 2 Pe 3:9). That does mean we need to be looking to share with anyone the Lord brings into our path.

I have seen too many take on the attitude that "God has called me to a specific people group," and then only seek to meet their needs. There is no question that He calls different people to different regions of the world. However, it was never His desire that we would close ourselves off to the needs of others along the way.

Most of us can learn a great deal about how to love completely by loving the rejected ones around us. This can only serve to prepare us for future opportunities.

One of the reasons I find such fulfillment in leading students to the field, is they learn to love people overseas, and then return to their own area of influence and do the same thing. This is incredible training, and has the capacity to significantly impact others for Him.

However, I also see those who serve overseas and something different happens. God breaks their heart for a people group (a good thing) and they determine they are called to them and only them. In some cases this may be true, but in many others, if that calling is accurate, it is for later in their lives, as these are students, and this does not mean they should disengage from loving others who are in need.

We cannot become too narrow in our focus of love. That is the bottom line. We cannot use the excuse that we are called to Peru and therefore cannot go to Mexico when the Lord drops the opportunity right in our lap. We each need to be cross trained (that has so many meanings). We each need to be willing to meet the needs of others next door or across an ocean or two...wherever He opens up a crack for us to walk through.

Loving, is learning to walk through open doors. Sometimes they are wide open, other times only slightly ajar, and sometimes we have to knock (as He does). The point is obedience, no matter the person or people group.

Just love!

dad

4 Comments:

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you dad!! You brought fresh encouragement to this old dog who keeps barking at the same old fish in the same little pond, week after week and wondering if moving to another pond might prove more rewarding. \0/

 
At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Cody said...

Mr. Higgins,
I have recently finished reading the book, "I Would Die For You". I can't tell you enough how it has touched my heart. After finishing the book, i visited the website, and read through months of your blog posts. They have been a hart-breaker, and at the same time and encouragement to my life. You see, i have had a calling to become a missionary doctor for some time now, and after reading the book, i have become more excited about my calling than i ever have before. My name is Cody and i am 17 years old(18 in Feb). I plan on going on my first missions trip this summer, and i was hoping to maybe even do it through Awestar ministries...
I live in Washington and go to Lake Country Baptist Church. The things of the Lord excite my every being and my desire is to please Him.
I just want to thank you and your family for sharing with the world the story of your devoted son. I feel like i know him, which may sound weird in a way. But thank you again...
*If you have any information on missions trips for the summer of 2009, it would be so grand if you could inform me.

Your new Friend in Christ, CODY

 
At 9:11 PM, Blogger Pray for BJ said...

Cody, you can email me at brent.higgins@awestar.org and I will see that you get information on our upcoming trips. You can also visit awestar.org and see where we went this year. Very soon the new information on trip destinations will also appear there. Thank you so much for reading, for writing to us, and for your faithfulness to our Savior

brent

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Katie Kyle said...

I have something in this same vein that I read last week and am still considering. It talks about love that seeks God's glory as being the nature of true virtue (its out of a old sermon on 1 Cor. 13). I'll bring it to you so you can see.

Love you!

 

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