1 John 4:19 says “We love because He first loved us.”
Our capacity and ability to love hinges our acceptance of God’s love for us. When we come to understand this truth, our “acts of service” become transformational acts of love.
Recently an inner city minister made a strong point: The people of our world need love more then they need our service (Thanks Mike Johnson, Director of the Men’s Shelter at Union Gospel Mission, Seattle). They need relationship more then they need resources. Service is a means to love. It is a bridge upon which we build relationships. The goal isn’t just to serve people – it’s to love them.
The Church isn’t just about charity and good works – It’s about empathy, understanding, and relationships of pure love.
This is what God has been working into my heart as Valentine’s Day approaches. It has application in my marriage and in the way I approach the homeless. My marriage isn’t just about providing for Heidi’s needs. Far from it. Neither is ministry merely about giving resources. It’s all about giving our hearts and our lives in relationships of love.