love: the key to change
I’m thankful to have had the opportunity last weekend to attend the 2013 Commencement Ceremony at Regent University. The school boasts of its mission to create Christian leaders to change the world, and I believe those who walked across the stage are doing just that. Dr. Pat Robertson addressed the diploma recipients saying they need to be strong because they will be challenged in the pursuit of truth in their respective fields of work.
Ryan T. Anderson, a member of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., also brought a charge to the graduates. Anderson understands the shift that must happen in our faltering society. He mentioned some of the ills of our culture and their subsequent remedies: love your children and care for your parents.
Can you believe that this is material to include in the commencement address at a prestigious university? Isn’t the love of family an obvious obligation? It should be, but it isn’t. Matthew 24:12 grants us an understanding of the vicious cycle creating a world of moral decay. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. So in view of Saturday’s reality check, the commandment to love is actually a great charge to speak over today’s world-changers.
It has me thinking this morning, how is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the story of God’s love for a sinner like me, most effectively shared with those who have yet to meet the Savior? One could hold up a sign at a busy intersection in their city, could go door-to-door and distribute invitations to church services, or could even buy some air time and advertise the Truth. All these methods and more are reaching people who, in turn, may take steps toward a relationship with our Father in heaven. I’m not negating their importance, yet, ultimately, the most effective reach into another’s life is through relationship.
Our families are the most immediate mission field that we each can impact for Christ. While the numbers may look small, think about the multiplication that happens as children have children of their own and continue to instill the things of God into the next generation like they themselves were taught. This is what it means to be a world-changer. We emphasize the importance of our families by showing them the love of God. Moms and dads best do this when they stay together and rely on the Spirit of God to keep them united in love. They understand that their marriage relationship is the earthly model of the heavenly reality: Jesus and His Church, united as one. Children grow up learning through their parents’ God-centered marriage that the Father in heaven is genuine in His pursuit of an intimate relationship with each of us.
Simple as it seems, the advice of Mother Theresa still holds fast for Christians who are devoted to the call of bringing the healing nature of Christ to a hurting world. When asked by another what she should do to create change, Mother Theresa replied, “Love the person in front of you.”