I never dreamed I would one day love attending basketball games, but a boy named Blake changed this for me.
My nephew is passionate about basketball and, as a six-foot-two eighth-grader, he gets to play a lot of it. I’ve taken him to the gym to practice drills. I’ve watched him go outside for hours, practicing shots and ball handling. He loves basketball and because I love him, I attend his games and cheer like crazy. It is my duty and, even more so, my joy as his aunt.
Loving Christ means we take on Christ’s passion. Out of love for our Savior, we follow his lead, his heart, his mission. Often, this requires a sacrifice – a sacrifice of our time, our resources, our desires – in order to choose that which is better – the way of Christ. We understand this sacrifice when it comes to family. So many parents and grandparents live this out each and every day – from giving up sleep to running to and from extracurricular events to letting your child have the last cookie in the jar to taking a second mortgage to pay for college. Love means sacrifice. It is our duty. BUT it is also our joy.
May we find the joy in living sacrificially to join the One we love – in His mission to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight for the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19)
First, though, I’m going to Jerusalem to deliver a relief offering to the followers of Jesus there. The Greeks—all the way from the Macedonians in the north to the Achaians in the south—decided they wanted to take up a collection for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. They were happy to do this, but it was also their duty. Seeing that they got in on all the spiritual gifts that flowed out of the Jerusalem community so generously, it is only right that they do what they can to relieve their poverty. Romans 15:25-27 (The Message)