Today in church we talked about John 21, and how God asked Peter to tell Him that he loved Him three times in a way to give him a chance to make up for the three times he denied him before he was crucified. I've spent my entire life in the church and this was something that I had never heard before, which was surprising to me, and I really enjoyed the message.
We focused on the exchange of 'Do you love me?' questions from Jesus and Peter's continued 'Yes' and his frustration. We also focused on the fact that when Jesus heard Peter say I love you He always gave him a task. Our pastor told us that God always has a task for our lives, something I struggle with, and that He will always have something for us to go and do. I've been praying this year about opportunities to grow in faith and while I've been expecting some huge opportunity to flop on my door, so far that hasn't happened. So, I'm still waiting to see where God takes me. Patience.
Our pastor also talked about how God has given us grace and love so that we will go and labor, not to prove that we're worthy of His grace - we've already got that, and nothing we could ever do would make us worthy of it - but to show that we love Him and that we want to have a relationship with Him.
My pastor asked everyone in the congregation to be honest with ourselves and think about the last time we sacrificed our time, convenience, schedule, money, or life for God. The last time that we were inconvenienced or sacrificed for God, and I couldn't remember. I go to church most every Sunday, listen to Christian radio, read my Bible probably once a week, get verse of the day alerts every morning- but I couldn't remember the last time I did something that didn't fit into -my- schedule just to show love for Jesus.
I chose to make reading my Bible my first step because I think that I need to understand God's word and what it means to my life more, and the only reason I haven't been reading my Bible is because of my class schedule and there not being a convenient time that works for every day. Silly reason. So, every day I'm going to read and take note on at least one chapter.
My ultimate goal is to finish the New Testament (which I have already started) by the end of this term in June, and then will start working on the Old Testament which I hope to have finished by my graduation next June.
I started a Bible in a year plan before I began college which ultimately didn't work for me, and so I'm happy to say that by the time I graduate college I will have achieved that goal, even if I did have to alter my route a little.
What ways do you sacrifice for God? Do you know of any resources or opportunities to serve? What are you doing this summer? Share!