It’s been a great blessing to me and my wife to have our brother helping us learn kinyarwanda. Twice a week he comes to us, to teach us, charging nothing. As we think of ways to thank our brother, it reminds me of how God has called us to be generous and to work hard. My friend Patrick gets something significant out of the opportunity to help us on our journey which I don’t think I yet fully understand, we all in fact all are willing to give our time and work on what we love and value. This is also true of God.
These words of Jesus to the lukewarm church have been haunting me lately.
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19
We see clearly what God values here, which is why sometimes he brings trials, sometimes he brings tests our away, but it is because He values us that He is working on us. Like an artist, He is seeking to perfect His people. What do we value? Honestly, it is often for me, whatever will take the least amount of risk, and work. That which will be the shortest route to my comfort.
But there is something else at work in us, that is entirely different, that was put there by God himself. A sometimes unexplainable and unquenchable desire, to please the Lord, to work hard, and to give ourselves up for something far greater than ourselves. As we study this strange language, and as we pray and trust in God to provide all we need to send us to Rwanda, we want to join God in working for what what He loves.
God loves the Church.
“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. ” 1 John 4:9-11