I heard a phrase recently that really struck me, “we are all working for the eternal ministry.” What we do here on this earth is not only recorded in heaven but actually impacts the eternal ministry of heaven. If you haven’t ever heard it before, we are all ministry and missionary workers. We are all sent out on the great commission to share the gospel, and a major part of the gospel is God’s love for us, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And Jesus also calls us to love one another, John 13:34 “A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” This is obviously a sacrificial type of love we are to show to one another considering Jesus sacrificed his life for ours out of the love He and the Father have for us. Sure, we’re used to showing an affectionate type of love, an emotional love, even a love for something or someone… but a sacrificial love? What does that even look like?
Here’s what the bible says about love,1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Loving like this takes a lot of practice, it doesn't come naturally to us. But you can start by loving your neighbor as yourself, Matthew 22:37-39 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” And who is your neighbor? Anyone and everyone, all over the world.
When I first started coming to Honduras on short term mission trips, I prayed that the Lord would allow me to love others and love them well, serving in whatever capacity I was able. Usually my serving jobs were small and mundane and not rewarding at all on their own. But the love I felt in my heart for His people was one of the most amazing things I had ever experienced. I didn’t have to speak the same language, I didn’t even have to interact with them for more than just a smiling glance or a quick side-hug. I would serve in any way that the Lord allowed me, and I would pray His love for them be shown through me. This love that I first had for the Lord grew into a beautiful love for His people, and furthered His calling in me to do mission work full-time in Honduras.
I want to encourage you to ask the Lord a similar question today, “How can I love others well in a way that they can see your love for them through me?” The Lord might lead you to do small acts towards strangers you meet throughout your day. While that may seem simple and not rightly demonstrating a sacrificial kind of love, it is a love making sure that person is seen and validated, which is sacrificial of our own pride and vanity. Whatever it is that you do, your love for God will overflow into your love for others in a way that, you too, will be making an impact in the eternal ministry.
1 John 4:7-12 NIV
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Brooklynn is the Business Analyst for VER International. Her first mission trip to Honduras was in 2019 where she fell in love with the country and the culture. She now lives in Honduras as a full-time missionary walking out the calling God has for her life.