April 5, 2008

Motivated By Love…

I think that a human is made to love… either a person loves themselves, loves others, or he/she loves God. Now, these are not mutually exclusive, rather our God-given ability to love often encompasses all of these types of love. The battle for many, and of course for me (Matthew), is to make sure that the love for God is given first place. This is against human nature, for we too often want our way even if we know it is not God’s way.

So, there are those days when Tara and I want to leave Brazil. It is not that we hate it here or that life in this place is as difficult as other places. We are blessed to live in a wonderful apartment, to have a S-10 4-Door pick-up, and to have only one current job which is to learn the language. However, some days we just want to pack up all we have and leave… then, as often happens, God speaks. Whether it is through a song, a scripture verse, an e-mail from a friend or prayer-partner, or though my little girl.

Now, you have heard me repeatedly speak of Lydia’s heart for the lost. Today, I was again amazed by her desire for those who need the Lord. Lydia, Samuel and I were at a stop light waiting to turn and as usual several people came up to our windows begging for money and selling everything under the sun. We seldom patronize these vendors nor do we give to those who beg. However, this day I told Lydia to give 50 centavos (about 0.30) to an old beggar who was missing one leg. As we pulled away, Lydia said, “Daddy, I did not tell him about Jesus.” After some discussion about learning language and about meeting people’s physical needs, she said, “Do you think Jesus is proud of me?”

What a beautiful reminder of the reason we are here, LOVE. For Christ loved us and His love for us makes us long to tell others of His love. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” So, on those days when I want to go home, do I die to self and live for Him? On those days when life is good, do I die to self and focus not on self but on the lost?

If you are child of God, I pray that you and I might have a heart for the lost like Lydia! If you are not, then know you are loved by a God and a little missionary girl whose heart is as big as her God.