Jesus knew that if His disciples were to love others extravagantly for the long haul, then they also needed to be on the receiving end of Jesus' extravagant love for them. The same holds true for you: your ability to love others joyfully for the long haul is intricately connected to your continually opening yourself up to receiving Jesus' love for you. This can take a variety of forms: listening prayer, reading your Bible, taking a day off a week, listening to God's word be preached, group Bible study, enjoying the company of Christian brothers and sisters, and other methods. Each of us is wired differently, and God will show you over time which spiritual habits you need in your life to continually receive from Him. Jesus will fill you with His extravagant love and then ask you to love others the same way. It's a beautiful thing!
Pastors need this, too! Last week, most of our First Covenant pastors went to a week-long annual training event for ministers called Midwinter in Denver hosted by our denomination (the Evangelical Covenant Church).
Here are some of the training sessions your pastors attended: Caring for At Risk Youth, Challenges in Congregational Vitality, Responding to Disaster in Your Community, Prayer Spiritual Practices, Brainstorming Secrets, Paying Attention to Adult Christian Formation, and more. Thank you for sending your pastors to this -- it was a time of deep receiving from Jesus for us, which we hope you will see in our love for you.
For more information about Midwinter: www.covchurch.org/midwinter