Last year, my congregation spent all of 2010 going through the entirety of God’s Word in what we called “Project 4:4—One Year, One Bible, One Church, One Lord”. I could write a novel on how I was blessed by that project, but I won’t do that for you now. I will say that there are some wonderful leaders within my congregation. After spending so much time in His Word, they decided that there’s really only one response that is appropriate…
That’s why we’ve decided to spend all of 2011 working on “Project Love—Love God, Love People”. Because after reading every single word of the Bible…all of the wonderful passages in Hebrews (my personal favorite)…all the beauty of the Psalms (yes, that right, I said ‘Psalms’)…all the Old Law and commandments (in all of their mind-numbing detail)…all the genealogies and numbers and chronicles (in their also-mind-numbing tediousness)…all the rich history of what God has done for His people…what He did for us when He came to live on this earth Himself…what He’s promised to do for us in the future (see Revelation 22)…
After all of that, it can be said that what He wants us to learn from His Word really boils down to those two things: Love God. Love people.
Our leaders are giving us specific avenues to participate in Project Love:
(1)There will be a church-wide service project each month, that everyone will be encouraged to participate in, the first of which is a canned food drive for a local ministry with which our congregation is closely affiliated.
(2)We are being encouraged to pray more actively and more often for our elders, ministers, and missionaries. Each month, we will be given a couple of names in particular, with some information about the work that they are involved in, and a specific request or two that they've asked us to pray about.
(3)We will be given devotional material each month to help us spend some of our personal study time learning about God’s love.
(4)We were given “Project Love” business cards to leave behind when doing some act of love, random or otherwise, for someone to whom we want to show God’s love. This card directs them to this site, where they can read of God’s love for them. Along with these cards is a list of suggestions on how these might be used to bless someone else.
(5)We were given a list of challenges, specific things to do in the month of January to make love a verb.
I especially love the last two, because they are ways that I can challenge myself to personally be more about His business of loving others and trying to make a difference in the lives of those around me. I also live that we've been given practical lists of ideas, if for no other reason than the fact that I'm not a creative person and need someone to help me out with ideas. I hope we'll be given a new list of some sort each month, and I'd like to try to recap each month in a post as the year progresses. (Monthly posts have to be much easier than daily posts. Surely I can do that, right? I couldn't do the daily posts, but surely I can squeeze a Project Love post into my schedule once a month! Here's hoping!)
Now, it’s confession time. I don’t feel like I’ve done very well at this so far this month. I will say that I have participated in the church food drive, and I hope that we are able to meet our goal.
I will also say that I have prayed a few times for the church leaders that we were requested to pray for each month. It really, really helps me to have something specific to pray for someone, so that's been really good.
I will even say that I studied the material that was given us for the month of January. The theme we were given for this month was "God is love". I will try to write a separate post recapping the info from that study soon.
Beyond that, I struggled this month. On my list of challenges, I only feel like I was able to do four or five of them. And I've not yet found what I feel like is an effective way to use my Project Love cards.
So I know I need to work on things like that in the months to come. I'm trying to remind myself everyday that no matter what else I do, my main task should be to bless the lives of those around me, to love others as I have been loved by God.
God, help me to do that very thing.