Devotions

Love Spins

Back to Reach • Devotion #6: Love Spins
Brett Eberle | Tech Intern

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”    Matthew 28:19-20

You may have noticed that The River’s “reach, gather, grow” logo is in a circle and some of you may have even seen the one that spins. There is a purpose for that and it all falls under this idea of “back to reach.”  Once you have been reached, you will begin to gather with the saints and grow in the word. Then it is time for you to head out into the world and reach people with the same Gospel that grabbed hold of your life.

I realized that God was calling me into ministry about five years ago. When I realized my calling, I jumped into our student ministry with both feet, but there was a problem. A huge number of kids that I was trying to minister to and share the Gospel with came from homes that I could never imagine. I have amazing parents. They have both supported me through everything that I have done my entire life, and they have shown me what living for Christ is supposed to look like. I am more grateful to my parents than I could ever express for the life they have given me. However, it was this life that was making it so difficult for me to share the Gospel with my students.

It was my first year going to camp as a leader, and I was sitting and talking with one of the seventh grade boys who was in my cabin. He told me about his home life, and every word that he said will forever be seared into my brain. I had no idea how to relate to him, I did not know what it meant to deal with divorced and abusive parents. His story nearly broke me on the spot. I remember just sitting there in awe of what I had just heard. The next day I sat down with Pastor Jim and asked him how on earth I could help this young man. I was expecting some hugely deep theological answer, but that was not what I got. His directions were very simple; he said, “You have to love him.”

Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to love God and to love each other. That is what back to reach is all about.  It is about spreading the same love of Christ that you received to anyone and everyone that you can. It does not matter where you are from or where they are from, what walk of life they are in or what walk of life you are in. We are called, as followers of Christ, to spread His love to “all nations.”

 



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