Page 227 was a Sunday that began with an interruption of sleep as Susan had a seizure in the early morning hours. Once she was through it, we all went back to sleep and slept in a bit before it was time to get up and ready for church. After a good worship gathering at Deer Run, it was time for lunch and a little rest before heading down to Bourbon to spend some time visiting with family. On our way home, we stopped by Potato Creek State Park where I caught sight of an eagle off in the distance. I managed a few long distance photos before it moved further down the shoreline and out of sight.
As I write this page and reflect on the lessons of the day, I think of the beauty and majesty of the bald eagle. Whether perched in a tree or gliding through the sky, the eagle draws the attention of nature lovers everywhere. It reminded me of the sermon that David shared at Deer Run this morning about our need to love like Jesus loved. Jesus drew attention to Himself, not through pride and arrogance but through a complete obedience and submission to His Father. It was His humility in teaching the truth of God in complete love that had crowds listening to Him in amazement. Just like the eagle, we have the ability to draw the attention of those who are looking. The big question we must ask ourselves is what are we drawing their attention to? When we look to Jesus and imitate His life through the power of His Spirit within us, He is what people will notice in us. When we love like Jesus loved, people notice something in us that is extraordinary — so extraordinary that they instinctively know that what they see has to come from a source beyond our self.
We can see the impact that loving like Jesus loved when we look at the lives of the disciples as they move from learners at the feet of Jesus to leaders of the early church. As learners, they made their share of mistakes and had times when “loving like Jesus” would not have been an accurate description of their treatment of people — we can relate, right? Yet that is what good learners do. They make mistakes and learn from them. We see that when we look at their lives as leaders. When God’s Spirit empowered them to love like Jesus loved, all of a sudden “the world is being turned upside down” and those watching have no explanation other than noting that these men had been with Jesus. It makes me wonder about my life, and I hope it makes you wonder about yours; do people observe the way we love others and take note that we spend time with Jesus? When we become consistent in loving people like Jesus loves people, we become the eagles of our culture that draw the attention of many to the source of our beauty and majesty.
I pray that you and I would seek to live in a way that presents the beauty and majesty of God accurately to the world around us. I pray that we would consistently spend time with God so that our life is lived in a way that people would notice His presence in us. I pray that we would grow from being learners to leaders as we spend time at the feet of Jesus and allow His Spirit to empower us love like He loved. I pray that we would soar like eagles as we draw the attention of people to Jesus.