Friday, September 05, 2008

An appointment to keep

Today’s Reading: John 15:16-17 (NIV)

16 [Jesus said,] “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Good morning!

My fall appointment calendar is beginning to fill up quickly. Much of what I do revolves around the things that are most important to me: ministry, family, work and school. The calendar gives me an opportunity to prioritize my day, and yet, some of what goes in my date book is not necessary of my own choosing. There are some things that I do simply because I’m called to do them.

At work, I devote the last week of each month to coding, recording and submitting invoices to accounting for payment. Of the projects I complete each month, this is my least favorite task. Every month, it pops up on my Outlook calendar, and I stop what I’m doing and focus on this important work. It is no secret that I am mathematically challenged; I work with even greater determination to ensure that the data I record accurately reflects the amounts due as presented by various vendors for payment. I review incoming bills, verify account information, and look for duplication errors. I double check balances due, verifying that timely payments are made. Keeping an accurate accounting is of great value to my employer. Even though I may struggle through this task each month, I willingly submit myself to the project, knowing if I give my very best to it, the Lord will take the service I offer and He will bless and multiply it. I am striving toward perfection, and I know that the Father has called me to a higher standard. I look forward to the day when I am fully perfected in His love.

You and I have an important appointment to keep. This may not be the task we would willingly choose to undertake. Jesus Christ has commanded that we love each other. He did not make any exceptions to the rule, nor did He give us personal privilege or an opt-out arrangement. In fact, Jesus said that we did not choose Him; rather, the Father chose each of us to bear fruit that will have eternal consequences. We are expected to step up to love. Jesus wants us to bear real fruit by really loving each other. This one requirement will take everything you’ve got, and then some. For me, I cannot fully love without seeking heavenly help from the Lord.

What task has the Father recorded on the pages of your life’s calendar? What requirement has He called you to fulfill that you continually shift to the bottom of your to-do list? Father, help us recognize the utter necessity and the urgency of Your commandment. Help us not to do this one thing with a half-ditched effort. Teach us how to love each other the way you love us. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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