You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, May 18, 2014: The Strange Embraces of Jesus {Listen Here}

By Anita Everly

I decided to take Pastor Josh up on his triple dog dare and came home from church to fill five Dixie cups, one for each member of our family. As he encouraged, these full cups are to represent the Living Water of Christ we are to intentionally “pour out” onto those we interact with each day, more fully embracing those outside of our comfort zones in the same way Christ did.

I thought, “Piece of cake!” I’ve already been convicted over the last few years that those weekly trips to Walmart were an opportunity where I could shine the light of Christ. I could offer a smiling face to my cashier after standing in line for minutes on end. No one is cheerful after standing in line at Walmart; that would be noticeably different.

Or the guy at the bank. He’s a nice kid and I’m there every 1st and 15th of each month with my Dave Ramsey-like cash withdrawal. He knows me by name now! Slam dunk.

Pouring out more Living Water all week long, not a problem.

Then, I thought of the verse: “The second [greatest commandment] is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Mark 12:31

The second greatest commandment. Loving my neighbor. Something I often find hard to do.

He knew some of our neighbors would present challenges, or that we’d just rather not take the time to invest in them. But yet, He commanded us to love our neighbors, often the very opposite of what our self-centered culture would rather do.

Loving that neighbor who squabbles over the property line. Or the one who mows his lawn just when you sit down to dinner on the deck. Loving the neighbor with the kids she never watches. Or the one who really does want to Rock and Roll All Night and party everyday.

Yes, those. All of them. We are commanded to love them.

But, you see, it’s more than the literal neighbor, too. It’s also the gossipy co-worker you see everyday who you’d rather dodge. The boss who undermines you and takes credit for your accomplishments. The manager who says your work is never enough and never any good either. We are commanded to love them, too.

And what about that sister who said what she did at Christmas and you’ve let it steep in bitterness and distance? Or the brother who refuses to help your aging mother? Yes, we are commanded to love them.

That’s all a bit harder. Getting out of my comfort zone will actually mean pouring out the love of Christ to people I cannot easily leave. It’s the ones I see daily, share space with, and to whom I’m bound by blood.

But it’s also in those relationships where, if I’m willing, I can show my weaknesses, be vulnerable and authentic with others. It’s with these people where I can lay down my pride and put on patience and love to show that my life is different because of the change that Christ has made in my life.

Sometimes sharing God’s love is hard. And often, it’s not so much about what others need to have as it is what I need to give.

People like the Samaritan woman cannot be filled up with the Living Water of Christ if we are not willing to go beyond what we would normally do to share this amazing Love.

It means extraordinary love in the most ordinary places.

Let’s tip the buckets of Living Water everyday and see what happens.

20140519-072406-26646336.jpg

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.

2 thoughts on “The Monday After: The Strange Embraces of Jesus (Anita)

What's on your mind? Comment here! {It only takes an email address to comment. We won't spam you!}

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s