Faithfully Loving In Freedom

Faithfully Loving In Freedom

There is no greater privilege in the local church than the ability to serve, and this year Summer LINK Raleigh is able to embrace this opportunity not only as summer interns, but as church members that will continue to labor and love here, even after the summer ends. In the Lord’s sovereignty, our team this summer is comprised of a group of young believers that are coming from not only different walks of life but seasons that have consisted of either suffering, trial, life transition, and/or being new in the faith. All which affirms that God is surely the Author of this summer and beyond; all we needed to do and need to do is show up.
Last Friday we kicked off for the summer over dinner, all the belly-laughs, and most importantly, fixing our eyes on the One for whom we are laboring for by: faithfully loving the gospel, faithfully loving the local church, and faithfully loving the lost. We ended the night with sobered minds and hearts knowing that this charge is not only a privilege but essentially a means to live out our purpose to lift Him high.
Following the weekend, our first couple of meetings as a team were moments of sobering conversations and a means to spur each other on to keep the main thing the thing. We started the week with our first team meeting where we discussed our personal/team opportunities and convictions to share the gospel to those in our networks—and of course, being convicted to be interceding for them regularly. The following day, Chris Timmons (Open Door Church’s Communications Director) led our first Table Talk where we learned and dialogued on Christian contentment and we’re challenged to cultivate those rhythms in our hearts. We also began our dive into the book of Galatians and spelled out how the gospel shapes not only who we are but what we do. As the Word drew us out to navigate our brokenness and our broken world, a simple room transformed into a safe space to confess to each other what we may not have otherwise known. Proverbs 27:17 tells us that as “Iron sharpens iron, …one man sharpens another”, a truth that revealed it’s evidence as we all revealed our hearts to one another, granting us the chance to deeply know our brothers and sisters in order to lift them up as we serve and share, shoulder to shoulder. In the midst of reminding one another of the Father’s mercy towards us, we were also reminded to first faithfully love the gospel that we proclaim.
This week also consisted of our first outreach event: Soccer Nights! For a handful of us, any sort of athleticism has been out of our comfort zone. Thankfully, all things are possible through Christ, who ensured we all would have opportunities and apt assistance in areas that we may be unsure of. If anything, growing our hearts to faithfully love the local church as we built relationships with our community.
It’s been a blessing to be able to see God working in my own insecurities and shortcomings, as well as those of my friends, to bring glory to His name and to share His transforming love with those who may not yet know Him. In turn, cultivating our hearts to beat a love for the lost that are apart from the very Love that sustains us.
Our summer has just begun, even so, in some somber seconds, we’ve caught ourselves thinking about what happens when this is all over. It’s been a comfort to know that while Summer LINK 2019 in itself is finite, our God is never-ending and never-changing. We praise Him for the relationships we will be able to continue cultivate as our knowledge of the Lord, each other, and the community we daily connect with prospers in His care. We all look forward to the innumerable prospects that have been set in place for us by our Heavenly Father and our shared desire to reach the lost with His life-changing Gospel. Again, I need to daily ask myself, what is that life-changing gospel? Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” With this, we are comforted by the fact that we can faithfully love the gospel, local church, and the lost BECAUSE of the freedom that we have in Christ, no longer living as slaves of sin but for Him and His kingdom.
Prayer Requests:
  • Please pray for us as a team and that we would daily behold His living Word and become more and more like Jesus in the way we love the Lord and others
  • Please pray that our hearts would be made sober to see and cling to the gospel in our own lives and that it would overflow into loving burden and boldness to share the hope of Christ to the lost
  • Please pray for those that will be going to CREED camp next week as camp leaders and for their complete and utter dependence on the Lord as they pour into students that are in need of the gospel, both believers and non-believers alike. Please pray for seeds to be planted and that Jesus would be known and glorified
  • Please pray for the families living in the Washington Terrace apartment complex (Raleigh, NC) as we begin our partnership with the Raleigh Dream Center through their Summer Reading Program. Please pray for opportunities for us not to be saviors but point to the Savior Himself as we love and build relationships with parents/children that are in at-risk communities.

Jasmine Shaw
Summer LINK Raleigh Participant