St Paul, MinnesotaThe goal of the Christian life is to love. In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus makes it clear. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all that you are, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

The reason we love is because God first loved us. (1 John 4:19) On mission trips, we often talk about what message we’re trying to spread. Well, it’s simple. Our mission, our message, is to share the love of God.

Of course, that’s easier said than done!

Personally, I find that it’s not always easy to love our neighbors. I’ve encountered people – even on mission trips! – who aren’t that easy to love. It can be a lot easier to blame someone in poverty for their situation, or to focus on a problem rather than on people. Maybe that’s true for you too.

And make no mistake, God does care how people live. God cares about people’s situations. But all of God’s caring is grounded in love.

If I’m following Christ’s call to serve, I need to have love for other people. Sometimes I can do that. Just as often, I can’t love people on my own. I need to reflect God’s love for others, not my own.

Love Come to Life

Big Daddy Weave‘s song Love Come to Life talks about this. This song is a prayer, crying out to God, “Bring Your love to life inside of me.”

The first verse talks about being restless on the inside, wondering, “Has the love I speak so loudly of quietly grown cold?” and asking God to “Reignite this heart’s spark here in the dark.” I think that’s so powerfully true. It’s so easy for us to talk about God’s love without actually doing anything about it.

Even on a mission trip, when we should be completely focused on sharing God’s love through word and service, it’s easy for us to lose the wonder of the love we’re sharing. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in doing stuff and sharing with people that we lose sight of how awesome, how incredible God’s love really is. It’s all to easy to take God’s love for granted, and for that love in us to quietly grow cold.

Break My Heart ‘Til It Moves My Hands and Feet

The chorus of Love Come to Life calls for God to bring His love to life inside of us. My favorite line is “Break my heart til it moves my hands and feet.” I know for me, and probably for you too, it’s easy to just ignore the hopeless and the broken. Most people who I know are not poor. I don’t usually see people in great immediate need.

But I know there is need. How can I be so callous that I ignore the headlines in the news? But it’s so easy, so unintentional.

Asking God to break my heart is a dangerous prayer! But it’s so necessary. The only way we can live out our calling to be Jesus’ hands and feet in the world is to pay attention. We need God to bring His love to life inside of us. We need our hearts broken so much that we actually do something.

The last verse speaks really well to mission trips. God is calling out our generation, calling to do more than just sing and talk. We really do need to be “Living everything that we sing about” in order that this “love that’s greater than our own won’t remain unknown.” This song is asking God to use us, to make us His hands and feet in the world. (Similar to a certain other song you might know!)

If you haven’t noticed by now, I really like this song. In fact, I’m going on a mission trip to St. Paul, Minnesota, (hence the picture above!) in a couple weeks with my wife’s church’s youth group and we’re using this song as our 2014 mission trip theme song.

Love Come to Life has great lyrics and some great energy. At 3:46 long, it’s long enough to reflect on, but short enough to use as a mission trip meeting devotional. I’m excited to use it in our trip video.

We even used this theme for our mission trip group t-shirts! Check it out:

Love Come to Life Mission Trip T-Shirt

Love Come to Life on iTunes

 

 
Here’s a lyric video:

Image Credit

If you’re going on a mission trip this summer and you’re using Love Come to Life or another song, let me know! Leave a comment below, and check out my list of other mission trip songs.