The Call to Love
by Linda Riley
Our understanding of God's love will effect how we minister to others. And our ability to love will impact our everyday choices and lifestyle. If we do not have a proper understanding of God's love, our efforts to love people will be skewed and potentially unhealthy. Love may even be abandoned as useless and viewed as an unnecessary tool that God has given us for some unknown reason. If you ever thought love is losing not only the battle but also the war, this is a book that will challenge your assumptions.
Linda Riley develops the concept of love, carefully using personal anecdotes, scriptures and basic principles. She then arrives at some generalized applications that are very helpful and insightful. Her many years as a pastor's wife provide that practical experience that she skillfully weaves into the life of ministry. She is very helpful as she makes application to areas such as children and family. She talks about good boundaries without even using that term. Linda discusses the way love can be effectively communicated by a pastor's wife without being overcome by the expectations and preconceived notions of others about the role of a pastor's wife.
She views love as the basic and ultimate weapon to challenge the giants of our culture. If faith works through love, Linda strongly believes that "love overcomes hate." She affirms, "Love works. Love wins." This kind of love will avoid some of the pitfalls that have left Christians overwhelmed by evil rather than living in the power of faith, hope and love. The kind of love revealed in this book is the "greatest of these." Linda concludes by saying, "There is no small legacy of love. Every life lived in love is a triumphant accomplishment in the kingdom of God."
If you wonder whether you can survive ministry if you really love others, this book will help you affirm, "Yes, I can — with God's help."
At the basis of your ministry as a pastor and your relationship with Christ as a believer is His love for you.
A life of personal holiness is not easy. But it is important -- both for the Christian himself, for those he encounters and for those whose lives he might someday touch.
I think the one thing that I prayed for most often during the three decades of my pastoral ministry was revival in the church I pastored. I remember praying at first for a return to something, although I wasn't exactly sure what — just something that once was, a happening, a spirit, a feeling.