I’ve finally figured out what I want be when I grow up… I want to be an AMATEUR! Not the definition meaning: ‘someone who is incompetent or inept’— I want the meaning that comes from the root word: ‘amore’ — to love. This amateur does something, not because he has to, but because he loves to.

I am an amateur husband because I love Susan now more than ever. I am an amateur dad because I love my children and am so proud of them. I am an amateur grandpa because I love Wilkes, Macy, Owen, and Keightley. What a joy to watch them grow up!

I am an amateur Bible teacher because I love sharing what I’ve learned with middle school students. I love to see their eyes light up when they sense: ‘Oh, this stuff about Jesus is true! He knows me and really cares about me!’

It is important to do our jobs well. We need to carry out our work responsibilities in a professional way and be excellent in everything. But the ‘professional’ is often viewed as one who does his job because it is his job. Have you ever noticed, though, a person shining joy from his duties? Life springs forth from such people.

Jesus did not see Himself as ‘the professional Rabbi’… He was the perfect AMATEUR. And His love was all rooted in His Father. ‘I love My Father… and My Father loves Me. I do exactly what He tells Me to do and live in joy. My food is to do His will!” (see John 14:31; 15:10-11; 4:54)

God is now calling the whole world to look up and realize He is the only One who offers hope. ‘Look! I am here! Call on the Name of My Son! Out of love, He paid your debt with His Blood. He is your hope! He will be your Source of joy! Seek Him… call on His Name and be saved!’

In the dark hour, I’m not always encouraged by the ‘professional.’ But let me hear from someone who’s ‘been there’ and who is still pushing through and who still speaks hope, and I’ll be blessed.

I sat next to Cecil last week, a thirty-two year old athlete who is three weeks out from a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. “My taste is just coming back,” he said. I replied, “Yeah… it will just get better from here on. Did you lose much weight?”  “I went from 205 to 150.” We talked about common experiences and I shared the type of encouragement I needed when I was in the same place. Then we talked about the Lord, our Good Shepherd, who walks with us through the valleys – the One who loves to be with the hurting.

Amateurs share hope… out of faith and love. “Faith, hope, and love… but the greatest of these is: love.”

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15

“Salvation is found in no One else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

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