On Sunday I was asked a point blank question: “ do you love this church?”
My unspoken reaction was “ wow…really?”
People who know me wouldn’t have to ask me that question.
I think the real question should be this:
Do you love Jesus?
Do you love Jesus enough to stop bickering?
Do you love Jesus enough to stop berating others?
Do you love Jesus enough to love your wife/husband a little more?
Do you love Jesus enough to stop doing the sin that you are doing?
Do you love Jesus enough to do whatever he is asking?
You know, when I was sent out by my church family to be a part of the launch team at OOTBWC-I took an oath and to me it was a serious oath. I made a commitment to help build UP the church by going out and doing something new. I feel like I have stood by that promise and then some. I left my church family to help build up a new family. I have worked, prayed, studied, led, fellowshipped, worked some more, cried a lot, and have continued to persevere.
The biggest issue has been the negativity from within the body. It has been the most hurtful, the most thoughtless and the most selfish. But then, look at Jesus. Who crucified him? Here he was doing the work of His Father and people hated him enough to kill him. He was sent to save the world but people refused to see the good that was right before their very eyes.
This is different, yet the same. Some people can’t see the good that’s right in front of them. There are a lot of really wonderful things happening at OOTBWC and in the people there. No, it isn’t perfect and it never will be. No, it isn’t like the church we grew up in, it isn’t meant to be. It isn’t what God has called everyone to do, but it is what God has called each of us to pray for and that is for the souls of people everywhere.
Listen, people are dying while we are bickering and fighting. Children are being left behind and families are being torn apart. I sat and listened to two sermons about LOVE on Sunday. We are called to LOVE God and then love each other. If we truly love God then we will find a way to love each other-whether we want to or not. God wants us to!
The phrases that stick in my mind the most are this:
“We MUST help turn others thinking toward the ETERNAL.
We should earnestly desire the gifts that build UP the body.
The people that are hard to love are DESPERATE.”
So, no matter what I hear or am questioned with I always have to remember that people are desperate and I may be the very person who God is leading to take them by the hand and help them cross the bridge from death into life. We can’t do it alone. We need each other, like it or not, God put us all here to help each other get to HIM!
So, yes, I do love my church and I do love every single person in it even the ornery ones. I need to love them a little harder, a little more, and I need to shower them with blessings of thanksgiving!
Why do I love my church? Because God first loved me and that’s where I have heard, felt and experienced my Creator’s love for me-through the Body of Christ. Without that experience I would be desperate too. I love God first and because of His love for me-I love you too.
Peace for your journey, may it be one that leads to Life.
note: the two people who are not linked to the chain of love are the lost…are we doing all we can to show people that GOD loves them? We must be the link that connects the lost to life.
Here is a small piece of the good stuff that is going on: From my friend Brenda Harmon:
If you know my daughter at all, ( 3 years old) you know that every activity she does turns into an “occasion”–every step taken is a chance to skip instead of walk. She has Christmas and her birthday coming up, and I just asked her what she was most excited about. Without missing a beat Casey says “I’m most excited about Jesus in my heart.” My heart is dancing and skipping now….Wow. Praise the Lord!
Now THAT my friends makes my heart sing praises to God~!