There is a saying that says, "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it." I want to say that as I blog, it is sometimes not that long after I do, that I am tested in my personal life through the very things I am writing about. So without fear of what testing may come; I want to write about the church.
When I say, "THE CHURCH" what do you think about?
Do you picture a building with a cross on top, or somewhere around it? Do you think of specific people? Do you think words like family, friends, encouragement, worship, inspire, faith, life....? Or, do you think of words like, hypocrites, lies, money, judgement....? Based on what you have experienced your answers will vary from other people who are reading this.
The church, is every believer in Jesus Christ. If you believe that Jesus is our source of salvation, our hope, our healer, our love, our guide, our source for everything; your denomination of choice does not define you, your love for Jesus does. Doctrinal differences should NOT draw lines between the believers. In the book, Living on the Edge, Chip Ingram writes; "Has our faith become so organized and so structured around buildings and times and labels that the church is a place that we go to instead of something that we are? To be devoted to one another means we lay down our lives for one another." Yes, believer this is the cost of following Jesus; rather than, just believing in Jesus. The church looses its power when you and I simply believe in Jesus. We need to be a follower of Jesus and that costs us EVERYTHING, and yet gives us EVERYTHING in return. Chip also writes, "I had a brother in Christ who didn't love me when it was convenient. He loved me when I needed it the most, at great personal cost. That is what it means to be devoted to one another. It is in that environment that authentic community thrives and bursts forth into life as the supernatural love of God is passed back and forth among God's children." Until the church, you and I, start living this out consistently; the world will not want anything to do with the church. My challenge today for all of us, is that you and I would set out on a journey to live out love. To love when it's needed and not when it's convenient. To be authentic, and real; and to allow others the right to be so as well.
Life is Beautiful!