15 July 2012.
I am trying to hold back the tears right now; I fear I may join David in his lament over rivers running from his eyes. This thought refuses to escape my mind and put my soul at ease: When are we going to stop just going to church and start actually being the church? Church is not something we do on Sundays; it’s who we are everyday. If we pursued lost sinners with the same enthusiasm we pursue our own stinkin’ piety, we would set this world on fire! We ascribe so much holiness to the act of gathering in a deemed-to-be-sacred building shut off from the big bad world and commend ourselves for our bold piety while the blood of every dying soul we do our best to avoid is on our hands. When will the Church wake up from her coddled slumber and finally get a grasp on eternity?
“The Gospel is not an old story, freshly told. It is a fire in Spirit, fed by the flame of Immortal Love, and woe unto us, if, through our negligence to stir up the Gift of God within us, that fire burns low.
— Dr. R. Moffat Gautrey
Lord, when a lens is placed before my life, and an image of who it is I have become, is being processed, developed and presented - Father, prepare me, so that it may be a sweetened image of You, Your love and Your handiwork. Let Your name be written on my heart, and Your will be placed firmly within my purpose. Let Your holiness, goodness and greatness be imprinted on the soles of my feet and engraved deeply within the palms of my hands; where You once thought of me, and blew my lifeless body from dust into existence. Let my entire being be enveloped, saturated and captured within Your intentions, Your desires and Your will for me Lord. That the prayer of my heart would ring true - that my eyes would gleam Your glory, present Your hope and provide Your promise. That my stance would present that I am eternally steadfast in Your grasp. That my clothes would show my intricately knitted place within Your kingdom, and my smile show the joy, that is eternally everlasting in You. That despite circumstance, regardless of situation and irrelevant of any emotional, physical or spiritual struggle; my life would bare the very name of You, my King. That my scent would be a sweet acknowledgement of Your grace, and that my words would be nothing less than an example of all that You once were, are and forever will be. Hear my cries Father, let my image, my legacy, my cause and my life - be the very reflection of nothing less than You in all Your beauty and wonder.
We are filled up, so that we can pour out. We are encouraged, so that we can go forth and encourage others. We have been set free, so that we can point others to freedom. We have been reconciled, so that we can join in the ministry of reconciliation. We have been sent out, so that we can in turn send others.
Jesus has commanded us to take action. As His Bride we are His partner in furthering the Kingdom, so let us truly live like it.
We’ve heard those excuses before: I’m to busy to spend time with God— I have work, family, school, friends, fun, etc… But today I heard an interesting excuse that sparked my cerebral activity and incited my spirit a bit. “I’m too busy for God— I have church…” and he went on to enumerate the various church activities he had become involved in.
It seems that we have become deceived. We have begun looking to our own efforts, our own understanding of God, and our own strength, in order to fulfill the work of the Lord. We have Bible studies— or rather discussions—small groups, conferences, worship concerts, charity events, etc. We spend our days “doing things for God” that we neglect being with Him. Suddenly it becomes all about us, our comforts, and what we can accomplish. We lose sight of the Gospel and we lose sight of the whole point. We have become Martha’s when Jesus is calling us to be Mary’s.
We read the Bible and see a checklist of things to do; we look at Jesus and see a teacher— merely a good example to follow. How foolish we are! Paul saw the church of Galatia falling into this very snare and he wrote to urge them:
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
— Galatians 3:1-14
Jesus Christ is our propitiation, our redeemer, restorer, empowerer, our very essence of life. Instead of blindly following his teachings, attempting them in our own strength, it’s time we let Him invade us, fill us, and transform us. His blood is mighty to cover all our sins and bring us to life.
It is time we stop doing things for God and start doing things with God.