Where is the love?
Day 21 of 40 (they say it takes 21 days to form a habit… I think I’m addicted. J )
So tonight I am ending our section on being part of the church.
But … I am NOT ending the part of living it out, merely the reading about it.
Let me ask you a personal question… how do you feel?
Not the “how are you?” that we so flippantly throw around and don’t really expect a genuine answer.
In fact, when we get a genuine answer we’re often shocked and don’t really know how to handle the “situation”… so we quickly change the subject to sunnier skies.
That is, this is the case if you were feeling rotten that day… as most of us do, on most days.
If, on the off chance, you come across someone who is AMAZING! You immediately ask why and they are delighted to tell you. This usually makes you feel equally as uncomfortable as the first!
Why are we so consumed by our emotions?
God created us this way… even Jesus wept on several occasions. His life mirrors perfection, and yet he still knew the grief of losing a loved one. He had to endure hardships of family responsibility – being the oldest and expected to take care of his mother. He saw one of his best friends die.
And later in life, he experienced probably the harshest betrayal of friendship ever known – betrayal unto the most horrible type of execution.
Imagine all of the emotions that consumed him as he hung on that cross to die for you and me.
However, He loved us THAT much that he knew it was the only way… so he gave up how he felt about the matter and turned his heart towards God once again and lived – and died – in obeidience to his Father.
So… let me ask you a personal question.
How do you feel?
What emotions are dragging you down?
Is there something over the last 3 weeks – since I’ve started speaking out and writing on these topics from The Purpose Driven Life – or perhaps even further back, the Holy Spirit has been nudging you to deal with emotionally.
To pick yourself back up.
Say to yourself, yes… I will follow Jesus.
Yes, I will.
I can’t live without him.
Perhaps there’s a person you need to talk to… but you don’t feel like it.
Perhaps there’s something God is asking you to DO… or something you need to deal with personally. Or a habit you finally need to kick.
But you don’t FEEL like it!
Do you think Jesus FELT like being tortured?
What if he had – and we know he had the power to do so – what if he had actually asked to be taken off that cross. To not endure the torture and the ridicule and all the pain and emotional trauma.
What if he had simply – not felt like it.
And yet, his love kept him.
For some reason, He passionately loved us in spite of our imperfections.
He LOVES us!
His obedience made him turn aside from his feelings and go through with everything God had planned for him.
Let me ask you another personal question…
How do you feel about your church?
Do you only go when you feel like it?
There are so many things God asks us to be obedient in – out of love, not legalism.
And one extremely important one is this: Loving his bride – the Church.
Will you focus on unity in your church that God has chosen for you to be planted in?
Will you passionately love the church – in spite of her imperfections?
Will you honour your Pastors as the God-appointed spiritual leaders in your life?
Will you be obedient in this small way and love your church the way the bible says?
Or do you simply – not feel like it today.
Perhaps Love is not a feeling…
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:7-8