My church has been focusing on love the past month or so, and not love as an adjective but love as a verb. Love as an action, love doing something so others see it and feel it.
They have kind of been knocking it out of the park lately with this series, because in all honesty there was a time last year when I felt so disconnected from church, and not just my church, but any church.
You see God had been doing a number on my heart that year, breaking it open, peeling back the layers, and showing me the filth, sort of like an onion (shameless Bachelor plug) But really, I was seeing how I had spent so many years thinking I was better. That somehow being a Christian made my sin a little less bad, okay lets be real, a lot less bad. Gross right? I am telling you this with no shame because God is a God of grace and my sin is ugly, just like yours, but He has made me clean, not through anything I have done, but completely and utterly through Him.
The way I began to feel the disconnect at church was that I felt like at that time churches were very strongly preaching a gospel to a lost crowd. But not in a loving way, it all felt much like how I had been doing it. From a place of standing in that pulpit and slamming my Bible saying I was somehow better, and this is why you should change.
Could it have been just because my heart was raw from all of the revealing that was going on? Maybe. Could it have been because that was the sin that was brought to the forefront of my life and I was hypersensitive to it? Probably. But Gods timing is perfect, He knows what He is doing, and He is standing above seeing the big picture while we walk through the trenches. He knew if I had heard anything like this love does message back then it wouldn’t have sunk in quite like it did yesterday.
Love does friends.
Love shares Jesus with people. Love takes out the trash. Love does willingly without complaint. Love helps the person on the side of the road. Love shares a nice uplifting comment online. Love forgives first. Love walks out into the world outside of it’s holy huddle into the uncomfortable and does life.
Our sin is no different then anyone else’s sin. It isn’t our job to judge, to take inventory of wrongs, or even sell the gospel. Our job or mission is to walk boldly with the Holy Spirit and show Jesus to others, and Jesus does not discriminate my friends. Jesus doesn’t love you more and me less because you tithe and I don’t. Jesus doesn’t love me more and you less because I go to Bible Study every week. Jesus doesn’t love you more and me less because you memorize scripture. Jesus doesn’t love me more and you less because you are divorced, or gay, or not a Christian.
Jesus just loves, plain and simple, because that is what he is…
Goodness gracious the old me would have never been able to write anything close to any of that. But the new me, the me made alive by the forgiveness of my ugly sins, well that me, is walking boldly with the Holy Spirit, that doesn’t mean I don’t fail at this daily it just means this new me asks for help to love daily. Love doing something isn’t easy. Loving something or someone you don’t like isn’t a natural human behavior. But God does. God loves that person we don’t like so much so that Jesus died for them too. He died for them. I mean let that line sink in. And then let this one too, he died for you too. For that ugly unloving yucky sin that is still buried deep inside. He loves you regardless.
This world is a mashed up mixture of all different kinds of beautiful people God loves.
Why don’t ya go out there and love on them too?