Two or three years ago I heard Christine Caine speak at my church. She told a story of her team rescuing some young women from a sex slave ring, telling them they came in the name of Jesus, that Jesus loves them and wants them to be free. One girl’s response has haunted me.
“Where have you been? What took you so long?!”
That’s a punch in the gut, isn’t it? It’s no secret our world is hurting. And I know I’m not alone in thinking it’s getting worse. Our sad little world needs God. I’ve found myself praying more, seeking Him more. And I’ve determined our world needs Christians to live as true Christ followers. In fact, we’ve been needed for quite some time. Gulp. Where have we been? What has taken us so long?
I can’t control everyone -or anyone-else. But I control me! What if I lived as though my God reigns, as though I truly believed what I say I believe? What if my life pointed others to my great God? Deep breath. I don’t know if I can do this.
- What if I forgave quickly? Ephesians 4:31-32 (NKJV) “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
- What if I stopped worrying so much? 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Matt 6:34 NIV “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matt 6:25-27 NIV “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
- What if I loved others, really loved others? John 13:34-35 (NKJV) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- What if I stopped judging others? Matthew 7:1-5 (NKJV) “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
- What if I spent my time and energy on “good” things? I’m thinking about the books I read and the shows I watch. Ouch! #workinprogress Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
I know you’ve heard people say it’s time to stop playing church, to start being the church. “They” are right. I don’t know if I can do it. Okay, I know I cannot do it in my own strength, but I can absolutely wake up every morning, spend time with My Father, love on my husband, go out in the world and love on coworkers, students, parents, friends, bank tellers, store clerks, fellow drivers, family, friends…. And when I mess up (and I absolutely will mess up) I can dust myself off, ask for forgiveness and strength, remind myself of the call on my life, and start again.
My message-our message-is love. What if we all lived that love? What if????
I have at least two more posts on this, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, I wish you MUCH joy!
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