“For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.” -John 13:35 [Passion Translation]
Jesus said that they (the lost) would know us by our love. That was the lens in which the world would identify Christians. Does this ring true today?
I’ve often marveled at the transforming power of mission trips. Particularly ones in which we leave the American bubble, and travel to a 3rd world country. People come back from such trips looking like they had encountered God in the flesh, dazed and overcome with the feeling that what they experienced was real and that what we have is counterfeit.
It isn’t as though God is more present in Africa or anywhere else, He is everywhere and just as accessible! Then what is the difference? Why is the church booming in places of persecution and poverty and stagnating or reversing in places of peace and plenty?
The answer can be found in 1 Corinthians 13. It is the chapter of love, recited often at weddings, this chapter fully encompasses not just love but God’s love. Or more accurately, that God is love.
With God’s love in your hearts, you can make a difference, without it, you can do nothing. With His love, you cannot be self-righteous or hold unforgiveness but in fact, are compelled toward believing the best in others, seeing them as God see’s them.
1 John 4:18 adds that there is no fear in love. Perfect love (God’s love) casts out fear.
Why is this important to note? Tell me this…if the church had this love would its reputation be what it is today? A reputation of judgment and pride? Would a church filled with hope and passion for the lost be so silent? So afraid to speak up?
” Perfect love casts out fear” (Fear of man).
The bride of Christ has failed to mirror the love of God. In countries where to even call yourself a Christian is a death sentence, this weeds out those who would merely claim the title without the faith to back it up. In those places to simply live and breath is to walk by Faith! The lukewarm cannot exist in these places, in America they do so cozily because we have yet to taste such a life of surrender and sacrifice. They know what it means to “pick up their cross daily and follow Him.”
I don’t understand how those who carry the truth are so unwilling to share it. Those who carry a shred of humanity and morality are too tightlipped to defend their ideals. Meanwhile, do you know who isn’t silent? The wicked. They spread their slander and falsity with every breath and the world is being swayed by their words because they’re the only words being spoken in the all crushing silence.
The Republicans need to step up, cast off fear and remind this nation of its foundation. Christians need to open their church doors, they need to go out into the world and remind the people of the love of Christ that is freely theirs. We need to speak the truth in love and laugh at the devil’s attacks which prove he is afraid.
Jesus, our savior, is coming soon for his bride (the church). If your husband to be was coming after a long time apart, wouldn’t you do everything you could to prepare a home for him? Wouldn’t you bathe, dress in your nicest dress, adorn yourself with jewelry, clean, cook, and prepare a table for him? In expectant excitement, you would watch for him, not daring to fall asleep and miss out on his arrival.
The church is slumbering, the bride is neglecting herself and her duties. Does she believe she is in the right? Or has she grown weary of waiting for her groom? Whichever the case, it will not stop him from coming like a thief in the night, when she least expects it. His mind and heart have never wavered and his timing is always right. He’s been working and preparing a place for her, and His eyes have stayed wide with expectation and excitement.
In what state will He find His bride? That is entirely up to us. Up to you. We are the church, and it’s time to speak up.