Tonight, I did not go to Bible Study. I pulled myself out of the loop. I had a really rough and long day. In the past, I might have run to this group and put on the happy face, shared my stories, my revelations, and all things me! I could have read the chapters and been just fine. I probably would have even been encouraged and touched by many of the brothers and sisters that are in the group because there hearts are there.
But tonight I didn’t go to Bible study…and I am still standing. Lightning didn’t strike me down and more importantly than anything…I felt like I finally got some real time to experience Christ.
I had a terrible day and needed the Lord to do something. I had felt abandoned and abused and on the drive home…I was reminded of the gift that is a marriage and parenthood. The Lord tapped my shoulder and said…no matter how bad your day, I have given you these people to come home to. They love you in spite of your flaws. They have learned to love you and see you the same way I do…as “perfect”. Just as you have chosen me…they have chosen you. They trust you to be a leader in the house and set an example for them. You not only represent them, but you represent Me. You had better decide to love like I love.
I started to perk up and not feel quite so down. So I rejoiced a little…and sat in silence hoping to hear more. One might call this prayer – only I didn’t say much.
Again, I “heard” some truth…I realized it isn’t about church services and Bible studies. It is not about religious activity but about sharing Christ. It is not about always talking about Him. It is not about the Scriptures I have memorized or can use to demonstrate my superiority. It is about “sharing” or revealing or living out of Christ. It is about Christ and when you love people, you are sharing Him. When you choose not to judge, you are sharing Him. When you choose to listen, you are sharing Him. When you choose to put yourself on the cross for 15 minutes and be what one person needs you are sharing Him.
The biggest thing that kind of struck me, is they might not even know you are sharing Him with them. He has changed me, and that is what I am sharing. I am sharing the new me…and He is the builder of that new me. People need to know that they are loved…unconditionally. And that includes me. And that is something I can do…if I am willing to let Him live through me.
And ultimately, I ended up at the Subverisve blog…It was refreshing to be reminded that I am valuable to the Body as a whole. That while the world may dump on me, possibly even reject me, there is a place for me in the Kingdom…and bigger than that, I am a vital piece of this thing known as the Church. I have been at the center of many a discussion or debate about the “right” way to do church. Is it with a pastor or is it in the living room? And tonight, I cannot say that one way is the right way, but I can say that if it points you to Christ and I mean makes Him come alive in You, then that is where you need to be. If your church experience leaves you with knowledge and no fire or passion for the son of God, then you might want to re-evaluate where you are at. If you cannot share the Christ that is in you, in your church world…then maybe you have to move on. If your church life sends you out into the world feeling empty and forsaken, then it is not Christ. The power of the Spirit from Christ will send us each out into the world ready to share Him with all. It will allow us to love with grace and compassion.
I am reminded of a lyric from one of my favorite artists…Andrew Peterson. In a song about marriage he has a line that goes:
“The only way to find your life, is to lay your own life down. And I believe that’s an easy price for the life that WE have found”
I know the song is about the marriage between a man and a wife, but it is also about the marriage between Christ and the church.
The only way we find our life, that is our life in Christ, is to lay our earthly life down. And I believe that’s an easy price to pay for the life that WE, a united body of Christ with one another and with Christ, have found.