Pearl 20: A Believer Leaves Evidence
Wow! I bet you are wondering where I have gone? Ha! I certainly did not anticipate all of the details it takes to launch a church, and I am still waiting for someone to pinch me to wake up hardly able to believe that we actually did launch a church that on Sunday had standing room only. How great is our God? I know this.... pastor's wives just went to the top of my prayer list! Ha! The past few months have certainly shown me the face of God and how He is into details....never missing one. We should trust more. I have learned that His plans and His ways stretch us and call us higher than we can imagine. His vision is always greater than our vision, and we should dream more and expect more and stop shrinking back to what seems possible. For nothing truly is impossible with Him. I am more confident of this truth every day I live. So I find myself here trying to wrap up your 21 day journey that has taken months. So glad I believe in GRACE, right?
In preparing for The Well, our church, we listened to research from great men of God trying to focus in on who is missing Jesus now and to align our church to finding the lost. We were taken back by statistics across the board but one that really struck a cord......a come to Jesus moment, as we say in the South. One leader claims that 80% of those that say they believe have no evidence there of and another says that number is around 50-60%. Surprisingly, many that are missing Jesus are sitting on pews. Regardless who is correct, either way it should be shocking. Over half of those that claim to be Christians most likely are not. I am reminded of the words from John.... He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him. John1:11
So what does the Word of God say about a believer.....
They will know you are mine, by how you love. John 13:35
There should be fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23
Signs shall follow those that believe. Mark 16:15-17
However, for those that seek signs over Intimacy with the Savior, He says Away from me you evil doers, you never knew me. Matthew 7:23 Knew or Yada is the same word when Adam knew Eve and they bore a son.
Nowhere in scripture have I found that they will know you are a believer by your church attendance. Nor will they know you are His by status or title. Nor will they know you are His by how you pray ...even hypocrites pray, remember? Nor will they know you are His by your knowledge of word or a seminary degree. None of these have I found and neither will you. It's not in His Word. And the real problem is that many people professing to be of God hardly know His word. Sadly the Bible is the most sold least read book in the world.
There should be fruit of your belief. That fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control...there is desire to share the Word because the Word says make disciples of nations not converts, and there is a power source that should be evident in a believer. Above all of these, there is great LOVE! The greatest of all is love. If you lack love, despite having knowledge and faith and power, He says you have nothing. 1 Corinthians 13
It is a very dangerous day to live in a country that has formulated a Gospel that leaves out Jesus. The American Gospel driven by performance and accumulation is not Jesus. A Gospel that promotes division and exclusion instead of inclusive also leaves out Jesus. The Word says....
And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.[a] 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,[b] slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children[c] of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Galatians 3:27-29
If we are excluding others there should be a red flag that we need to recalibrate?
If the four words that describe our attitude are hateful, intolerant, judgmental and mean, rather than loving, forgiving, merciful and graceful, we need to recalibrate?
If the only way others know we are a believer is by us telling them, we need to recalibrate?
Don't take the bait the enemy has laced through this American Gospel to keep you complacent missing out on your position to bring the Kingdom to this earth.
Think on this.....What happened in the Word when people BELIEVED?
They left their nets and went to be fishers of men. They gave money they collected back to the poor. They left their families and followed Jesus. They were willing to go to prison for the Gospel and they did it praising the Lord.
A woman who goes to the Well in the middle of the day to avoid being seen shamed of her past, leaves the very thing she came for and runs into the city to share her encounter with everyone.
Belief changes us. Perhaps we need to stop striving to change our behavior and focus on our belief?
Thoughts are not beliefs. If we truly believe that He saved us and is coming back to get us, then the bride should make herself ready for her Groom. The words He has spoken to me the past few weeks is this....everything else can wait!
One of the greatest moments in my spiritual journey was the moment I looked to Him saying....I don't know if I love you like your Word calls me to. I don't even know how to love you above these little faces looking up to me, but I want to. Give me a heart to love You above all things.
No one knows the hour He will return, but His word says for the bride to make herself ready.
Let us rejoice and be glad because the bride has made herself ready. Revelation 19:7
In His Grip,