Day 14: 21 Days To Your Eternal Husband
Dear His Beloved,
Happy Sunday! I was remembering this morning the beginning of our church, The Well. Not having history with pastoring or church planting, my husband and I read just about everything we could get our hands on to give us insight on how to lead well and how to structure for growth -neither we did well at the beginning I might add! But mostly we wanted to know how to reach the lost because that was the driving force behind The Well. How do we get them in the door and keep them?
We learned... some will come if you simply invite them!
We learned...some will come if you don't judge their attire or appearance and allow them to come as they are.
We learned...if someone is not spoken to they will most likely not come back believing they were unseen.
We learned....if they don't see someone similar to them they may not come back because they believe they don't fit.
We learned a great deal about small things that keep the door open for people to leave never fully connecting, but probably the most surprising thing was not necessarily how to reach the lost but who they are.
I wonder when you think of the "lost" who immediately comes to mind?
Your relative that is addicted and broken? The man stumbling down the street with a bag in his hand seeming lost?Your friend going through a divorce for the third time? The mother who chose a man over her children and now they are being raised by relative? I think most of us have this idea of what "lost" looks like in our mind, but it might surprise you what statistics say about the LOST!
As we say in the South, we had a come to Jesus moment, when we read from great men of God that anywhere from 50-80% of the church could be lost. Surprisingly, many that are missing Jesus are sitting on pews with Bible in tow and t-shirt proclaiming ," I know the plans He has for me." But the real question is... do they know Him? According to Billy Graham, over half of those that claim to be Christians show no evidence that they are. I am reminded of the words from John....
He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him. John 1:11.
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
Nowhere in scripture have I found... they will know you are a believer by your church attendance. Nor will they know you are a believer by your status or title. Nor will they know you are a believer by how you pray ...even hypocrites pray, remember? Nor will they know you are a believer by your knowledge of word or even a seminary degree. None of these have I found and neither will you,because 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 to your denomination. There is a POWER source that should be evident in a believer. Above all of these, there should be 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 and denies the power of the Holy Spirit. The American Gospel driven by performance and accumulation is not Jesus. A Gospel that promotes division and exclusion leaves out Jesus. A Gospel that keeps you comfortable and flowing with the masses is not Jesus. A Gospel that proclaims love is bending the Word to accept all while leaving people in sin is far from Jesus!
If the only way others know we are a believer is by us telling them, we need to get at His feet.
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.
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 desperately want to. Give me a heart to love You above all things.
I believe those desperate moments in our lives are the mercy of God that drive us to finally look up!
I don't want to assume just because you are reading this that you are a believer. I was in a church for 31 years blinded to the more of God, deceived that the power of the Holy Spirit ended with the sealing of His Word, deceived that knowing Him was about my head rather than my heart! Sweet friends, we have to stop looking at the condition of the world and wanting it to change when we haven't invited God to change us! If this is you, I pray that you will hit your knees today and lift your hands up and say:
"I surrender! I accept Jesus as my Savior! I am ready to follow you! I ask the blinders be removed from eyes that I might see truth! I ask you purify my heart that I see you! I chose to get out of the drivers seat and get into the passengers seat and allow you to be Lord! I ask that you fill me with your Holy Spirit that I might have access to you Father! I ask that you remove my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh and write your truths upon my heart today! I ask Father for an appetite for your Word and your Presence! When my flesh is weak, will you show me your Grace by putting your hand upon my life and empowering me to be a representation of you! I can't do this without you and I am tired of doing it on my own! I lay my life at your feet today! I give back my will for your will in my life! I ask that all doors I have opened, all lies I have believed about myself and you, all false doctrine that has hindered my knowing you would all be put under the blood of Jesus that I might be free from any ungodly attachments or untruths. In Jesus name, Amen
In His Grip,