That was the story of my senior year. I had an encounter with Jesus the summer before that changed my life. Before then I didn’t believe in Jesus or like church. But the summer of 2003, I met Jesus and He changed my life. My prayer life was real and God was speaking to me. The Bible that bored me was now alive. My burden for my lost friends was deep. Yet when I brought them to church, they didn’t want to come back and neither did I!
I loved Jesus and hated church.That year God called me to be a pastor in a church and I was so confused. I reluctantly said yes. I thought church was a building and a way of doing ministry. I was so wrong. You see I loved people who went to church but did not see people as the church. Then I came across this verse:
Matthew 16:18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
God began to show me that the Church was actually people and not a building. These people were powerful and carried Kingdom authority. God started to change my heart toward the church. I saw God was calling me to lead the church (the people) to advance the kingdom of God into enemy territory and together we had guaranteed victory! Then I began to love Jesus even more and love the church.
So do you love Jesus? I am not asking if you read the Bible or pray… Do you love (the verb not the feeling) Jesus? By the way action evokes feelings. If I cut you off in traffic it will evoke a feeling. I am talking do you with your whole being worship, follow, and obey Jesus? If not I pray you experience Jesus the way I did 15 years ago! I pray your heart would not grow cold but would burn with love for the Savior who purchased your freedom! Worship Him and Serve Him. He is worthy of nothing less!
Do you love the church? Not the building, not the style, not your denomination, not your music preferences, not your preaching preferences… Do you love God’s bride? If you came to me and said I like you but not your wife, we couldn’t be friends. Is my wife perfect? Not at all! Is God’s bride perfect? Far from! Jesus gave His life for His bride and we are called to love her and serve her. Remember action evokes feelings. Where you spend your money and your time, there your love will be. Love is a verb! Give to your church and serve her and your love for her will grow!
Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus