I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this post. Some thoughts have been swirling around inside my head all weekend, so this is an attempt to write them out.
My heart is burdened for the lost. Earlier this year, I wrote a post entitled The But Stops Here. You can read it if you like, but the main point is that we put too many conditions on our love for others. “I love you, but…”
We, as Christians, should be known for our love. Unfortunately, we are known more for what we stand against than Who we stand for. We are quick to point out the faults of others before we even show them love. We expect people to change before we are willing to love them. We love others when they are doing good, but when they do something to “hurt” us, we retract that love.
We can attend church every Sunday. We can start up home groups targeted to specific individuals. We can pray. We can read the Bible. We can quote all the required scriptures. We can feed the hungry. We can shelter the homeless. We can lift our hands in worship.
We can do all these things, but without love, it’s all a big fat zero. (1Cor 13)
Religion can do all the activities I just mentioned just to look good, check items off a list, or complete an outreach quota for the month. It’s just going through the motions of dead works.
The most sincere form of ministry and outreach will never be seen on the pages of Facebook.
You can serve thousands of hours in the community, give millions to local ministries, and even hand out hundreds of hot meals. You can do these and saturate social media with your proof, but I don’t believe it has the same Kingdom implication as helping the homeless man on the corner by taking him to McDonald’s for a meal. And no one knows about it except him and God.
Why do we strive so hard for the approval of man? A ministry leader? A pastor? You will only receive their approval if you’re doing things to make them happy. I have experienced this first hand. That’s why I’m done trying to please man. I won’t be standing in front of any one man on judgement day. God created me in His image. Man didn’t. God sent Jesus to die on a Cross for me. Man didn’t. I will love others, but not try and please them.
Pastors and leaders are very important, but they are mere men. We can’t forget that. Jesus is our ultimate authority.
Our approval was determined long ago when God created us. Our value was sealed when the blood of Jesus ran down the old rugged cross to reconcile us once again to a Father who longed to have His children back.
We can’t avoid showing love to someone because they swear.
We can’t avoid showing love to someone because they use drugs.
We can’t avoid showing love to someone because they are gay.
We can’t avoid showing love to someone because they refuse to attend church.
We can’t avoid showing love to someone because they had an abortion.
Why doesn’t religion work? Because it is completely void of love.