How You See GOD... is the Way You See the CHURCH | The Savings Wife

Friday, February 8, 2013

How You See GOD... is the Way You See the CHURCH

God expects the Church, the Body of Christ, to be viewed with awe, and if we aren’t viewing it that way, then we aren’t seeing it properly. Among those who first saw the new born Church, there was a transition that took place in spirit and attitude. It was reported that those early believers "were filled with awe" when they saw the Church. Something very dramatic happened in their lives to the extent that they all abandoned their separate lives and were united together and had everything in common. It’s not just, "Yeah, yeah, I know. They loved Jesus and sometimes hung out together." They gave their life to the Messiah who they realized had come to save their souls. They repented of acts and attitudes that lead to division, strife and conflict.

Something else happened, too. They were devoted to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to prayer, and to the breaking of bread—all these things have to do with other people and have to do with the Church. They instantly had a regard for the Household of God as something much more than a loose-knit affiliation of people who each believed in God.

Fellowship... bearing with one another... was not just about praying for patience and strength to accept those you had a hard time accepting, it was about recognizing that even when hurt by others, this "Christian thing" is not about me, or you. or even us. Its about living in the Spirit, being lead and influenced by the power of God, refusing to allow the standards of the world to permeate our views of one another. These other people, those who hurt us... well, they are Christians, too and living under the same "grace" you are. So what do you do when faced with that uncomfortable reality? Certainly you have choices... but the only right choice is to live for God, and not judge your fellow Christian, who is also living for God.

True Love Expresses Itself among believers...
If there is someone you love desperately, such as your spouse and children, what does your mind and your heart want to do? You have to find some way to express that love. If you love someone, your mind is going to be creatively finding ways to express it by always thinking, “How could I do something special for them that would make them smile or take a load off their shoulders? How could I creatively find a way to get into their heart, into their life and to just do something special, with no need for anything in return? I just want to give.”

When you really love someone, you just want to give. That's the way it is with God, and HIS Church. If you really love God, there is no way you can draw some line between loving Him and expressing a lesser love among fellow Christians. You must have the same love and zeal God has for the body of Christ. If you really want to serve Him, there aren't a lot of ways to do that with a God whom you can't touch, and whom no one has seen or can see. So how can you wash His feet, so to speak? What other ways do you have to love Him if you don't love and forgive your fellow Christians for being hurtful, ignorant and sometimes just plain stupid?

Let's not kid ourselves, this is a very simple Biblical concept, a requirement actually. We can't escape responsibility for loving and accepting one another unconditionally. It's not a deep, far-fetched concept, but Christians despise this reality in the Body of Christ. When conflict emerges among fellow Christians, we despise this idea of being joined one to another, of being members of one another. These are gruesome terms to people who want to live selfish lives. What does God see? Its obvious, if we reject one another then we have no love for Him. We are consumed by our own hurt feelings and we miss entirely our responsibility to one another and ultimately to God.

It's easy to call oneself a "Christian" but NOT at all easy to live what it means. 
No one wants to be hurt and become a slave to others even to the point of death if necessary... especially for those who have done hurtful and maybe even despicable things because of their station in the congregation. God's answer is simple... just do it... forgive. HE says... "Do it with a genuine heart and keep on doing it until the day you die and I will be sustain you and glorify you for your goodness shown to your fellow Christian brother or sister who hurt you." What more could you desire?

This is when I usually say "get over yourself" and focus your eyes not on the one who offended you, but upward. Wait! That is what I am saying! Whoever you are, its not about you, its about how you as a Christian allow God to use you to defeat the enemy Satan, who wants to ruin your walk with Christ over trivial things, especially disputes and grievances among brothers.
And yes, whatever offense has been done to you, it is a trivial thing when compared to what God has set before us. Focus upward on the coming of Jesus. Being ready means bearing with one another, carrying one another, forgiving one another and ignoring most of what is said to us and done to us, in favor of reaching the prize that awaits each of us for a race well run.

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