The Imperfect Fill the Perfect Plan
Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18
The world abounds with people whose sin has alienated them from God. Christ's sacrificial work has restored Christians to a love relationship with the heavenly Father. As Christians, we are appointed as ministers of reconciliation. Once Christ dwells within us, we become His ambassadors, and we entreat others to be reconciled to Him (2 Cor. 5:20). We are God's messengers of peace, urging others to return to God (Matt. 5:9). Sin breaks our relationship with God; it severs relationships with others as well. Broken relationships are the epidemic of our day. Sin alienates family members, separates friends, divides churches, and destroys marriages. Sin creates mistrust, jealousy, hatred, and greed, all of which devastate relationships. Only Christ has the remedy for the disastrous effect of sin on human relationships. As His ambassadors, we are to take the message of reconciliation to a broken, divided world. We urge reconciliation first with God, and then with each other. How tragic when God's messengers of peace harbor enmity toward each other. It is a travesty to carry a message of love and yet be filled with hatred. If there is someone whom you refuse to forgive, your message of reconciliation is hypocrisy. The evidence that you are a disciple of Jesus is that you love your fellow Christian (John 13:35). In each of your relationships, make certain that your actions share the love and forgiveness that reflect what you received from God. Then you will not only speak the message of reconciliation, but you will live it as well. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Read this also this morning from a Facebook post...
Church: read this. I didn't write it, but it is too good to ignore.
"The pastor says they sit front and center. The gay boys. Sometimes they hold hands. And some folks have said he should address the issue. But the pastor tells me he doesn’t know what to say. And then there’s the man who sneaks in the back door. Fresh off the street. After the service starts. And leaves before alter call. The people sitting close complain about how bad he smells. Of beer and smoke and sweat. But the pastor tells me he doesn’t know what to say. And then there’s the young mama who wears dirty skin and lets her four children come in and eat all the donuts and drink all the watered-down juice. Some church staff say they “…eat like little pigs. Like they haven’t eaten in weeks.” While the mama just stands there and lets them. And the elders say something must be done and said. But the pastor tells me he doesn’t know what to say. And there’s the whore sitting among the faithful. And everybody knows her. She sits with a painted-up face, cheap perfume, and a broken heart. And those who sit close, well, they all treat her for what they think she is. And at the last staff meeting, her name came up. Something must be done about her. But the pastor tells me he doesn’t know what to say.
The pastor is a good man. Holy and just. And he wants to do the “right and loving” thing. And he wants to “look like Jesus”. And he asks me if I have any thoughts on anything he could say.
Yes, sweet Pastor. I do.
Start with this and say it Louder than any other words:
“Welcome to Church. This is a place of love and hope and safety and forgiveness. We will be food for the hungry. Living water for the thirsty. We are so glad you are here. You are invited. You are loved. Come on in—we’ve been waiting on you. Welcome here. We are the church.”
Say that. To the called and to the called-out. To the leaders and the greeters. To the dirty and the clean. We are all the same. We are.
May we blow the dust of religion out of our souls and choose affection instead. May our words and actions and reactions be a sanctuary for all.
Jesus broke many laws to love. So, Jesus, be our voice. Be the only words we should ever speak.”
Written by Heather Burke Cody.
By no means should any church be concerned with ever weeding out people.
By no means should any church be avoiding those who come through their doors.
By no means should any church be segregating people based on any worldly ideas of status.
Church shouldn't be so refined as to appear as a country club.
In my past, such as it is in the eyes of God, I have been to what had otherwise been a decent church. Within a week of being introduced to the Pastor and his inquiries about what I had shared with others we shared in common, I was alienated because of false testimony given by the person he contacted. So we left that church to continue to look for a church again. Sadly this happened at more than one of that denomination.
That story from Facebook was written by someone, but the sad reality is that in 20 years I have seen such behavior in people in churches we have attended. Hardly a testimony of the open arms of Jesus to a world that is perishing.
The story that I shared about my experiences is 100 percent truth.
Imperfect people are in this world. Not really a newsflash there. Look at who the Father chose to become the Disciples of Christ Jesus. Note Jesus’s words in His prayer to His Father. "Of those that You gave to me I lost not one except the one..." that one being Judas.
Look at who became the first Christians. Imperfect people.
Imperfect people are only perfected in Christ Jesus. Only through the work of the Spirit of God are people changed. Only through the Godly who are called of God are people discipled.
People will disagree with my perceptions but when others have seen it too then opinions change. I have seen the things warned about in the New Testament in today’s churches. I have seen idolatry in the church. Have seen people being classified by their lives. Have seen so much of worldly ideas in those so-called churches that you honestly can't tell them apart between them and a country club.
God calls the world to come as they are for sure. But it is to note that He loves them too much to leave them that way. Read again the Prodigal Son. Look at what the Father commands be done to the Son over the Son's protest. Cleaning him up, put a ring on his finger. Celebrate.
Once the light of Jesus is real in a person they start to see for the first time how dirty they really are. Jesus is there with grace and mercy to wash away sins, to provide new clothes to wear. To celebrate their coming to Him to be saved. It matters not what state that person is when they come to Christ. The message of God is to come as you are.
Coming into a church should essentially be the same as entering the ward of a hospital. The sick of every type and kind are there to see the Great Physician in Christ Jesus. Nobody even in this physical world stops to clean up before going to the Emergency Room of a physical hospital! You go in as you are.
We who are in Christ always will do one of two things. Either live a life that says we live for Christ or live a life that says we live for self.
The Church of God in this physical world is full of broken imperfect people. You don't have to have your life all together to come in. The real Church of God is that way.
My Dear Reader if you have tried entering a Church and the have faced rejection of any kind then please do not give up! Please realize that there are indeed false churches in this world. People putting on a show each Sunday versus worshipping God. It happens because God’s enemy is still in this world trying to turn people away from the truth of God.
Please realize that not only has Christ died for you and I, He loves us as we are when we first came to Him. He also loves us too much to leave us in the way we first came to Him. He wants to forgive our sins, apply the salves of grace and mercy to our bodies. To heal our broken hearts.
Rejection has no real place in the Church of God to all who are being called to Christ Jesus.
He came to seek and save the lost. He went out of His way to do that. To the most vilest of people of His day in regards to the Law of God. Touching even those whom the Law forbade.
If you are hurting and indeed feel lost in this world, persist in crying out to God in prayers that He would lead you to a Church where you can be loved, encouraged, built up in your faith.
Come as you are and ask Him to keep His promises to you.
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