Thursday, August 02, 2007


"When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love."

I heard it said once and believe this quote is dangerously true and serves as a warning to the church of today, "The enemy's #1 goal is not to necessarily attack, but to distract." the overwhelmingly-overemphasized concept that Satan is out to get us is used more as an unsuccessful-scare tactic these a days. Whereas in truth, the enemy is extremely successful in his efforts to distract the body of Christ. We've become so 'good' at Christianity we forgot what our actual purpose was. We've been utterly distracted. In James 1:28 it does NOT say, "True religion before God is this: go to church on Sunday's and Wednesdays, tithing, and saying God bless you often. It actually says this: True religion before God is this, feeding orphans and helping widows in their time of need." It has never happened to me in the five years I've called myself a Christian, that someone outside of the faith questioned me about how many boxes of cereal I dropped off at the adoption center or how often I mow the single-mom's yard. If that is true religion, the verse I quoted in James, then how come these savage and horrid blood-hungry liberals (exaggeration for illustration sake) aren't on our backs about this? I'll tell you why, because they don't even know we're supposed to be doing that. They most-likely read the bible about as often as an average Christian (ouch). All the world hears about are OUR "great commissions" and "crusades" and "revivals." None of which they understand or feel comfortable attempting to comprehend. The world doesn't realize that service isn't optional for Christianity, it's a large majority of the purpose we exist. "Faith expressed in love."

The age-old debate about faith versus works leaves many thinking instead of doing. Studying the Bible like a text book instead of a manual, a life guide. If their were less emphasis on evangelism and more on loving I feel like we'd actually be fulfilling the great commission all the more. However, when it feels like the entire essence of our being is to save somebody and the love factor is absent from operation, we will fail over and over to see fruit because their won't be any. Jesus said, "they'll know your my disciples by your love." Love! Not sermons, not lectures, not hellfire and brimstone scare-tactics; love! If we desire any association with Jesus whatsoever in word or in deed then we are completely and wholeheartedly compelled to be driven by love. Our ability, privilege, gift, of being conjoined with the Messiah only comes via loving people and loving God.

So, if the push for fulfillment of the great commission is to valid and functional then love will have to take over the reigns and be not only the motive, but the intentions: love will work.

"Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't need. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others. Isn't always 'me first', Doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sums of others, doesn't revel when others grovel. Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end..."

The Message Bible
(1 Cor. 13:7-8)