As I prayed, God impressed me to pray for the church. I live in a town where only 8% of the population even goes to church. 8%!!! That is a grossly small number of church goers. And so, I prayed that we, as a church will feel the freedom to reach out in God's LOVE to those around us.
I'd like to impress upon you what I mean by that. For me, there have been many years when what I thought was love was really just judgement. I'm not sure where I got this idea, unless it was from other believers, that I was supposed to point out what sin was to those who did not believe. I guess I figured that they really didn't know what sin was and so I needed to help them with that.
Now, I believe it is true that those who are not followers of Christ do not understand how he has called people to live. We, in the church, call many of the things that unbelievers do sin. Which is true in a technical sense, but not especially useful to someone who doesn't believe.
And so instead of trying to explain what sin is and is not, I find the Scriptures, especially Christ, calling us to love others. Many times, the ones that he was freeing in the Scriptures were already believers. But Christ needed to free them so that they could truly live for Him. They needed, for instance, to truly know forgiveness so that they could share what a gift that was with others.
In the church today, I believe many of us are bound up in so much of our own sin and hurt that we are crippled when it comes to sharing our joy and our faith and our LOVE with someone else.
I'd like to invite you, if you find it difficult to share truth and light and life with others from God's Word and from your own experience of Him, to consider that there is some freeing work that Christ wants to do in you? Would you consider that there could be some sin that he'd like to cut out, or some healing of hurts he'd like to do or some truth he'd like to reveal?
Would you search for it like gold? Can you imagine the joy if you found the treasure of a freedom to effectively share the gospel of truth with those around you? Can you imagine if the WHOLE CHURCH found this freedom and began to have this as our focus? What would happen? How would the world change?
I believe we are called to this very thing, to true Freedom in Christ which implies an ability to share without inhibition? It's what I'm praying for the church and for myself. Will you join me?