By Sandy Kirby Quandt
In an earlier post, I mentioned how our hummingbirds were not willing to share. They chase each other away from the feeder. Seems one of our squirrels has the same problem. While there is enough food to go around, this particular squirrel hisses and snarls at any squirrel who happens to mosey into the backyard.
Like I said in the hummingbird post, Christians may be guilty of trying to keep our nectar, the love God has given us, to ourselves. We may be guilty of being selective as to with whom we are willing to share the Gospel. Exclusive as to whom we allow into our circle. Guilty of being what Rob Cook, one of the speakers at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference I recently attended, calls Zombie Churches. You know, they look alive on the outside, but are dead on the inside.
During his keynote speech Rob mentioned many soul-searching thoughts. I’ll list a few of them here. R signifies the gist of what Rob said. S signifies my thoughts in response.
R – Jesus hung out with sinners. We don’t want them in our churches. S – Hello? Aren’t we all sinners saved by the grace of a loving God, and the sacrifice of Christ? Who are we to keep anyone away?
R – Jesus loved his enemies. We boycott ours. S – How can we reach out to our enemies with the love of God, if we’re always picking fights with them?
R – Jesus commanded his followers to make disciples. We make church goers. S – Hmmm…which one are we?
R – Jesus said we would be known for what we’re for. We’re know for what we stand against. S– Think about it…if you asked, which would someone outside your church be able to tell you. What you stand for, or stand against?
Rob challenges us not to worry with figuring out WWJD — What Would Jesus Do? Instead Rob asks us to DWJD — Do What Jesus Did. S — That means we need to read and study the Bible to find out.
Rob gave an illustration…suppose you are drowning and see a lifeboat. You struggle to pull yourself into the boat. As you get ready to climb inside, you notice it is filled with vipers and haters. What would you do? Probably throw yourself into the water and take your chances right back in the middle of all the stuff you’ve been trying to escape. Safe haven? Hardly.
What about our churches? Are they filled with vipers and haters? Closer to home, what about us? Viper? Hater?
Instead of telling someone they are not wanted inside our churches because of the way they look, where they’re from, number of tattoos or piercings, how about we throw open the doors, get out into the streets, welcome one and all, and show the love the Father has shown us.
What are your thoughts on the subject?
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.‘ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9:10-13 (NLT)
I wish you well.
Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.
One of my devotions will appear on Christian Devotions June 10, 2014. Please stop by.