We start believing before...

We start believing before...

I've spent some time over the past few weeks really thinking about the church...By the church, I mean both what Christ came to create and what we as human beings have allowed it to become.  Unfortunately, it seems like to me that often those are two different things.  The word "religious" is something we've embraced yet its something that Jesus seemed to run from.  I feel like a lot of times churches want people to start behaving like followers of Christ before those folks start believing like followers of Christ.  Here's the deal.  We can only communicate one message.  If we communicate the message that Christ wants us to behave in a certain way....we will likely see hands and feet changed (at least for an hour on Sunday) but we may not see hearts changed.  When we communicate the message of changed hearts, however, that causes EVERYTHING to change.  Over and over throughout the Bible we see people whose lives are radically changed because of their encounter with Christ.  Matthew's life...Zaccchaeus' life...Peter, James, & John...the woman at the well...all had life change (behavior change) because of their encounters with Christ, but all those changes came AFTER they started believing.  I have a friend who never seems to tell the truth...one of the guys who if he says the sky is blue, you should just assume its green...and one day I got really frustrated with him.  The clear word of God to me was "How can you expect him to tell the truth when he doesn't know the truth."  The truth is a person, Jesus Christ.  I would much rather my friend encounter the life of Christ, learn the truth, rather than have him tell me the truth.  If he ever knows Christ I should expect him to speak the truth, because then he would know it.  As hard as it is for us as "church people", we have to start loving people right where they are rather than where we think they should be.  Thats how Jesus loved...and He loved too much to leave any of us where He found us.  The church that loves like Christ is the church that hell hates.  My prayer for churches is to embrace the reality that we as humans start believing before we start behaving.  We need to love people right where they are, and love them to much to leave them there. Happy Monday everybody.

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Robin wrote:

Mon, March 18, 2013 @ 2:48 PM

2. Deanna Denney wrote:
Brad you really hit the nail on the head with this one! Too often we try to make Christians of people then love them. I pray that I can love all as they are and be the hands and feet of Christ in my every day walk and then they will want to know Christ.
Love you man,

Mon, March 18, 2013 @ 2:55 PM

3. Joyce Rhodes Barrett wrote:
I like the line "we have to start loving people right where they are instead of where we think they should be". Great Brad!! But I would expect no less from you. Love ya

Mon, March 18, 2013 @ 11:15 PM

4. Laura Worley wrote:
This is fantastic Brad. So true. Love it.

Fri, March 22, 2013 @ 12:45 AM

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Let the one who serves serve in the strength which God supplies that in everything God may get the glory through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 4:11