I am going to lay something heavy on you today! God is doing some amazing thing in my life right now. It started a few weeks ago when I started praying for God to reveal truth in my life and surround me with truth tellers. I’ve been convicted of my sin of not loving my fellow christians like I should. It’s complicated but I felt myself developing a critical spirit……Has that ever happened to you?
Let me quote 1 Cor 11:17 “But in the following instructions, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together. 18 First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. 19 But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!
20 When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. 21 For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. 22 What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this!
23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against[g] the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ,[h] you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. “
Now I have read this portion of scripture probably a million times but some thing have been becoming clear to me, as soon as I am critical of another believer, doesn’t matter if they are right or I am right, I am dividing the church, not just my church but the global church & I am crucifying Jesus all over again. Now Paul is talking to the Corinthian church here and their fellowship with one another, not just communion but it also speaks loud & clear to me.
I watched a video yesterday that just brought all my thoughts into one clear focus. There is no way that I can attract people to Christ when I don’t love his followers, ALL OF THEM. Now I am not talking about the fake stuff, I am talking about Agape love…..reaching out & literally touching people with love. The stuff people can feel when you talk to them because it is pouring out of your skin. Have you ever experience this kind of love?
I have and it’s pretty amazing stuff and up until 2 years ago I did not know that it exsisted and I grew up in church. Isn’t that horrible? I grew up in church and never experienced real agape love until 2 years ago! What does that old spiritual say “They will know we are Christians by our love?”
The lady who spoke on the video took it one step further, if there are people in your life that are difficult to love be thankful for them because they will teach you what real love is. Instead of looking for the things in them that are bad, look for Christ in them, forgive them and love them completely.(it means when you see them, they may not be your best friend but you don’t avoid them you hug them,)(Let me just qualify this because sometimes boundaries have to be set up, I don’t believe that we should be literal or verbal punching bags for someone)
That really struck me hard because there have been people in my life that have hurt me deeply and I struggle with total forgiveness. Last weekend was a huge example of this for me. I gave someone a hug that has hurt me and no I did not feel like it but I put myself out there and did it anyways because my job is not to criticise them, it’s to love them! God will take care of their hearts if they are not right, I need to examine myself closely first because if I am being critical, it’s me who is wrong. Did you know that God doesn’t take sides? Why do we? If we truly loved our fellow believers like we should there would be no gossip, and we would attract people to church instead of chase them away. Love is the key to everything, the blessings, effectiveness in ministry, feeling fulfilled! But you can’t be picky and choosey with it……if you don’t have it all the time the bible says you are a “clanging symbol”. Do you want miracles, signs and wonders? Start loving the people of the church (the corporate church not just your church). The church is not a building, it’s a body that needs to function together to be effective.
When I have a critical spirit it’s like cancer, the definition of cancer is an unhealthy cell that divides and starts devouring healthy cells. It’s interesting isn’t it? A critical, spirit does that too. It’s contagious, it grows and destroys healthy cells and it’s very aggressive. I have been praying that God roots this out in me and it’s been a very painful process….just like dealing with the real cancer it’s not easy to recognize and deal with all the time because there is cancer cells in places I did not even know about……all I can do is cry out to Jesus the ultimate super chemotherephy for my agressive form of cancer in my spirit!
Here are some more verses to chew on….
Galatians 5:19 says “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, *discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, *dissensions, *factions(*check out the definitions for these words) 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. “
I always have looked at those verses going well, I don’t live in sexual immorality or impurity, idolitry is not really relevant so I over look the highlighted words. I put categories on sin but in God’s eyes all those things are sin, not one is greater than the other because read the end of that, “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. ” Those are some pretty powerful words….we will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God if those things exsist in our life………this is the reason I must root out this cancer!
It’s pretty amazing what God is doing in my life! I am finding myself surrounded by the truth and to be honest with you, even though it’s painful, I am so thankful for the pain because it means that the lies in my life are being destroyed. In the end all I want is to have Him say to me “well done, good and faithful servant”! I want people to see His love in me and be drawn to Christ, that will make all of this pain worth it! I am sorry for the long post but I just had to share it with all of you because this has been a major breakthrough in my life.