to love or not to love...
Comments left for me by Optimistic Bob a while back has served as the source of inspiration for this hub. Indeed there are people in this world who attend church and profess to be Christians although it seems as though church for many can be more like a social club. Many individuals make Jesus 'Savior' but neglect to make Him Lord and in so doing are missing out on so much and not really having much of a positive impact on the world around them. There are some who think that just because they go to church or have gone through a bunch of traditional sacraments they are righteous or "in right standing" before God. If one examines the Bible, one should discover for themselves that this is not so. We need to have a personal relationship, not solely adhere to a routine. I'm not saying a persons salvation is in question if, with a sincere heart, one has received Jesus as Savior. If one chooses to be complacent however, not stretching beyond the "comfort zone," is this a matter of disobedience, cheating others, as well as oneself? There is a Stephen Curtis Chapman song that comes to mind called "More to this Life."
Mother Teresa was a beautiful saint who I believe obeyed and fulfilled the calling God had on her life through serving others in a tangible way. I'm certain she has received a crown and heard the words, 'well done good and faithful servant.' I am also confident that the Lord does not see her as just a servant, I'm sure He sees her as His beloved because I believe her relationship w/ the Lord was quite intimate (and of course I don't mean that in a sexual way). I think God shared His heart w/her because of her solid devotion for Him as well as those He loves. He entrusted her with a lot in spite of the fact that she was in a country where poverty has been prevalent - she's touched many lives. She is a classic example of one who was not only a "hearer of the Word, but a doer of the Word." The Bible tells us that faith without works is dead, so even though we are saved, by GRACE (also an acronym for "Gods Riches At Christs Expense") through faith in Jesus, it's not until we truly allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives, surrendering our hearts and MINDS to Him that we experience His transforming power and are more like him. What did Jesus do? What would He have us do? Love our neighbors (whether right next door or on the other side of the world) as ourselves, be his hands and feet. This means serving others and meeting their needs in tangible ways, to include prayer that results in healing and/or deliverance, and going, perhaps to parts of the earth one wouldn't have considered.... It comes down to knowing the voice of God, allowing the Spirit to lead and guide and choosing to obey, trusting that His ways are higher and that He has our best interest at heart. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, not plans for harm (or calamity), but plans to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future." I can personally testify about the Lord blessing others through my choice to obey, and as a result, I question whether they or I, experienced the greater blessing.
One thing I know is constant - we need to be equipped to share our faith and have a willingness to do so. If God is for us, it matters not who is against us and we can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives us strength. From time to time, I have to ask about my calling - what about you? Aside from loving God with all one's heart, mind soul and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, are we being called to more? Perhaps feeding the hungry, building a home or church in the area... or in another part of the world. Could it be visiting people in the hospital and laying hands on them and praying for them to recover? Maybe it's teaching and equipping others to do these types of things? We need to step out - walking with God is not always easy, but it is a glorious adventure.