We have another rainy morning. I don’t mind the rain, but I have been thinking of the counselors at children’s camp this week. We all know the children will have fun running in the rain and getting wet but the counselors will be running to stay dry, worried about their hair styles and clothes. I hope you’ve been praying that God will rain down His blessings on the camp and that children, and counselors, will hear God speak and make total surrender and commitments to Him.
In reading an article by Carey Nieuwhof I read these words, “People don’t line up to be judged. But they might line up to be loved. So love people. Especially the people with whom you disagree.” A few days after reading those words, I stood in front of a person that I did not agree with. The person was kind and helpful and I had to ask myself, “How am I going to treat this person, am I going to show love or look with judgement and have an attitude of judgement?”. What was amazing to me – and I’m not bragging on myself – was that God gave me a heart of love. I talked to the person, joked with him/her and made sure that he/she didn’t sense any judgement but kindness. I also made sure that I made a positive comment about our Father and our Lord. While he/she didn’t engage me in conversation about the Lord, when I left I left with a sense that a door had been opened and that person had an encounter with a Believer who showed love and not judgement. I’m praying I’ll see that person again and will be able to continue our conversation.
It’s easy for us as Believers to look at people and judge them. In the environment we find ourselves in across our nation, people are very sensitive and are looking to see how we as Believers will respond to them. Accusations that Believers are narrow-minded and judgmental are numerous. However our calling is to reach all people with the Gospel and to do it the way Jesus did. He told truth, but He did so with a heart of compassion and love for that person. His encounter with the woman at the well in John 4, is a perfect example of such an encounter.
I wonder how many people would be lined up to come to worship on a Sunday morning if they knew when they got here they would be loved.
Of course they will hear God’s truth but they will, as Paul said, hear the truth in love. I challenge you and our church to examine how we interact with others who are not Believers and commit to seeking to speak the truth in love.
With vacations winding down, I know it will be a great Sunday as we gather to worship the Father together. There is nothing like corporate worship and I’m excited as the choir is going to sing one of my newest favorite songs this Sunday. I look forward to joining you in worshiping the Father together on resurrection day.
Don’t forget to remember Becky Rivers as she has surgery tomorrow. Pray for the surgeons and for the procedure to be the cure.