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You are LOVED by God. There is nothing you can do, or can't do to make him love you more or less. He loves you because he loves you. Because you are His child.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

The "church", greed, love

I couldn't think of one specific good title for this post. I am so moved this morning from church, God was speaking something big from our Pastor Tommy this morning.
The sermon was called The Rock, Strength for the struggle. It will be online here, soon, please go listen to it.
God spoke to me in so many ways this morning it brought me to tears at church. The sermon itself was from 1 Peter, teaching that first and foremost I live for Christ, that I live in holiness, preparing myself for struggle.
He explained how we are saved through Christ's blood, but that we live for Christ, in Christ because we love God so much, not because of a set of rules. We don't do certain things because we don't want to break God's heart, because of love, not fear.
Tommy spoke about the "church" being the people, not the place. How the church (people) should love each other and care for each other. He said caring for one another is NOT optional, it's biblical. He referred to the verse in 1 Corinthians 11:17 and explaining it's meaning.
What hit my heart were several points that Tommy made. One of them, was talking about how we should be taking care of other believers, others in the church. He talked about how some of us are sitting here with everything we need, and other believers are struggling and dying and we are doing nothing about it. Maybe he meant dying in a physical sense, maybe he meant dying in an emotional sense, or both, but it brought tears, for me, thinking of my brother and his family, and a family at church who is struggling. My brother and sister in law have been part of a church for years, 8 years ago, my sister in law Debbie was in a car accident and has been paralyzed to a wheel chair ever since. Through the years, my brother has given his entire life to his wife. He is her sole caretaker, doing everything for her. I have watched my brother's faith in Christians fade away. He has called the Christians hypocrites. He has lost some of his faith in God, and I know is bitter at times and feels alone and deserted. I have watched him turn to other things for relief, rather then turning to Christ or the people of the church. ( In a sense, I see him dying, the person he was, is not the person he is today, he is physically and mentally exhausted) Today, I felt that tug at my heart, and understood why my brother feels this way. No one in the church has helped him in the last 8 years to take care of his wife. He was left alone by the church to do it all on his own. I am one of those people. Sure I visit when she's sick in the hospital, or visit at home when it's convenient for me, but I haven't helped with his burden. I haven't showed Christ in me to my brother. I can now understand where his bitterness came from.
Pastor Tommy mentioned in general the "people" with their big back yards, and three car garages, coming home and shutting the garage, and not reaching out to people and helping others, or spending time with others, Pastor Tommy has never been to my house. I am embarrassed to say, I AM one of those people. I have the big back yard and the three car garage. We don't keep our garage closed per say, but we sure don't invite neighbors over to shine our lights to. I was convicted beyond words today about how we live in our own little worlds, doing our own thing, and just being busy with our own "stuff". My family is not going to like what I got out of the sermon today. I feel greedy. I am humbled. I feel that we should sell our big house, or share it. I feel we can do more then tithe our 10% to the church. I feel greedy for having this house and not opening it up to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that wasn't Tommy's objective, to make me feel convicted of greed, but maybe it was God's objective. We are so programmed from childhood on to want bigger and better, and keep up with the people next door. Make as much money as you can , and get the bigger house and more stuff to put in it and you'll be happy. What a messed up world this is. A few years ago we lived in a smaller house, and I wasn't happy with it, I wanted more space for our family of 6. That was greed. We had "enough" but I wanted more. Sure we love it here, and it's nice to have the space we have, and the beautiful backyard we have, but is this what Christ wants for us? I feel God leading us somewhere. I'm not sure where, but there's definitely something coming. My poor husband. He was perfectly happy in the place we were before and I persisted that we needed something bigger. Now I am convicted I was being greedy. I pray that God shows us how we can glorify him with what we have. I pray that when people look at me, they don't see a greedy worldly person that calls them self a Christian. In the last year God has changed my heart, and convicted me of being greedy with my time, I used to think that I should have time to myself, that my kids were more of a burden to me when I wanted something for myself, he turned that into a mom that wants to homeschool and worries more about bringing her kids up to love God than time to myself. I am so thankful for everything we have been blessed with, but most of all, for a God that can give us happiness without all the things of this world. We are here to glorify him, to live for him, to love each other and take care of each other, not for ourselves. What has happened to this world? Us Christians need to show the world God's love, not love ourselves so much. Thank you Lord for helping me to understand, and to see who you are and who you want us to be.

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