Church and Christ

This is a random thought progression of Church and Christ.  It’s just a collaboration of spontaneous thoughts and explanations while I think of Christ tonight.

Christ is someone who I love.  Why?  Not because someone told me to love Him, but because I chose to love him.  I want to love Jesus.  I was introduced to Christ, but knowing who He is, was what drew me to loving Him.  Before I knew Christ, going to church was routine and now that I know Him, church is a prioirty.  A vital need for my sanity and freedom, and I’m not talking about the building, the place where we worship, the name of the church or any other things we first think of when we think of ‘going to church.’  I’m in need of real church.  People.  All striving to know Christ more.  All desperate to be new, fresh, revived, forgiven, proactive.  I need to surround myself with God hungry people who influence my family, and we can influence them.  Church could be in a grocery store for all I care, as long as it’s life with a purpose to honor a loving God.  This life isn’t about us.  It never has been.  It’s about God, and because of God’s love, he created people to love and to be loved back. God with us.  

You know whats really sad about that story?  A lot of people don’t love back.  A lot of people will continue to not love back.  We were seperated from God because of sin, and thats a very sad thing.  But we have a refuge, an answer to redemption and a one way pass back home to the one who invented love in the first place, but some people take it, and unfortunately some people don’t even give it a second thought.  They don’t believe it.  What has been tearing at my mind lately is the thought that there are even those who say they are Christians but truly don’t love Christ.  This is pretty heavy because they are living in a ‘take take’ type of relationship; they take salvation and they take their freedom and then turn their eyes from the one who gave these to them in the first place.  It fails to be a give and take relationship.  When we know Christ and what he has given to us, then we know why we give Him everything.  It’s a burden to say that some who claim they are Christians may not see eternity based on their reasonings of salvation because God.  Church, at times, is a misunderstood idea; an idea that has been so convoluted that people don’t know what to get out of it.  People can go into a building and walk out and never comprehend that it’s truly about a relationship, it’s about people, about surrender.  To most people in America, it’s a chore.  An hour or more of ill focus and boredom while the wrist watch is watched.  Christ is uninteresting to people.  To not be interested in something, most times, is becuase you don’t know enough about it.  The back of a book could completely trigger the decision to place a book back on a shelf, but the inside could make you alter your life.  Sacrifice, surrender, and repentence are just a few words we as humans don’t normally invite in our vocabulary.  There’s a big “why” humans are missing.  Why did He sacrifice?  Why do we surrender?  Why should we repent?

Freedom.  Freedom is why.  From death and from lovelessness.  According to scripture, Christ is love and if we are not filled with love, we are no where near God.  It’s all about love.  He created us, then He allowed himself to take our due flames for our cursed nature. We became filthy, then he came to clean us up.  Sacrifice was love.  If someone died for you right now today to keep you alive, would you walk away in denial of their existance and authenticity, or would you be awfully drawn to that person and why they cared enough?

Surrender is not an act of hopelessness to be taken away from everything good, it’s an act of accepting that we can’t do this life with our ability.  Like my daughter; she has to allow me to hold her when she can’t walk any longer when I’m at a public event.  She will not be able to carry on with the little energy she has at her age without surrendering to me, her father to carry her as she rests her little head on my shoulder.

Repentence.  What a very misunderstood and poorly presented action.  Should people be scared to repent, or should they know that repentence is a realization that what we’re doing is wrong and repentence is to just stop doing wrong.  Unfortunately, people are addicted to sin, and if someone told you to never watch tv again, that conversation wouldn’t go very well would it?  We are set in our ways, and though TV isn’t really always bad, it was an example that the comfortable way of living we are so saturated in feels like a very hard obsticle to make different.  We’re addicted beings.  Things that make us feel comfortable, we keep closer than anything, but when something presents an uncomfortable experience, it’s not welcomed.  

You know what is crazy about comfort?  If we weren’t separated from God, we would feel the most comfort ever imaginable.  But since we were separated by our sin, we clinged to other things and made them our comfort, and then the idea to go back to our true origin of our purpose for even exisiting, which is the truest form of comfort ever, it seems foreign and is hard to accept. When I am with God in my mind, soul, and heart, and I’m in tune with song, and I can feel his presence, there is nothing more comfortable than that.  Or when you are in nature and your talking to God while the wind carries over your hair and you can hear it blowing past your ears and you feel like you never want the day to end, and you are just spending time talking to Him while you admire what he created, there is nothing more peaceful than this.  Being near God gets more comfortable the closer you grow to Him.  We have to ween ourselves from our daily, man made comforts in order to experience how it feels to be in the comfort of Christ.

I love Christ because he has fixed me.  Eternally, he has fixed me.  I may not always feel it in my mind, and my guilt attacks me like bees swarming around my head and then to my heart, but he has made me blameless and pure.  When I’m being beat up with thoughts of guilt, if I focus on Christ and meditate on His truths, then He escapes the tackles for me.  He has killed the enemy I’m at war with, and no matter what I’m guilty for, Christ sees me as pure.  He reminds me that I’m in Him and He is in me, and the evil inside that causes struggle is of the enemy and not the new, real me. He says ‘Get behind me’ to my attackers.  Christ is the reason I have purpose, and why I’m content when I don’t know what in the world my skill purpose is.  I’m here to make him pleased, and when you know Christ, then you know why.

Just a couple of thoughts as I make my way to sleep.

Phil

Little drawing I did for my Elly belly! We even named her Elly the Elephant!

Little drawing I did for my Elly belly! We even named her Elly the Elephant!

It’s nice to be thought of

Isn’t it the nicest feeling to know that you were thought of?  The idea that someone took the time to think about you and contacted you out of sheer concern or interest just to see how you are doing is unbelievably satisfying.  We were created to love and be loved but sometimes, we get in dark emotional places.  Some of us struggle with this a lot, wondering if people actually think about us.  We wait around checking our phone for some sort of communication from a friend or family member.  We wonder if anyone will invite us places or just call to say hi.  ”Does anyone like me?” “Does anyone ever think about me?”  ”What is wrong with me?”  ”Have I been forgotten?” Do any of these unfortunate and repetitive questions sound familiar? 

It’s a very real struggle that I think all of us deal with at times.  Being thought about shows that you’re cared about.  It shows that your existence impacts someone in a way that you become memorable.  When we haven’t felt needed or wanted or just thought of in a while, we fight a lot of insecurities in our minds.
 
There is one thing that we have to remember, and this is huge.  The most important thing to ever remember when feeling lonely.  Christ thinks about us all the time.  In the scripture, the Lord came to Jeremiah and said "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
This applies to every one of us because every one of us He loves.  Every one of us He has died for to give us eternal life and there is not one person who He doesn’t think about.  He thought about us before He put the pieces together to create us.  He knew us before there was substance to know.  He thought of us, therefore He created us.
 
The task is for us to learn how to be ok when feeling lonely.  Being content with just knowing that Christ thinks of us when no one else will.  It is because of the love of Christ that we have the ability to be loved and to love.
 
When we find peace in being ok with knowing that Christ really is all that matters in this life and He is the only thing we need to focus on making proud and trusting in, then our loneliness turns to Joy.  And our Joy can and will turn to something else if we let it… action.  We can take the comforting fact that Christ is thinking of us right now, and turn the tables a bit.  You know what we can do? When no one else calls us, we can call everyone else.  Just maybe, the other end is feeling just the same as you do!
 
Just remember this friends, It’s ok to acknowledge that you are lonely.  It’s up to us to decide how we deal with it and what ‘truth’ we will tell ourselves and believe.  Only then will things be different.
 
Christ is enough for me… is He for you?