Have you ever wondered what went wrong with Christianity in America? Have you ever imagined what could be if we did what Jesus told us?
Somehow we got it wrong and now, for many, we are considered judgmental, critical, narrow-minded. It seems we have completely missed what Jesus called us to be in our world.
But imagine what could happen if we each, one by one, began to really live out our faith in small and simple ways. Imagine what could change if we simply lived out one verse.
1 Corinthians 16:14- "Do everything in love." NIV translation
Four words. Pretty simple isn't it? Imagine we just lived out these four words. What could happen in each of our worlds? What could God do with obedience to just four words, one verse?
Imagine we actually look for ways to love those we encounter daily, even those who don't know Jesus yet. Imagine we were kind to them, asked about their kids, asked them how they were feeling and really listened! Imagine we each send a note to just one person each day to encourage them. Only one note a day! In a year you will have touched 365 people!
Imagine giving a bigger tip to a waiter and asking about them as you encounter them. Imagine actually turning off the TV and visiting with your wife, your husband, your kids.
"Do everything in love." What would happen if we lived out these four words? How would our small part of the world change?
I remember, with a smile, a story (I'm sure it's made up) about a new young pastor in a church. The first Sunday he preached on loving one another. It was a good sermon and highly praised. The next week he preached the same sermon. The congregation gave him grace because he was young and new to the church. The third Sunday he preached the same sermon again! The church began to grumble a bit. What did we do when we chose this guy for a pastor? On the fourth Sunday, yes, you guessed it, he preached the sermon about loving one another one more time. After the service the elders pulled him aside and asked, "Son, we know you are new, but don't you have any other sermons?" He replied, "Oh, I have a lot of sermons and as soon as you get the first one down we will go to the second one."
I wonder....what could we do in our world if we became others focused and did everything in love? Imagine what could happen in the kingdom of God. Let's keep working on this one verse until we get it down. Don't work on them all, just work on this one!
Here's what I'm going to do, beginning today. I'm going to intentionally look for ways to share the love of Christ with everyone I meet, to do everything in love. I'm going to send a note of encouragement to just one person each day. I'm going to really listen to other people and care about what they are going through. I'm going to do everything in love....with God's great help and grace.
Imagine what could happen.....