I received an email from an old friend last week. She and her husband dropped out of organized religion many years ago. She is still “spiritual”, but her husband has completely rejected the idea of their being a spiritual dimension at all. They or their friends had had negative experiences at a church and so they have joined the vast and growing numbers of people who reject the church. It saddens me; these are my friends, but I listen to their hurt and complaints and hope and pray that one day they will be open to the simple message of Jesus once again.
Because of the hurts that many people have experienced, we have to work twice as hard and twice as loving as ever before in order to earn the right to share Jesus. And I do mean, earn the right. We have to overcome much negativity regarding Christ and the church. And we can only overcome such hurt by being exceptionally loving, caring, being good listeners, and serving with no hidden motive. Accepting people where they are. Not demanding they adopt our lifestyle in order to be loved by us. We have to live a Christ-like life if we ever hope to introduce anyone else to Jesus.
So I am always asking myself, how can I earn the right to bring Jesus into this relationship? How can I exhibit Christ-likeness in such a way that people will feel safe around me so they will open up their hearts and maybe ask a spiritual question that can lead to deeper discussions? I ache for people who don’t know Him. I want them to know the Jesus who has radically transformed my life and who is continuing His work in my life this very day. Do you share this ache? Who are you praying for today that you want to come to know Jesus? Who are you inviting to church? I invited 11 people to church on Easter. 4 came. That pleased me. And I pray I will have more opportunities in their lives to share Christ’s love and forgiveness. We talked a lot about lost sheep, lost coins and lost sons in February and March. Do you see them? Does their lostness keep you awake at night? We have good news to share. May the Lord give us opportunities to serve and listen and love our way into spiritual conversations that will lead to salvation.
Pastor Bob Luhn