Devotional Thought fo the Day:
I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked; you have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and discovered that they are impostors.* 3 Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first! NAB-RE Rev. 2:2-4
414 How pathetic: a “man of God” who has fallen away! But how much more pathetic: a “man of God” who is lukewarm and worldly!
A lot of conversations I’ve been in recently have been about the church in decline.
One talked about how we need to start lots of new churches because old churches can’t grow.
With another friend we talked about how three churches, healthy two decades ago, may share in the services of one pastor, rather than simply have someone come in every Sunday to preach.
A third conversation was about one of the largest of mega-churches, and how it, and its worship, are but a shadow of what they once were.
We look at the extremes of the church, and it is no less grievous. One side wants to embrace society’s ills, setting aside the scripture that tells us to shine the light in the darkness. They do such by just agreeing to live there. The other extreme also avoids shining light in the darkness, by shining light where there is the brightness of day. Like in the passage from the Revelation, they do all the good things, they detest the false teaching, they suffer abuse and endure.
What you don’t often hear anymore, is how in love the church is with God!
How head over heals we are, how much we are in awe and wonder, and how we adore God. How amazed we are to find ourselves counted as His loved ones.
The result of loving our love for God? Lukewarmness, busyness, being focused more on what is going on around us, than being aware of His glorious presence in our life. A church that focuses itself on outreach, or on maintaining a level of purity.
We need to remember this – we need to rekindle that love! But how does that happen?
We need to spend time, resting in God’s presence, meditating on His love, hearing His voice which calls out to us. We need to hear of His love for us, His desire for us to be in His presence. As we meditate on such things our love for Him grows, depending on Him, having faith in Him becomes easier, as does sharing that love with others.
Pastor – you want you church to come alive, for people to grow in faith (and in a pure faith?) Then fall in love with God, rejoice in His love for you.
The rest will fall in place.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1033-1034). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.