I stopped by an elder friend’s house to take her cookies and a birthday card. She’s been having a difficult time coping with some loneliness issues. At this stage in her life, her grandchildren’s spheres are widening which is taking them further away from her when she used to see them on a near daily basis. Her friends have injuries or are tied up with doctor appointments and/or their own grandchildren which is preventing them from meeting with her regularly as they once did. Add to that, she’s feeling the talons of years of widowhood. So I was glad when she told me that someone invited her to a sort of goodwill group.
From what I gather, this is a group of women who meet to do small projects to benefit the community. For example, they make washable bed pads for dog crates for the Humane Society. It sounds like a neat little organization of people who are most likely in the stage of life sort of like my friend is. It helps take some of the bite out of the loneliness and possible feeling of uselessness that they may be having.
She did mention that they meet at a denominational church, of which she is not affiliated, and she’d choose not to have any part. I get it. Most of us have preferences as to how we worship and, quite frankly, there are churches I would not join. Might visit, but wouldn’t join. One statement she made got me: “I was wondering if we’d do all the work and they (the church) would get the credit for it. But, no, they have nothing to do with it other than that’s where we meet.”
I love this friend. But that statement cut me to the quick. And not because I’m a part of that denomination. But rather because I’m part of the human race. It wouldn’t have been so long ago if she’d made that statement that it’d a rolled right off of me. But that day, sitting at her table, it hit me like a sledgehammer. Why? Because it sounded so “judgey”– and because I am prone to think and say the same if I am not careful to guard my heart. Who cares who gets the credit for good deeds as long as God gets the glory?
Do you know what is required for salvation?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV
Believe in Jesus. My friend’s denomination does that. My denomination does that. The church where they meet, their denomination does that. Yes, the way the three of us worship is vastly different, which is why I attend the church I attend, but I count her a sister in Christ. And I have fellow brothers and sisters in the other denomination.
I would like to see the followers of Christ agree to disagree on personal preferences of worship and join ranks to fight for our lost and dying world. We need to start behaving like the body of believers we were created to be and tell the truth, be compassionate and understanding, and walk in grace. The world is in desperate need for a church that will take responsibility for its sad state. It is God’s kids’ responsibility. Don’t believe me?
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God implores, “If My people who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways….”
He said, “My people”. And who are His people? In John 14:23 He says, “He who keeps My words.” He counts whoever obeys Him and loves Him as His own. Jesus said that He and the Father make their home with whoever loves Him and keeps His word. So who’s going to help save the world? God’s people. The followers of Jesus are largely at fault for our sorry state; not entertainers, not athletes, not all of those in the spotlight or in prison, a political party, or wherever it is we want to lay blame. It’s up to us, believers in Jesus Christ, to seek Him, to pray, to humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways. His glorious promise to our obedience:
He will hear. He will forgive. He will heal our land.
Join me today in getting rid of self-righteousness, seeking and speaking the truth, moving toward oneness with fellow believers, and loving and understanding others. God is the only remedy for our sick world. Will we deny them the cure? Or will we do 2 Chronicles 7:14?