Have you ever heard of Where's Waldo?, or Where's Cleto? (It's a local thing...I guess?)
Well, I want to know…Where is Jesus? and I don’t mean ..Where is Jesus?
Free of sarcasm and wit…have you seen Jesus?
As believers in Jesus Christ our goal is to be transformed to be more like Jesus, to act, to talk, to love and to live more like the Son of God…to live as children of the living God. Yet, how many little Jesus’s do we see walking around?
It’s Sunday, almost 11 a.m. and I am just waking up, but I am awaken by a heavy heart. A heart that wants to be where Jesus is, like the song of yesterday “I just want to be where your are…”
Yes, I know that Jesus lives in me, but Jesus also lives in the heart of fellow believers, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Twenty years ago these brothers and sisters were eager to invite anyone and everyone to worship with them. They reached out with the love of God. Twenty years ago individuals were passionate about their faith, their Jesus, their God. They wanted to share the love of God with anyone willing to listen.
For me, twenty years later, trials and tribulations have drawn me closer to the living God, closer than I ever thought possible, but also further away from the brick and mortar that is a church. I am His and He is mine. He calls me by name. Still, I find it hard pressed to find Jesus in this world of mine. I see God’s grace and mercy. I see His love, His hand working in the lives of mine. God does not need anyone to do what He alone does best. There is no church building, no congregation, no choir, just the Spirit of God working in the lives of those I love. Maybe, it’s selfish, but I feel like an orphan sometimes. I know that God walks among us. I can see His handy work, His mighty hands at work.
I have been looking for a church home, a place where I can belong, where I am accepted as I am, but I have yet to find any place that I can call home. My ex-sis-in-law, now with her Father, once told me that going to church was not about what you could get out of it, or what it could do for you, but about what you could do for the church…what I could put into the church. Well, after visiting and attending churches here and there I realized that all the church wants is money and bodies present…yes… your body. It’s a numbers thing for them. It’s one of two ideas, one that allows people “Christians” to attend church, to serve, to worship God anyway they want and to live any way they want. Then, there’s the opposite, the church that follows a stringent set of self-created laws, from their interpretation of the scriptures, to keep people, the non-conformers, the free thinkers, out of the church buildings, exclusivity.
So, Where is Jesus?
I can find Jesus on Google search. I can read about how He is working in the lives of many. I can see His love online, but I am hard pressed to find Him in church. It begs the question, does God need me in the church to fill a numbers game? Does God need me to do anything for Him in my own strength, in my anything, using my own resources, be they what they may…?
And why is it I can see and hear about the love of God online, on television and on the radio but the love of God not manifest itself in the real world? Why is it when a packed church buildings open its doors to allow attendees to exit does the love of God not leave with any of them? Does the love of God remain inside the church until next service? Does no one have the time to show or share the love of God, so might as well leave it behind?
What is the love of God? What does it mean to love like Jesus? What does that love look like? And if we are to love like Jesus-why do Christians hate so much? And I refer to the masses, and how they hate others (being fellow Christians or/and non-believers), instead of hating things of this world that draw us away from God. Let’s face it, there are extremist groups in America that do horrendous things in the name of God.
We as Christians cannot do anything about people that refuse to believe in the Son of God, much less those that negate God’s existence. We are instructed to present the truth of God and God does the rest.
My desire is to be with my brothers and sisters in Christ, to learn from them, to be encouraged by them, to fellowship and likewise, but who has the time? How much time can we realistically give to God and to the things of God?
Church hours: approximates: 9 am – 12 pm = 3
Wed church: 6:00 – 8 pm = 2
Bible study: M-F = 6:30 – 9 pm = 2.5
Total = 7.5 hours in which time you have to listen to a message, a lesson, settle in, pray, greet and meet, collect tithes, share church business, or updates, worship and fellowship if time allows, not necessarily in that order. In any 24 hour day (the avg American) we must sleep 8 hours, and work 8 hours that’s already 16 hours leaving 8 hours to handle all other responsibilities and some can be exhaustive. And if you want to give God 1 hour of devotional time, well that hour has to be subtracted from somewhere. However, 1 hour a day equals 7 hours alone time with God every week. One hour a day to commit to God. Who has the time? Who makes the time? Who can truly commit? Only those that God calls out by name, of which circumstances can vary, and they have one commonality-a willing heart…they are the ones that commit.
Where is the light of Jesus?
Why are so many Christians forcing their light under a bowl…allowing no one to see, not wanting to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Mat. 5 – 14-16
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.”
Those that wait on God shall never be put to shame, saith the Lord. If it cost Jesus His life, and if we are to be like Him-should we not suffer as He did?
Suffering: No one wants to suffer
Suffering entails a great deal of lack in our daily lives, so who wants to suffer? No one.
Who wants to suffer for the cause of Christ? Few.
Who wants to lose anything and everything for the cause of Christ? Fewer still.
To find Jesus in this world- to share the love of God through the Son requires His children to suffer for the cause of Christ. It requires sacrifice.
To know God is one thing – to know God as your Heavenly Father is another. It is a relationship that requires more than just showing up to church in your Sunday best, or singing a few songs, giving money and sharing a few hellos with strangers. To know the Father, one first has to know and accept His Son as it is the only way to the Father.
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
To know Jesus is about a sacrificial relationship. Such as that a spouse requires of his/her spouse so Jesus expects of us.
Like husband and wife commit to one another, so we must commit to Jesus. He has already committed to us. We must have a willing heart. We must love Jesus more than anything or anyone else in this world.
As when husband and wife leave all others behind to love only one, forsaking all others, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want. We have that desire because of the relationship we have developed over time and in getting to know the person. There are people that can commit quickly as in “love at first sight”, but those relationships can be a bit more fragile since there is little to no knowledge of the other person. The attraction must be maintained to thrive by the one that initiated the “first sight.” The relationship must grow out of the burgeoning knowledge, that will no doubt surface, to love in clear sight of many faults, fears, failures and shortcomings. As only the Son of God, Jesus, knows how to love. He set the bar as only He could.
Where is Jesus?
Is He in your church? When was the last time your church showed a stranger, a newcomer, some of that love of Jesus? Better yet, is that love of Jesus in your heart? Do you know anyone struggling currently, spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially? How many friends and family are Christians and how bright is their light? People in general don’t care to take the time to listen to the problems of others, they have their own to deal with, well Christians are no different. Tell it to the hand. Ever hear that expression?
People flock to the churches to find encouragement, to get prayer, to fellowship, to fulfill an obligation. Notice, to find God is not on the list, yet some do find Him. They may also find the power of positive thinking and will stay with it so long as it works. Some people flock to churches to find peace and instead are greeted with alienation, cliches, cliques (we all know who they are, we just don’t say anything). Some church members and even pastors are in a hurry to exit the church. They have to be somewhere right after church, so they wave on their way out. These days everyone is busy. They have to be somewhere 15 minutes ago. The things of God have to wait until next time.
It is hard to be like Jesus.
Rich Mullins told us this back when he was on this earth. He is currently enjoying his time with his Father. As for the rest of us, believers…we are far from being overcomers, far from being victorious, in the flesh or in the spirit. We may claim it, but claiming it does not make it so, speaking or singing until you are blue in the face… does not make it so.
Matthew 7:21-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
What? You Never Knew Me!
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
I did not go to bed thinking about this, but I sure as heck woke up and starting jotting down everything that was in my brain. Be blessed.