Every once in a while, we go through a day that is phenomenal; a day that you know no man could have put together but God Himself. Yesterday was that day for me.
The service in my church was amazing; the presence of God was so evident from the beginning to the end of the service. My highlight was the sermon, a truly transformative sermon; okay the testimonies were amazing as well!
So this blog is probably a replica of this service, a prayer for the Lord to use that sermon to transform my life and the lives of those around me. The full sermon is here->Irresistible
An irresistible church
The sermon was a reflection on why the church no longer as irresistible as Christ was.
Why is it that people are no longer toppling over each other to go to the Church and meet with the Body of Christ? Remember the guy who climbed the tree just for a glimpse of the Lord? Or the lady who had been bleeding for 20 years and when she sees the Lord she reaches out for the hem of His garment coz He know the power of the Lord? Or even the guys who dug a hole in a roof to bring down their friend to be healed by the Lord?
Where has this vehement desire for the Lord gone? Why are there no queues of people trying to enter the church? Why are there no people drilling holes into churches for a glimpse of the Body of Christ? Why are there no people doing everything within their power to be at Jesus feet as this crowd did “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. Isn’t it amazing how the crowd ran on foot from all towns! Are people running to the church today on foot even?
What to do? What made Christ this irresistible? 3 things that this sermon summarizes as things that the church must do to regain its irresistible position.
Jesus saw people. I loved what the Pastor delivering the sermon said, Jesus did not see the problem, the potential tithers, the potential to fix the people; He just saw the people. How amazing is that? That Christ sees people. It is the reason when He finds the woman with 5 husbands trying to fetch water, He sees beyond the fact that she had messed, she sees how she needs the Living Water. It is the reason when the people want to stone the prostitute, He does not see the prostitute and how messed up she is, He sees a woman in need of healing. It is the reason Christ was found having meals with tax collectors and sinners. He did not see the sin, a thing that the Pharisees seemed very good at, He instead saw the people.
My prayer today is that God teaches me to see people; not their issues, not their victories, not their battles, but to truly see the people I interact with.
He loved the people
The second thing Jesus did, that I pray I learn to, is that He loved the people. When Jesus met with these guys who had run to see Him, He saw people who were moving around like sheep without shepherd and He had compassion over them.
If there is a reason I love the Lord it is this, that He loves me so much that He gave His only Son for me. There is a love that the Lord has for me that overwhelms my heart. The people must have seen this love as well, it is an irresistible love. It is the kind of love the church must have if we are to be irresistible. It is a love that opens its arms to the lost and hopeless and loves on them for love sake.
I will remember Pastor M saying these words for a while “We must have faith in God’s transformative power!” You see the church is so hang up on fixing people, on changing people that we cannot love them for the prostitutes they are, for the liars they are, for the messed up people they are. We feel the need to change them. We want to love them when they are changed. Yet the most transformative power I know is Christ’s love.
So my work must be to bring many to know this Love, and then trust Him to transform them. The business of changing people is not mine. Honest. Only God can transform people. And the more I try to transform anyone, the more I alienate them. The gospel has to be a love for a woman who has had 5 husbands that she is drawn to the Lord for loving her. It has to be a love for a Paul, a man who persecuted the church, that this Love transforms him.
Lord, this kind of love, I don’t have it and i don’t know how to have it. I want to psychoanalyze people, I want to fix people, I want to pretend I am without issues myself. How I pray You Holy Spirit that would teach me to love as You do.
He feeds the people
The last thing Jesus does that’s truly amazing is He feeds the people. Jesus has preached to these guys, but He knows they need to eat as well. So He stops preaching and He gets them food! Food!
Sadly, the church today is very much like the disciples. The disciples asked Jesus to send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat. Send them away hungry! But Jesus does what I must be about; He finds a way to feed these guys, to meet their basic needs.
Lord, I bring you my 2 fish and 5 loaves. You are able to make this enough to feed many. My 2 fish and 5 loaves are the gifts you have given me; that I can write, that I can teach, that I am a great marketer, that I am a great banker, that I am a great parent . Lord, take my gifts and use them to feed many others.
This sermon was transformative. My prayer is for the courage to step out and live it out.
Yester I met people who God has transformed in this church, the hopeless, the lost, the written off that God has made something of and tears came down my cheek. I couldn’t help it; of a God who takes our messes and makes them sweetest things ever. I love my church. We do not pretend to have it all figured out, yet we truly serve a God who says a broken and contrite heart I will not despise. Every day I am reminded of how God can use the least to transform many. Lord, if you can use anything, you can use me.