The U.S. Church must love God. Loving God is a truth-driven lifestyle in which believers must become Bible scholars. Christians will never love God properly apart from knowing Him through the Scriptures. This Bible scholarship involves digging into the word; seeking what it actually says and resolving to obey it. When God’s word convicts us of sin, we must repent and confess. When the Bible confirms that we are doing things right, we must humbly thank God for doing His will through us.
Loving God means holding worldly things with a loose grip. I am convicted that the American Church struggles with loving the offerings of the world more than the graciousness of God. Comfort is our goal. We seek affirmation from the world. Christians must let go of such idols.
Loosening our grip on material things means being grateful for everything the Lord sends our way, both good and bad. How does one develop this loose grip? One develops a loose grip on material possessions by being so enraptured with the Lord that nothing else matters. It means valuing the Lord over what the world can give.
The U.S. Church must love her neighbors. Who are these neighbors? The Church’s neighbors include everyone in the world. We love people by sharing the gospel with them so they may know God personally. But sharing the gospel includes giving ourselves to people – doing good to them, engaging them, and being with them. Our love must extend to all, whether they love us back or hate us.
This love for others means risk. Jesus calls His Church to love the unlovely, the sick, and the dirty. We cannot become involved in the lives of people without getting our hands dirty. Are we willing to risk our comfort, safety, or physical life for such as these?
Loving God and neighbor are interlinked. One cannot Biblically do one apart from the other.
My conviction is that the world is changing. I believe the United States will face issues and diseases that we have never faced before. Ebola is simply one issue exchangeable for any other issue of our day. The United States strains under utterly corrupt leadership, endless war, open borders, and terrorist threats. Amidst these issues of a fallen world, the Church must stand in the grace of God.
- Pastor Randy