(~) God’s Church
God opened the doors and the people came in and sat down. The people who came into His church came from all walks of life. Mostly, the people who came in were poor and
downtrodden but a few of the rich came too. There were people who were divorced,
alcoholics, and drug abusers. There were parolees, thieves, muggers, murderers, rapists, molesterswhat society thinks are the lowest of the low. There were AIDS victims, gamblers,
prostitutes, and drug dealers. There were people who were crying from grief and loss. There were people who suffered from many ills. There were people who were handicapped in all kinds of ways. There were people who were blind, deaf, mute, lame,
and traumatized by life. There were college professors and bus boys. There were people who were low, depressed, and broken in spirit. There were people who were filled with joy.
Some of the people came to God’s church to be with the Lord but others came to take advantage of others. Some people came just to socialize with other people and did not care about God. Some people came as a matter of habit and they did not know why they came to God’s church.
There were many people who did not come to God’s church so God went out into the streets, alleys, highways and byways, and He called them into His sanctuary, but most of them did not listen or if they listened they did not respond.
Of those people who did come to be with God, every person who came to God’s church had fallen short of His expectations.
When all of the people came to God’s church He loved them regardless of their background, or their problems, or their sin, or their race, or their afflictions. But God did not just love those people who came in and worshipped in His sanctuary. He loved everyone everywhere.
In God’s church, you did not have to give a tithe or offering in public. In God’s church, all the giving was secret and no one knew who gave what except God.
When the people came into God’s church He was patient with them for He knew some of them would take time to learn how much He loved them. God was patient and knew that some of the people of His church would never understand or accept Him as He needed them to do, but He still loved them.
For those people the world had rejected, for those people the world wanted to execute, or to imprison, or had imprisoned, God was kind to them. He showed them mercy and grace no one in the world had ever shown. Although their hearts were hardened and they rebelled against Him, God could see the spark of His spirit in them, so He kept on loving them, even when they turned away from Him.
God did not try to get people to change by yelling at them or screaming at them. God did not find fault with His people or show them how far short of His expectations they had fallen. God did not tell His children how much better He was then they were. God did not try to invade their heart or mind, for He respected them. God did not try to give His people ultimatums about changing who they were. God did not threaten them. Instead, God protected them from further harm. God comforted them, even the ones who wanted nothing
to do with Him, for God knew how much pain and anguish they were in.
God did not get angry at His people even when they did things against Him. Instead, God shared with them His warmth and His truth. God reached out and touched them in love and compassion. God poured out Himself for them. God sacrificed Himself for them.
God never abandoned them. God never let them get lost, for if they wandered off, He would go find them and stay with them. When they hurt, God hurt with them. When they rejoiced, God rejoiced with them. When they cried, God cried with them. In all the ways they fell short of God’s mark, God did not remember how far short of His mark they had fallen because He forgave them.
Everyone who came to God’s church knew He loved them even when they tried not to know or pretended not to know. They all knew He cared about Him. They all knew He supported them. They all knew that God knew their name and He knew about their life. They all knew He called them His own. They all knew He wanted them to grow and get better every day. They all knew God wanted them to turn away from their sin. Many of the people who came to God’s church learned He loved them with no conditions attached for they learned God loved them for who they could become. As the years of their lives rolled by, because God loved them so much, they began to love Him back for loving them first. And they changed. And they were healed. And they were restored. And they were renewed. And they accepted Him. And when He died on the cross for them they were devastated beyond words to say. And they grieved incredibly for three days. But on the third day, they heard His voice again. And they wept with joy. And when they died, they sailed home in an instant and were embraced by Him and lived in His home for eternity.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails (NIV)
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