What should a church or Christian be passionate about? Of course we all understand we should be passionate about the Lord. The first commandment is the love Him will ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Joshua 23:11; Matthew 22:37). He is not only worth loving, He is the greatest joy of our hearts when we love Him. This is no surprise to anyone who has even a cursory knowledge of the Bible. God is love (1 John 4:8), and when we love Him we join in who He is and we find ourselves.
Let me take us further here: what is the fullest expression of loving the Lord? We might suggest that inner feeling of warmth when the right song is played or we sense the Holy Spirit working in us as God speaks to us. But I believe there is an external reality that expresses the fullest reality of our love for God beyond us. That is – when we are completely passionate about bringing other people to Him. This is often referred to as evangelism or outreach. But I think of it as horizontal worship – letting others know that God is worth it, God is glorious and fulfilling. Telling the world that NOTHING compares to being in Christ is worship on the horizontal plane. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor and we truly love them when we work to introduce them to the love of God.
To that end, we should enter Advent season remembering this passion that was in our Savior Jesus Christ. He willingly left heaven to enter the Earth and become like us in order to lead us back to the Father (see Philippians 2:5-11). He is the supreme example of proper humanity and His ultimate passion was to bring those far from God close to Him. He did this in practical help AND verbal expression of the Gospel of the Kingdom. He combined creeds with deeds to meet the greatest human need and so should we.
So Christian, listen to me, reaching people for Christ is the ONE passion you cannot afford to lose. For if this passion moved Christ from heaven to Earth to save us, it should move us from chasing our own comfort to pursuing His call to reach lost sheep. When a Church forsakes this heavenly calling, in my opinion, that church cedes its right to exist. If people needed social groups, they could find them anywhere; the Church is not a social group. If people needed financial assistance, they could find that in many places; the Church is not a financial assistance organization. If people need education, they might be able to find that anywhere; the Church is not a school. The Church is and always has been the body of Christ – His resident witness to the nations that God is not mad at people, He wants to bring them home.
So as we enter the Christmas season, my sincerest request of you is simply this: INVITE someone to Waters with you this month. I’ve heard many studies that suggest if you want success inviting people to church, THIS is the month to get it. Remember for some, the holidays are lonely and depressing, they need a home. For others, the holidays are frantic, they need peace. For people far from God, the holidays are just an annual habit, they need to find the REASON for the SEASON.
Next week we begin our Advent series: Come Let Us Adore Him. The truest way to be human is to love Him, for when we love Him we join in who He is and we find ourselves. Now let’s help others find their way as well.