My Beloved Child
(Hearing the cries of those seated in our church pews)
“I have heard your cry, weep no more. Your deliverance is here.”
Upon the Rock, God has built His church and the gates of hell shall not prevail. Though the devil and his angels are harder at work today, God’s promise shall be fulfilled. What God promised our ancestors has come to pass so there’s no doubting this. Believe in His promises and claim your victory.
Love One Another:
You have cried and your heart breaks. The loneliness you feel creates a need for love and attention from anyone who would take the time to share but you wait in vain. You have been hurting and no one feels your pain. Your tear-stained face hidden behind the borrowed smile of a clown goes unnoticed. You feel like screaming if another person tries to reach out to you with theoretical reference when what you crave is practical references in understanding how God brings people through their circumstances and how you can apply it to your life. Your hurt is understood and your pain felt.
Today the members within our fellowship are the most neglected among those in the community we serve. Their hearts ache with pain and it goes unnoticed. Why? Because most of our congregation are lacking the love required to feel each others pain and rejoice when all is well. Therefore we know not how to show it to each other.
We all need love. The smallest of child to the eldest great-grandparent cries out for that love in many different ways. The Sunday-school teacher through to the church cleaner needs that love to keep them going. The diaconate through to the housebound (inactive members) cries out for this love. It is the oil that keeps the fire lit and our engines running.
For the church to move forward into God’s perfect plan, we need to embrace the command to love one another and begin to educate each other.
... The only reason anyone has a desire to please God is that he has learned to love Him(Making it personal, ‘Our Daily Bread’, Special edition).
Our love is conditional and extends to those we are familiar with, those who look similar to us and those within our family circle. We keep our love in a box that only those who are acquainted with us recognise it. Our love is a representative of the one who saves us and if we don’t allow it to shine out, then others won’t understand this ‘wonderful love’ we speak of. It is nothing but words to them and words with no action are dead.
I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you (John 15:12).
The church pews are wearing and tearing from the hurt and pain that goes in and out each week. This is where our biggest problem stems from when it comes to needing volunteers and keeping them. People often come to the church as a last resort, to seek spiritual guidance; in search of the help they need to release those hurt and pain.
However, instead of getting help, they often become volunteers or ‘bench-warmers’ with lingering issues in the background. The pain and hurt somehow gets masked with church activities and they become a member of the existing club where everyone suffers from ‘fine-i-tis’ (the protective coat we all wear for fear of anyone having the slightest glimpse that there is trouble at home).
They suffer silently and so contribute less. They turn up because they are expected to and not because they know that it is something they really need to do. They go with the motion, get despondent and begin to develop negative attitudes. This mentality develops a reputation among believers which opens the door for negative energies.
It then drives away potential volunteers, leaving the few faithful servants running around like ‘headless chickens’ with no direction. They suffer from exhaustion just to keep things operating in a normal fashion. The support they need isn't there and they themselves don't know how to offer support so if the education is missing then the circle continues to revolve.
Out goes the former ‘helper’ because no one seems to care and all they really wanted was visible love and compassion when they came (real brotherly & sisterly love) but it wasn't there. In come the new volunteers who will end up the same way.
We are then left with ‘burn-out’ volunteers who continue faithfully until all they have left is nothing but a willing heart. They then retreat. Afraid to further extend themselves and so become bench-warmers or they leave the fellowship. We are killing each other spiritually because we refuse to fully obey the command of loving each other.
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God (1st John 4:7).
A vicious Circle:
Where have we gone wrong in the church?
Does anyone care enough to look into the problem and try to be part of the solution?
Our role here is to feed ‘His sheep’; carry on the work that our ancestors started and do it faithfully, until Christ returns for his bride [the church].
Our church as a whole is growing and making preparations to meet the King but many parts of the church are unprepared. It is time to wake up and start working while we watch and pray (while the prayer warriors are watching and praying, the rest of the body needs to be working). Watching and praying, while there’s work to be done is counter-productive. The individuals that make up the whole needs to be cared for, comforted and offered the support they need so that they are equipped to offer the same support to others.
They come seeking help but they become helpers instead and the love and compassion they crave is missing, so they get despondent and leave the church – new ones arrive and they travel down the same path. We need to see others as Jesus did while here on earth – with a compassionate heart.
It’s a vicious circle and today, those of us who believe there is a better future for all God’s children cannot hold our tongues any longer. It’s a cry of help on behalf of those who feel helpless and afraid to speak-out.
Love in Action:
If your brother is weak – lift him up.
If no one seems to notice your need -- ask God to direct you to the right person or group of people with whom you can share with and learn from. Spend more time reading the bible and searching for answers.
If you have received your healing and feel ‘on top of the world’, then its time to share that love with others by helping them to realise His goodness. Ask for the boldness to be able to speak out in areas that need attention and be of help to others.
That’s love in action. It's no secret what God can do so don’t keep it – release it so others can heal.
Let the body of Christ work together and praise the Lord. It is you and I that make up the church. Therefore, it is our responsibility to help each other. So let us unite and stop fighting amongst ourselves. Stop pointing the finger at each other or at each department within the church. Hypocrisy will slowly kill the spirit of the church and drive away the very people needing care. Each of us is striving for perfection so stop seeking perfection within each other. Accept each other with all imperfections and welcome the challenge of helping God’s children grow.
While it’s good to help (and some of us do receive our healing from such service) it’s also good for us to recognise where our individual needs lie and get the help we personally need.
This way we can be more effective in our services/ giving and will therefore produce more fruits. Without this healing within our lives and our churches, worship takes second place to work. But until we start to truly love God; worshipping in spirit and in truth – all else is insignificant and just a matter of keeping up appearance.
There is a need for education in what worship really is and why it is important to our relationship with God.
It is possible to be close to Christ, yet so far from the life He offers (Making it personal, ‘Our Daily Bread’, Special edition).
The younger generation (our future) are also developing a pattern from what they now see but all we are feeding them (by our actions) are the skeleton of the gospel. If we don’t provide the meat they need, they will be confused, frustrated and easily led by the powers of this world. It is time to make a change because we are running behind with the work towards the Kingdom.
The tomb is empty – deliverance is here. Victory is ours so let us start loving each other and living for CHRIST.
Janice, a freelance writer, lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with her husband, Vince and their son, Javin. She uses her gift to encourage others towards a deeper relationship with God, through her inspirational pieces while her travel articles provide general advice for the holiday-maker.