Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What Its All About

This posting is somewhat of a confession. I know all too well how easy it is to get caught up in "church" and "church things" and ironically forget about the Lord. I know it sounds silly but I've learned we can be so religious, and in the process neglect what should be our primary relationship.

So as we change course and begin something new, we are acutely conscious of our need to, above all, cultivate our fellowship with Jesus... individually and corporately.

I was deeply encouraged and challenged by a section of "Total Church" by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, addressing this very issue:

It was Augustine who first summarized the Christian life with the words, "Love God and do a you please." The older we get the more we are persuaded by that deceptively simple maxim. Paul says:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. (I Corinthians 13:1-3)

If we are culturally relevant, we might add, but have not love, we gain nothing. If we preach the finest sermons but have not love, we are resounding gongs. Indeed, if we write books about mission and church but have not love, we are just clanging cymbals! Attendance at meetings, involvement in evangelism, an ability to handle the Bible, starting new initiatives, a reputation for being sound (or radical) - all of these, in and of themselves, indicate nothing unless they are a heart response to the deep, passionate love of God and emerge out of a deep, passionate love for God.

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