First I’d like to give credit to author, speaker, blogger, and a mentor of mine, Frank Viola. He has been instrumental in getting me started with this blog. Thank you, Frank!
Recently I read one of his blog posts titled “You Can’t Love Christ and Despise His Bride”
He cites three reasons to make his point and the message really hit home with me. I can relate to people that say they love God yet never want to go to church.
Churches can be difficult and “going to church” is not always as pleasant as it should be. The problem isn’t always the church we go to, however, sometimes it’s our heart.
I confess that I used to be like that. I’d call myself a Christian, yet I didn’t make much effort to find a church, much less go to one. That didn’t work out very well because I kept myself isolated from the very people that I needed to spend time with. This was detrimental to my spiritual health.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 16:25 (ESV)
Frank hit it on the head when he said: “Knowing Jesus Christ will eventually lead a person to desire the ekklesia in their experience.”
This is exactly what I discovered first hand.
What changed my heart and what gave me a better attitude was seeking Jesus and digging into the Word of God like I never have before. He led me to know how to love Him in return and I haven’t been the same since. As a result of my God-given repentance and yielding to His will, He gave me a heart for the Church (the Body of Christ) that I hadn’t had before. A true desire to be in fellowship with others that have a genuine love for Jesus. Now I’m no longer isolated and I spend much time with the Church.
Not all churches are the same, however, so seek Jesus and the Holy Spirit to lead you back to His family, a group of people that will love you just as Jesus does, although don’t expect a “perfect” place because, as you know we all fall short.
If you say you love Jesus but are not spending time with His Body I encourage you to seek Jesus for yourself, read His word diligently and ask Him to help you find others that will love you and encourage you to grow in Him.
I’ll leave you with this:
1 John 4: 20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?