Thursday, June 2, 2016

JUNE 2 "DELIBERATELY PURPOSEFUL"

     I may be overstating something here, but there are few scriptures, if any where Jesus compares his love to him, based on whether or not you do something.  I thought only my wife did this (lol), but apparently not. Jesus says, "Peter, do you love me....then __________"  and at this point we should all have open ears.  Recently I ran into a Christian from another church and I asked him what he was up to and his answer to me was, "just luving Jesus man....just luving Jesus..." and he said it with this glazed look in his eyes.  As I left that encounter I thought...."wow, that guy really loves Jesus...I think?" Rarely do I walk around with a glazed look in my eye telling people, "I'm just loving Jesus".  Do I love Jesus? If it's based off of sentiment and a glazed look in my eye, I might have to say...no!  However, if I base it off of what Jesus says love is for him, than I could say..."yes!".  There are few things in Christendom that we can deliberately set out do to, within our own means. There is much we can set out to do, but at the end of the day we know that God must move supernaturally on our behalf for our efforts to have effect. Jesus understands that much weighs upon him, but this is a weight (so to speak) that he is shifting back, not just upon Peter, but upon "any" that would say they love him.  Jesus is saying, "be deliberate" about this!" Don't just sit around and spiritualize this, if God wills it then...."  There is no, "if God wills it here, there is no, if God helps me, if God moves, if a miracle happens then...." there is NONE of that involved in this. This is something that we can be deliberate about. We can preach, we can witness, we can pass out flyers but at the end of the day, Jesus says, "I will build my church". Every person that gives their life to Jesus is a miracle given my God (unless the Father draws, no man can come to me) so we know that even with our best efforts, without God we cannot save a soul. But in this area, it's all on us. The soul is there, God has done everything to bring that soul into the Kingdom, now it is up to us to do our part. This WE CAN DO, but often we do not. If we would spend more time focusing on what we can do, and spend more time praying about what we cannot do rather than trying to force what we cannot, we would be more effective.  This we do not leave to chance, we do not leave to prayer, we do not wait for some miracle or Divine intervention, this is something Jesus wants us to be deliberately purposeful about. 1. Feeding & caring of his sheep is a responsibility that Jesus is shifting unto us. How many sheep does Jesus bring into the fold, that God only looks from heaven and grieves as he sees the sheep he has brought into the fold not cared for and famished. How can a soul stand in the midst of so many Christians and yet feel so alone. How can a soul sit in the midst of an assembly and be completely ignored. How can a soul be brought into the church by Divine intervention and then be left to stand there alone as the parking lot clears out and the voices and laughter fade away, as they go home to their lonely apartment? While we are loving on Jesus, with a glazed look in our eyes, his sheep go... uncared for and famished for fellowship, love and companionship.  The church has a twofold purpose, 1. Preach the Gospel, to nameless and faceless people and the 2. Love and care for those that god puts names and faces too!  I find we do a much better job preaching to the nameless and faceless than we do loving and caring for those that have names and faces right before us, day in and day out. We would rather preach to the thousands rather than love the one, homely & lonely person God puts in front of us. Peter preached to nameless and faceless people on the day of Pentecost and saw 3000 souls saved. Now Jesus is putting the weight upon Peter to love and care for those people, to "feed them", both spiritually and physically, if needed. Much in Christendom depends on the supernatural workings and providence of God, but here in our text is ONE THING that God gives back to us and says, this is up to you, this is something I want you to be deliberately purposeful about and that is....loving, caring and the feeding of MY SHEEP, are you deliberately purposeful about this?