September on my Mind- Genuine Love
“We ought to always thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.”-
2 Thessalonians 1:3
There are many terms that speak to the uniqueness of Sunday in comparison to the other days in the week. The “Sunday Paper” usually is the biggest paper and the most expensive, due to all the special sections, including the comics and coupons. Your “Sunday Best” is used to describe your very best outfit, set aside for church. There is even taking a “Sunday Drive” where you slow down as you cruise through town. Well, I have come up with my own phrase over the years which I have coined “Sunday Tension.”
One of the things I have found as a pastor is the tension of Sundays. I am not talking about the desire to have the church full or speaking to the weight felt when teaching God’s Word. This “Sunday Tension” has to do with the fact that as important as it is to be together on Sundays, we need more. We will never get into peak physical shape by exercising just once a week. We will never fulfill the role of a spouse and parent by engaging your family just once a week. And we will never keep a job by showing up to the office just once a week. In the same way, there must be more than Sundays to grow in our love and faith of Jesus, stay connected with other believers, and walk with a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
This real tension is the reason our second church pillar is called GENUINE LOVE. A pillar built on the truth that we NEED (and should ENJOY) to do Life and Faith together. We see one of the Early Church’s priorities was gathering on a regular basis. Acts 2:46-27 says, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” We get our word FELLOWSHIP from what is described here. In Greek (Koinonia) fellowship means “participation”; “close association”; “to share”; and “to contribute”.
We need to be intentional and invest in our fellowship with other believers. We need to look for regular times to pray, meet, study and share the Word, and do life with others. This can happen at a small group, discipleship class, getting a coffee with someone, or even serving on a Sunday with a team of folks from the Shepherd’s House family. Being with people IN THE CHURCH will INSPIRE and EQUIP us! Hebrews 10:24 tells us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
Let’s move beyond the tension of a “Sunday Only” faith mindset to the transformation that comes from an “Everyday Opportunity” faith that works in and through love! Galatians 5:6 speaks to this powerful priority, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”