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A Pastor, A Mama, And The Mouse

How did we get HERE ….

Where did we get so tied up, wrapped up, and confused when it comes to the gospel? I told you, my husband and I co-lead a church, you had to get some Jesus on here at some point. (He’s just toooooo good to not talk about!) Over a year ago I was really struggling with being unseen, unappreciated, you know – all the feelings that come along with being a mom. It was then that God had spoken to me and told me to read through the minor prophets and the books of the Bible that you don’t hear preached out of very often, there isn’t many book studies done on – the unseen and the unappreciated books of the Bible. 

Now, if you haven’t done that i highly suggest you do! (And if you’re looking for a Bible and you don’t know where to start I highly suggest the Wayfinding Bible) There are so many good little nuggets of truth hidden within those overlooked books – a main overwhelming theme that it does not matter what you do, who you think you are, what kind of situation you are in God is always there for you. He’s always waiting for you to simply turn around and come running back to him … 

I digress, while going through this overlooked books, I recently found myself in the book of Ephesians. A little back story – this is a letter written by Paul (you know Saul-Paul who heard the call and took the fall – if you want someone with a crazy redemption story go read about HIM! He persecuted Christians – literally KILLED them for simply loving Christ and then on the road to Damascus his whole life changed …. Don’t EVER think you’re too far, too bad, too mean, too anything to come to Christ!) Anywho – Paul is writing this letter to the church of Ephesus while he was a prisoner in Rome (for preaching the Gospel) and this letter was all about what a JOY we have in Christ and to encourage and lift up those who were doing their very best to live a good Christian life and share the Good News. This is a letter filled with LOVE not only for the recipients, but also for those who don’t know Christ as well! He constantly reminds that Christ LOVED us and CHOSE us before the world was even made (Eph 1:4) and that ALL of us use to live in a way that followed a sinful nature (Eph 2:3) but once we come into Christ that we are NEW creations and the old is gone and the new has come. We need to lead a life worthy of being called by God – which means to put away the ways of our sinful nature and imitate Christ … 

This is where I looked at my husband and said how in the world did we get here. I grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s Pentecostal church. Yes, we still sang out of hymnals for most of it and we always had a play every fall (i believe) called Heavens Gates and Hells Flames. A way that would quite literally scare you to Jesus. I can remember pastors as a kid basically preaching hellfire and brimstone as a way to get people to Jesus. Basically – let’s scare them to Jesus because you don’t want to go to Hell! I mean …. You don’t it’s not a cool place to hang out …especially for all of eternity. But how did we get here?? When I read through my bible, especially the New Testament – the Gospels are all about Jesus’ life here on Earth and the ministry that he did. It’s not full of fear tactics, condemnation, or hate .. it’s full of love. When I read through the letters that Paul wrote to the churches on what needed to be addressed within the early churches – yes, he corrected them, yes, he pointed out what was going wrong and when they were headed in the wrong direction – but he did so with LOVE. He told them that we are to do everything in LOVE. We will be known by our LOVE. If we are to be imitators of Christ that means we are becoming more and more like him every day. And Christ is LOVE. He is not hate. He is not condemnation. He is not judgement. He is not fear tactics. He is LOVE. We are to make allowances for each others faults (Eph 4:2) Being patient and humble and gentle with each other. Does that mean we ignore every sinful way those are us are stuck in? NO … but it means that when we address it we do so with LOVE. 

Later on in Chapter 4 of Ephesians Paul gives us this whole list of what the world does and what we are to do as Christians: 

The world has closed minds and hard hearts, no sense of shame, live for lust and practice impurity. BUT THIS ISN’T CHRIST – we need to have a new attitude and new thoughts (and this is where the Holy Spirit helps us to get there! 

The world tells lies – we need to speak truth 

If you’re a thief – quit stealing INSTEAD use your hands for GOOD

Don’t use abusive or foul language – INSTEAD let everything you say be good and helpful and an encouragement 

Get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander … instead BE KIND, tender hearted, FORGIVING each other just as Christ forgave you. 

I don’t know how we got to this place where there is constant judgment, condemnation, and fear tactics being used by Christians thinking that will be a great imitation of Christ. That that is how we can show the world who Jesus TRULY is. But people, we need to get back. We need to get back to LOVE. 

The Bible doesn’t tell us to ignore, tolerate, condemn, hate, judge, make excuses for, etc … it tells us to LOVE. God loves us so much that he recognizes when we are walking down a painful path that will lead to nothing good. He loves us too much to leave us where we are. Where we are headed for destruction. We need to love those around us so much that we are concerned with that as well – but it’s not our job to save those around us. We cannot do that. Only Jesus Christ can save – but we can LOVE. We can love them to Jesus and let Him do the work that needs to be done. 

If you’ve been hurt by the church let me say this – I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that someone who was supposed to imitate Christ imitated the world instead and brought hate and condemnation and judgment upon you. Know that you are loved more than you feel and are cherished and chosen more than you could imagine. There is a God who sees you, hears you, and loves you. And I do, too. 


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