“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
Surprisingly, on a television sitcom I watched recently, a mother was putting the squeeze on her grown son about his irregular church attendance. He responded, “Well, Mom, God knows my heart.” “Yes,” she countered, “but he doesn’t know your face.”
Many of us, when convicted about church attendance, love that old witticism that says, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonalds make you a hamburger.” True, but once you are made into a lovely new hamburger, it only makes sense that you’d be hanging out where the other hamburgers are found.
Once a person is truly born again, and they taste and see that the Lord is good, they naturally want to be with Jesus. This is evidence of having truly met him. It’s no longer about you have to, but you want to daily spend time with Christ, and gather with those who love him too. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
Suppose a young guy comes to see me for counselling. I ask him if he has a girlfriend and he says, “Yeah.” “Tell me what she’s like,” I say. “Well, she lives in Wolfville.” “Okay, anything else?” “Well, she attends this church.” “She drives a blue Toyota, and has a yellow dress that I really like. She has breakfast three times a week at the Just Us Cafe.” “Okay, what’s her name?” “I don’t know,” he says. “What, don’t you ever talk to her?” “No.” At this point I’d say to the guy, “Okay, you’re not her boyfriend. You’ve gone totally creeper. You’re her stalker! This is not good.”
The crazy thing is too many of us are simply stalkers of Jesus. We’re hoping for a sighting. We don’t really know him. We’re just hoping that he will show up some where and we might get a glimpse of him! We’re just stalking him from a distance! And he’s saying, “Don’t stalk me, get to really know me. Love me. Spend quality time with me. Don’t stalk me.”
If anything, thankfully it’s the pure and holy Jesus who pursues us, and says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Have you invited him in?
To know him is to love him, and it’s through quality time at the table with the Lord, and with his followers, that God has made a way for us to be mutually supported, nourished, and built up in our faith. It’s also where you and I have the joy of being on mission with Jesus, helping others to meet the One who truly changes and transforms us.
Fellowshipping with Jesus and his church may not make us into quarter pounders, or cheeseburgers, but it will bring us more and more into a relationship with our Lord and others whereby, not only our hearts are known, but our faces as well!
Thanks for meandering along with me,