Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups
09/11/16 – 568
Well, I certainly hope you picked up from yesterday’s devotion that whatever we are faced with, we have a choice as to how we will react. In other words, we are not held accountable for our emotions, but for our actions! Sp where do our emotions come into play?
Simply put, they can make things really difficult for us – or really easy. Behavior that follows an emotion is usually pretty easy – but rarely is it deeply satisfying. But… if we keep on doing the right things according to what God tells us, we’ll eventually come to a place where our emotions follow our actions instead of the other way around. I would argue that these emotions are more firmly grounded in truth, in what is right, and therefore will be deeper and more satisfying in the long run.
For example, do you really want to find true love? Start by learning what it is to love and be loved by Christ. Then, and only then, will you know what to look for in another person. See what I mean?
In the same way, do you really want to find true friendship, or brotherhood among people? The first place to look is within the church. Why? Because we in His body are supposed to be different. Are we? Not always. Is it possible to find a good, loyal friend outside of the fellowship of Christ? Possible, but (I maintain) not as likely.
Now, I know that last statement is controversial. It’s been argued in many forms for years, and I don’t think that non-believers and Christians will ever agree on the answer. However, I base my statement on scripture.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
As you read this remember – love is a verb.
So ask yourself this question – what should church look like when you walk in this morning? Maybe a better question is this – what would it look like if you were invisible? Would the conversations be the same as they are when you’re standing there? Would the smiles still be there, or would those disappear as soon as you did? Here’s another question.
Good or bad, how much have you done to help build the culture of the church into what it is today? What can you do to strengthen it? What can you do to help repair what’s broken? Let me give you a hint. It doesn’t begin with following your emotions – they are like leaves on the wind! Begin with obedience and commitment to God alone, your emotions will follow. Not only that, but they’ll become much steadier and deeper than you could ever have imagined. And by the way, so will you relationshships.
Today as you prepare for worship, start with the basics. Ask God to prepare your heart and mind to receive His Spirit. Be obedient, whether He asks you to kneel, lift your hands, pray, or whatever. Just do what He tells you, then see if your emotions don’t follow along.