Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wait- You Mean This Applies at Church Too?

I recently wrote another post with a very similar title.  This morning's reading has me thinking that there are some very specific things for me to take a hard look at amongst the body of believer's I worship with, both those in the present and those in the past.  The verses I focused on this morning were Romans 15:5-7.  There is a theme running through these verses about unity, about being of the same mind and in one accord.  Then the clincher comes in verse 7, "Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us (me) to the glory of God."  Follow that with this verse from Psalm 119 that I read today, "Keep me from lying to myself," (v. 29a-NLT) and I come to some difficult realizations.
For the past couple of weeks I have been in the 14th chapter of Romans.  It is all about setting aside yourself for the sake of others.  It is all about not fighting within the church about the things that are not crucial to the faith, and even more importantly not causing our brothers and sisters harm by insisting on certain things.  Today leads me to the tough questions.  Have I been a person who builds up or tears down?  Have I made issues of things that are not vital and caused harm to fellow believers?  The awful answer is there are mistakes in my past that I am very ashamed of and my confession time this morning was a tear-filled one as I finally acknowledged my terrible failings in this area.  There are times I should have simply walked away.  There are times when I stood so firmly on something that has no lasting value that I made no room for those with opposing opinions.  I have been judgmental and harsh rather than accepting others as Christ has accepted me.   I am praying this morning that the God who restores will be able to bring healing to those I have left hurting along my path.  I am praying that God would replace distrust, anger, resentments, and hurts among the body with love, grace, peace, and mercy.

There is a song I love to sing by Natalie Grant, Make Me Over.  As I seek to be more like Christ within the body of believer's this is the prayer of my heart.

I've been silent instead of speaking up
Gave my advice instead of giving love
I have been unfair, faithless and unkind
I have shut my eyes just so I would stay blind
It's not what I meant to do
'Cause I want to honor You

Make me over, Make me new
Make me a mirror, a reflection of You
Take me all apart
Take me to Your heart and pull me closer
Sweet Savior, make me over

I was working on my second quilt block yesterday.  It looks like this as I get ready to pick it up this morning and finish it.

My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty.  There's nothing my God cannot do.  Not for me.  Not for you. There is nothing He cannot do.  I am counting on Him to continue His work in my life to make me more and more in the image of Christ and sometimes I can be a pretty tough nut to crack.

Grace, peace, and mercy dear ones.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Life is so full of times when we do not always agree with others. It's a human thing. God's thoughts are not our thoughts and God's ways are not our ways. But I am with you. Praying to become closer to the Heart of God with each passing day.
I have found so many of my life experiences have mellowed me in ways that could never have happened without those challenges...challenges turned into opportunities to see God's hand of love and care.
I've become more tolerant and less judgemental in many ways that would never have happened otherwise. Still being judgemental in many areas, I try to see things more through the eyes of Jesus than through my human eyes. Sometimes, I do, sometimes.......I still have far to go.
Thank you for listening to the "still, small voice", leading you to challenge us in our walk with God.
So happy to be your sister in Christ!