9/11/19 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
Last Sunday I had a number of people in my home to watch Sunday Night Football. Yet it is not the game I want to talk about, but the people that were in my home. But just in case you happened to miss the most lopsided Sunday Night Football score ever, the New England Patriots pummeled the Pittsburg Steelers 33-3. And although I feel the tendency to address all you “Patriot haters,” I am resisting that urge!
As I think about the people in my home on Sunday night, they were all very different. Their backgrounds were different, their marital status was different, they all work at different kinds of jobs, and some did not work at all, because they were retired. There were men as well as women present, there were different kinds of foods for different kinds of tastes. Their life experiences were different, and each one had a different story how they came to Christ. There were more differences in that room than there were similarities.
Yet even with all those differences, we overlook the differences we might have had, we ignore personality quirks, we put aside the things we do not agree about, because we love football and we wanted to watch the Patriots crush the Steelers.
How different would our churches look today if we would do the same thing? If we would overlook the personal preferences we have, if we would ignore personality quirks, and tried to understand the different life experiences instead of discarding or avoiding them. What if we were willing to lay aside our personal cravings for the greater good? What if we just got along because we love God and we wanted to watch His kingdom flourish?
How different would our churches look if we were to practice 1 John 1:7 … But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.
How different would the church look? There would be no more quarrelsome Christians, there would be no more church splits, there would be no more pastors run out of town. Why? Because we would be walking in the light just like Jesus walks in the light.
Please understand: you will never win a debate by out-arguing anyone! You will never win anyone over by yelling louder or “taking your toys” and going home. You and I cannot change hearts; only God can. Only God’s light can change a heart. If you find yourself in an argument with another Christian, if you find yourself out of fellowship with another Christian, if you find yourself not attending church, then chances are you need to ask God to forgive you and walk back into the light.
God doesn’t tell us we always need to be right; God doesn’t encourage us to all like the same music, (although I can’t understand why people love country music!) or read the same Bible translation or all dress the same. God does not tell us that everyone needs to think like we do, God tells us to walk in the light as He is in the light. And why is that important? Because when you and I are walking in the light, we are reflecting God, because that is where He is.
We bring no honor to God if we win an argument and lose a Christian brother. God is not gloried if we can get someone that disagrees with us to leave our church. God does not say “Atta boy” when we get even with other Christians that mistreat us. What brings glory to God, is when we walk in the light as He is in the light, because when we do that, we are reflecting Him, and that is when God is honored and praised.
John is saying that if you want to have an intimate and Godly relationship with others, then we must have an intimate relationship with God. This only happens as we walk in the light as He is in the light. Authentic friendships for Christians can only happen as we choose to have authentic fellowship with God and with His Son Jesus. Then and only then is it possible to enjoy genuine fellowship with one another.
If you are out of sorts with someone, make sure that you are not the one that is not walking in the light. Just imagine if we all would do that self-evaluation check; how different would our world be?
Sunday night we had numerous differences represented in the room, yet we had wonderful fellowship because we had a common focus: a Patriots win. In the church we need to remain true to our common focus: Jesus, the light of the world.
If the lost and dying world does not see the light in those of us that claim to be followers of Christ, who are they going to see it in?