“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25
When going out and doing God’s work, it’s just that, God’s work. He is using us as a tool to bring glory to him that we may love him deeper and see his glory. Yes churches are places where we come together and serve him, but the church is to disciple us into Christians, when we leave those doors we are in the world and we are the only example that many people may ever see of who Christ is and what we’re called to do. I don’t know about you but that is extremely convicting. Am I encouraging to others? Am I patient? Do I appear joyful? Do I say everything is fine when I’m going through extreme suffering? We are not perfect people. In James 4:12 at the end of the verse in the ESV translation it says, “But who are you to judge your neighbor?” Yeah, who am I? That is not my job, only God can judge. Also instead of showing that person love and kindness, then they may know I call myself a Christian but all they feel is judged by me, they may want to run from things that is said to be Christian. If you have ever read Crazy Love by Francis Chan you may have skipped over the preface, I encourage you to go back and read it. On page 22 at the top he writes, “I don’t think people would say that if the church truly lived like we are called to live. The expression would change to ‘I can’t deny what the church does, but I don’t believe in their God.’ At least then they’d address their rejection of God rather than use the church as a scapegoat.” Doesn’t the same go for us. The things that we see wrong in our own faith or people at the church we blame the church for? How does that help. If a brother is going off then why not reach out to him, if there is something that you don’t agree with, address it. But first look to yourself and your own walk and heart before going after others and the church. Remember we are the church, we are it’s body. We cannot work as a whole without all of our parts.
Continuing in James for the rest of chapter 4 God calls us “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” in verse 14. Now, can you distinguish a mist from another mist? We are here for such a short amount of time. I pray that I encourage others around me. I pray that I am present for those God puts in front of me. I pray I do not grow anxious about the future but can be still here in his loving presence and be in awe of him. I pray that you can be present with him to day and walk wherever he may guide you to.