Sunday, October 19, 2008

How lovely is your dwelling place...

"How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you." Selah --Psalm 84:1-4

Is there anyone besides me who thinks church is the greatest place in the world? I love church! Have I had bad experiences with church -- with THE CHURCH? You betcha'. Plenty. I've seen Christian people do some awful stuff -- adultery, hypocrisy, gossip, slander, struggles for power, you name it. And yes, it breaks my heart. We ought not treat each other like that.

Here's what I love about church: I meet God there. We talk all week and we work together. He corrects me and shows me how to correct the kids. He loves me and shows me how to love others. We work out my salvation all week. But on Sunday, aahhh Sunday.

On Sunday, we rest. I get dressed up -- not because I have to or He thinks I look cuter in a dress, but -- because today is special. I'm going to meet Him in His house. On Sunday, I sing to Him, for Him and because of Him. I drop the week at His feet.

Then I go sit down with the other pilgrims, aliens if you will, and we talk about God. We love Him. We love to talk about Him. We want to know more of Him, so we sharpen each other and we check each other for truth. We encourage each other.

Here are some other things I love about church:

donuts, fresh fruit and coffee - Does that seem shallow? I hope it doesn't. It's part of how we rest together at my church. It's a pleasure to be in my Lord's house. (Isaiah 25:6)

people smiling and laughing - For a lot of reasons, because it means, "It's all good." "We're family." "We're all in this together." "Yeah, I love Jesus, too." "Girl, you're salvation is looking good. Keep on running the race."

kids everywhere - I love it because another generation is meeting God in His house every week, resting with Him. He's writing their love story and I get to see it.

my pastor - He is just a man and he knows it. He loves Jesus and he wants everyone to know Him. He's about grace and mercy, something I'm short of quite frequently.

My church is the building I go to to meet with my Lord each week and my church is the people in it. And I love it, maybe because God loves it so very much. Jesus died for it. The Holy Spirit lives in it. I hope you love it, too.
If you don't love the church, ask yourself why. Is it because someone hurt you there? Does it bore you? Do you sense hypocrisy there? I implore you - forgive, ask for a fresh fire in your spirit, and pledge to stand as an example to the weaker brothers.
Father, make us one. Give us an undying love and loyalty for our brothers and sisters, for Your Bride. Help us not to forsake meeting together. Make us one. Amen.

Acts 2:42-47
Ephesians 5:23-32


PT Paula said...

What a wonderful commentary on church family, community, and refreshing Sundays! Did your husband tell you that this site is my ongoing devotional? God has given you great insight as to how His incredible truth is connected to life now and LIFE forever. The music is totallly heart-piercing, too. Thanks for the blessings...

Passionate Purposeful Parenting said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you! :) You have such a beautiful heart! I love your love and passion for God! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Kimberly said...

I read this the other day when I saw your comment on Reverb. I had to digest it all. The concept of church with a lot of people is misunderstood... I totally love the way you present your church family here. Praise the Lord!