I was reading 2 John last week. It is a short letter, only 13 verses, addressed to the “elect lady and her children”. While I was reading, a thought entered into my mind. If I was going to write a short letter to the church I serve, what would I say? I would want to encourage my brothers and sisters, I would want to challenge them to greater faithfulness among many other things. There is so much to say…I don’t think I could do it in 13 verses. If I wrote a short letter to the Christ followers here in Decatur it might look something like this…
All you followers of Christ, whom I love in truth, greetings! I am so thankful for all of you. In so many ways you make God smile. I see your faithfulness. I see your love for the saints. I see your desire to be what God would have you be. We are so blessed to be together at this moment in history. I urge you in the name of Jesus to keep moving forward. The enemy will continue to attack. The enemy will try to slow you down and turn you around. Be aware. Be on your guard. He would like nothing more than to destroy this church from the inside out. We cannot, we MUST NOT let that happen.
Remember that the church is bigger than us; always has been and always will be. There are faithful followers of Jesus Christ all over this world!! God will continue to add to his church, that is his job, our job is to love people into an even deeper relationship with Jesus. So love those who aren’t like you and love those who are. Love people who are messed up and love people who think they have it all together. FORGIVE EACH OTHER. Prove you are followers of Jesus by loving like Jesus.
Worship God will all you have in you every single day. Following Jesus is about what you do everyday, not just on Sunday. Make the Word of God a part of your daily routine; you will NOT grow in your faith by accident, it is going to take regular time with Jesus and his word. Don’t just read God’s word…engage it, live it, breathe it in and breathe it out. Living out God’s word includes making disciples. Don’t be scared by that!!! Just invest in other people. Get outside of yourself, be willing to invite others into your circle of friends. People are lonely, people are hurting, so be on the lookout for people you can introduce to Jesus and then walk with them.
PRAY without ceasing. Pray when things are good. Pray when they are not. Pray for the little things. Pray for the BIG things. Pray for all the things in between. No relationship can grow without communication, that includes your relationship with God. Remember there is a sickness far worse than physical sickness. So, please, pray for the sick, but don’t forget those who are lost without Jesus. Pray for spiritual health! Pray for spiritual growth! Pray for the reign of King Jesus to invade not just the whole world but YOUR world! Prayer is NOT a last resort it must become our first decision in every situation we find ourselves in.
One last thing, we cannot let what any person, or any other church for that matter, says about us define us. People will talk…let them. In fact, let’s give them something to talk about. Let’s love people so much that it makes them think there is something wrong with us. Let’s serve people in the name of Jesus so that He becomes irresistible. Let’s think big and dream big because God can do even more than those big dreams and thoughts!!! Remember, we are defined by Jesus Christ, not someone else’s warped view of what we are supposed to be. Live for HIS approval not the approval of man.
I am so proud of you. You are running the race well. Don’t give up. Fight the good fight! Be RESILIENT!!! I cannot wait to see how God is going to use all of us, together, as we move into the future. Remember that life is short, death is certain, and eternity is long so live for eternity NOT just for today.
I have so much more I want to say. But my 13 verses are over. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.