I'm reading my next book called "Unchristian" that my friend Joe lent me - & I'm loving this book & I'm just in the first 2 chapters! I am taking notes like a mad-woman! If it were my own copy, the whole book would probably be yellow with highlight marks - but since its not, the ole' steno note pad accompanies this book so I can write down things that stand out to me.
Right from the get go - there was a verse that I just thought said so much:
1 Corinthians 8:1 "While knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds up the church"
WOW!! How true is that! I just automatically envisioned a non believer visiting a church for the first time. While knowledge is powerful & needed to teach someone - is that the first thing that the non believer notices?
I know from personal experience, it was hard to get Ricky to go to church with me. I was raised in church my whole life & was use to going to them by myself while he stayed home. After a health scare, Ricky made a commitment to God to give church a go. Well, Ricky is just one of those people who is uncomfortable being around other people - but Praise the Lord - he's come so far! - but it was so hard for him to step into a room full of complete strangers.
I'll never forget - it was a couple in our church - Jack & Jan Pope - who immediately welcomed Ricky & just took him for who he was - a child of God - long hair or not. Now its funny because this couple if more of a "seasoned" couple (I learned that term from our "Generation Gap" sermon) - so you would think they would be one of the first ones who would be against Ricky & his "rocker" look - nope - they loved on him - made their way to make him feel comfortable & then guess what - Ricky wasn't as uncomfortable the next week. And the next week & each one that followed, the Pope's would go out of their way to find Ricky to just say hello & to see how his week was. Before long - more & more people were doing that & Ricky was at home.
Now, I know the Pope's are very knowledgeable people - but Ricky didn't see that - didn't NEED to see that from the beginning - he saw their love! Their hearts that were Christ like! It made all the difference! That's exactly what came to mind when I saw that verse!
Oh - that everyone in our church would reach out with that kind of love - what a way to build a church - full of Love!!!!