As I recover from my injury I feel compelled to share our experience with God’s church in action. First I need to define the church: Many people even within churches don’t understand what the church really is. My best understanding is, it’s a group of broken down sinners (I’m talking about myself) who for some unexplainable reason have accepted God’s free gift of salvation and want nothing more than to serve the Lord in return. In short: we serve because Jesus saved us, not so that we can be saved. No works, deeds, or amount of effort on my part can save me.
The minute it got out that I had been airlifted with serious back injuries, pending surgery and unknown out comes, not only did my immediate circle of community group begin praying, so did my church. Not only did my church start praying, so did other churches. Not only did other churches, but my on-line community started as well.
We had church members come to our house and clean up the mess. There was blood puddled on our door step. The ladder and power washer were left out. The dogs were left unattended. Our church stepped in and took care of every need without asking. They just did it. Sheri was barely functioning. They came along side her and prayed and stayed with her through the darkest hours. God carried her, but the church was with her and Savannah. Friends took Savannah and provided a loving home and support. People we do not know, brought Stephen down. I received twitter messages on Sunday thanking a Dr. Bob Barnes for leading his church in praying for me and my family that week.
I am a no one. I do not deserve such grace nor attention. But God provided it through His church anyway. This is what God’s church is. If in the past you have been hurt by “church”, please understand that it was not God nor Jesus that hurt you. It was a broken prideful sinner like me. Churches are full of us. We make mistakes and in doing so do not reflect the true love of Christ and what the church really is.
If you have been turned off by church because of the sinners that mess it up, please don’t blame God. He’s not the one who hurt you. I don’t know what happened, it doesn’t matter. I can assure you that you’re right and you were wronged by someone in the church – but not by God’s church. God has not only provided me abundant healing, he’s provided a model of what the church really is. I would like you to consider either attended West Pines Church weekly service starting this weekend or at least listen on-line at the webpage or via the West Pines Podcast. Pastor Robey’s message will help you to reconnect with God and forgive those who have hurt you in the past.
I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a post, send me an e-mail so we can talk. I really want share with you what the church really is this Christmas season.