Love Them Into the Church
by Jessica Gerald
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1 John 4:7-12
Sometimes even as Christians we tend to be judgemental or critical of someone who is not a believer or isn't as far in their Christian walk as others. We may look at a person's behavior in scorn. We may not even realize we do it, for we have no intention of hurting them.
Even though my sons have been raised in the church and brought up in a Christian home, at ages seventeen and twenty-one, God is definitely not finished with them yet. They're not perfect. They are also at a vulnerable age where they are questioning their faith, the Bible, and the beliefs which they have been taught.
Thank God, we attend a church that is very kind and tolerant. The truth is preached, but sinners are welcomed, not condemned. I'm so glad, because right now it is an effort to even get them to go to church. If they thought people were going to gossip about them, judge them, or shun them because they are not measuring up, I don't think they would go at all.
This has made me very aware of how I treat people. After all, Christ came to save sinners. He came for the sick, not the well. If we turn away the very people who need him, what a terrible eternal consequence that could have!
So when I see people coming to church, or anywhere for that matter, I try to treat them the way I would want my own sons to be treated. I want to act in love, not rejection.
My mother was right when she always said, "We have to love people into the church."
Remind us that the very essence of your character is love. Please fill us with your love, so that it becomes the essence of our character, too. May we demonstrate your love to others so that they will be drawn to you, not repulsed by Christianity.
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