Even with a limitless vocabulary, I have been struggling to find the right words to say to you. When I first came to your church, I was excited with you to see what all could take place. I held my breath with you in anticipation for what great things we would see. I sat with many of you as you planned what it was that would best meet the needs of the people, and I applauded your intentions as you thought them through. I could barely contain myself as I saw the things that you were starting to do with the children, my children! I was encouraged at the amount of dedication that I saw in some.
So, I spread the word, the billboard thing? That was my idea. The website – mine too. I saw to it that people not only saw them but visited. I personally invited them. They were guests of my choosing. I called them by name and they came, but where were you? You begged me to send them, you begged them to come, but when they showed up you walked on by. Were you afraid you would love them too much, were you afraid they would feel too welcome, or were you scared they would make themselves at home, take your pew, do more and make you look lazy? Is that why you let them go, and go they did. They never came back. I sent them to another church where they were welcomed with open arms and they were put into service for me.
What about the children, the ministry that I rejoiced with you about? They were not worth much time. It is a pity that you could not see their real potential. Your children love you and need me. Would any of you if your children asked for bread give them a stone instead? And yet, you do not encourage them to draw near to me. I have seen them in the darkness. I have watched them fight off the enemy and the temptation that he brings. I have yanked them from the path of destruction time and time again, but soon they will give in. I have given them a choice and you have chosen to fill their time with this and that distancing them from me with each year. I tell you the truth, I want them. I long to offer them a hope and a future, but someone else wants them too. He seeks to destroy them. Do not be deceived; let them come to me. They are your future, dear church, and where ever they go, this church will go to. You would spare no expense to make your children happy so do not sell your children to this world! Wake up before they are gone. You cannot buy back yesterday.
I thought we had the same dream for this church, but slowly you let that dream slip away. You wanted to fill my time with programs and meetings instead of worship and prayer. You wanted to concentrate on the building instead of the kingdom. You wanted to nit-pick about appearance instead of focusing on the condition of the souls. You wanted me to meet you, but you wouldn’t make the time to meet with me. Beloved, you are at a stand still, but I did not stop you. You are in a sinking spell, but I did not pull the plug. You cry for numbers while I beg for substance. You are on rocky ground. Your foundation is no longer firm for I do not hold you down. You have taken off on your own without a thought to where I am headed. I love you, but I warn you; you must stop this now!
And finally, you say that I am your God, but who do you serve? I long to see the fire in your eyes again. I long to hear the passion in your prayers, and the intensity in your praise. I long to hold you close and build you up into the church that I dream of; oh I have great plans for you! So open your heart, listen to my voice, and follow in my footsteps and I will set things right. It is never too late to turn back to your first love. I haven’t yet given up on you; don’t count me out, either. I love you with an everlasting love, and I will not leave you or forsake you. Remain in me and I will remain in you and together we will bear much fruit, together we will change this church, together we will see my dream come true!
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Dear Leslie, it were as if Christ had written this letter Himself, in fact I think that He did. He is the author and the finisher of our faith and our editor in Chief, I would say this is hot off of His press. Leslie Lamb, sounds like you are indeed related to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Blessings, Sharon