Today was an awesome day as we finished our evangelistic series called “Following Jesus” ” What an honor and privilege to share this message of His love. No one has ever experienced God to the full except for Jesus. The little bit we have leaves us in awe struck wonder. “How could He love “me” like that” we ask. We have only experienced, for the most part, human love, conditional love. Dave Smith has captured the essence of Agape love, God’s kind of love in his series, Net 2014 ” Following Jesus”.
The one story Dave tells that stands out to me from all his other stories was the one about the 65 year old greeter that stood in the foyer and greeted three drug addicts with these words, I love you, God loves you and we are glad you are here. The one she didn’t know she gave an extra special hug. Told them about the little Sabbath School that was going on inside. You may not understand it, but go enjoy it as there is a group of people inside that will just love on you. (I resonate with this as that is the kind of people we are looking to reach at Compass, the down and out, the mentally challenged, the mentally ill, the drug addicts, the alcoholics, our autistic kids and broken people. They are all our friends that God has given us to love on)
Then two weeks later they decide to come back again. Friday night they get drunk and vomit all over themselves and go to church like this. There is that little greeter standing there. She smells them first before she sees the vomit and hugs them anyway in her Sabbath best clothes getting vomit all over herself, and says I love you, God loves you and we are glad you are here.
This went on for two years then one day the guy says, I want what you have. How do I get it? You see, during those two years no one ever told them to clean up their act, nor themselves, they just loved on them. It was their love that had made the difference. It made them want to clean up their act. This is what happens when we truly experience God’s love.
I can only imagine standing in the presence of Jesus when the church people bring this lady caught in the act of adultery to Him, and He tells them to stone her but only he who has not sinned has a right to throw the first stone and one by one her accusers all leave as they examined themselves. He is now standing alone with her. You see the Savior of the universe has a right to pick up a stone and stone her as He was the only one standing there without sin, yet He didn’t. Instead He asks this question, has no one condemned you? No sir she replies, then neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. You see Jesus is so filled with love, He doesn’t want to leave us in our sinful state so He in love reminds her there is a better way. There is a song that says it all, it is called “Scandal of Grace” Oh to be like You I’d give all I have just to know you. Oh to be like you.
When we truly experience that kind of love there has to be a love response back.
During the last three months as we have journeyed with Pastor Dave Smith I have seen a change come over Compass. We are becoming that place of grace. The end of this month we will see 8 people dedicate their lives to Christ in baptism. We have already seen 5 so far this year make that same commitment.
I am sure in every church there are people with vomit all over them. There lives are full of vomit. Don’t run away from the ones God is putting in your path just love on them and watch what God does. I long to be a church like that Jesus! Make me that church ! Equip me to overlook the vomit and just say I love you, God loves you and we are glad you are here.
Have a blessed and God-honoring week.