I Love You Lord, But These People of Yours…

Unity

“I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’ As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight” (Ps. 16:2-3, NIV).

Over the course of my lifetime, I have run into quite a number of individuals who say they love Jesus but don’t like His church. This sounds plausible to the natural mind but… it is actually a mutually exclusive impossibility.

You see, you can’t truly love Jesus without loving His church right along with Him. Loving Him, and loving the ones He loves, are inseparable heart realities. To further understand this truth, let’s contemplate our Scripture for today.

If we were to isolate verse 2, those disgruntled individuals might have an illusory lleg to stand on: “I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’” They might read that and exclaim, “See? The Lord is the only good thing that I have! Those church people – they definitely don’t qualify as a good thing!”

However inconvenient it may be, though, we can’t separate verse 2 from verse 3: “As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.” Who are these saints? They are you and me. They are every single man, woman, girl, and boy made holy by the blood of the Lamb. They are the Body of Christ, the bride for whom He gave His life.

According to this psalm, we are called not just to tolerate other believers; we are called to delight in them! Delighting goes beyond cordiality. It goes beyond casual acquaintance and guarded camaraderie. It even goes beyond teamwork and enthusiasm for a shared mission. Delight means wholehearted, exuberant enjoyment of those real-life people among whom God has planted you.

I’m going to be lovingly frank with you here. Delighting doesn’t happen by default. A human heart full of delight is the Holy Spirit’s magnum opus.  Your heart becomes His masterpiece as He reveals to your spirit who Jesus is. To truly come to know the Savior is to fall in love with Him. The more you fall in love with Him, the more His love will seep into all the cracks of your heart. To love Him this way is to have His love overflow your heart, spilling out generously onto those around you.

This, only Holy Spirit can accomplish. And He can only accomplish it in a willing, hungry heart.

Ask Him today to do His beautiful work inside of you!

My precious Lord, apart from You I have no good thing. But with you, I have everything! I have all the delightful fullness of life! I ask that You would overflow me today with that fullness, so that it bubbles out on everyone that I meet. Oh, Fountain of joy, flood through my being today! Let the weary find Your infinite depths of living water moving through me, pouring into their thirsty souls! Let them come to understand how profoundly You delight in them when they encounter me!

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Have you experienced the Lord’s delight in someone not part of your family or intimate friend circle?

27 thoughts on “I Love You Lord, But These People of Yours…

  1. A very good article. 🙂

    To play devil’s advocate here though (bad pun I know), your article at least SEEMS to assume (I don’t want to put words in your mouth) that all church goers and all churches are on the correct path.

    Christianity encompasses everything from black liberation theology to the LDS church after all (even if some would disagree with that last part). That’s a WIDE array of varying beliefs that only have Jesus in common.

    Getting to individual people, I’ll be honest. I think most of the people that spout the line about His people just don’t like being told there are standards of behavior for anything. By the same token however, I’ve encountered quite a few Christians who wrap themselves in pride instead of humility and are quick to forget the adage to reject the sin, not the sinner.

    Again, great post though. I hope that I came across as simply wanting to point out why some people spout that line, not as an attack. Your posts are always enjoyable and thought provoking, so I wouldn’t attack. 🙂

    Like

    1. I sure appreciate your input and sharing! No worries, you didn’t come across as attacking 😊. Please always feel welcome to share your thoughts here, because you are.

      By using the word “church,” I don’t mean to make any comment on churchgoers’ behavior or attitudes or beliefs, but simply to refer to the biblical term, as in this verse: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,”
      ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:25‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

      You are absolutely right in saying that many who claim His name don’t live like Him. What a challenge He has given us, to love them too, deeply from the heart, as He does in spite of their errors! I know I’m not up to the challenge within the natural resources of my soul. How I need His help and empowering to love in the mind-blowing, supernatural way He does!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have said this many times myself Jennifer, that I detest the church. What I fail to explain though is that for me the church is a building, or religion/ritual. This I see as nothing more then bondage and idol worship. The true church of JESUS are his people. I find many people and (myself included) at one time could easily make excuses and say I have no time for church. But the the church is a people like you say, and not all that other stuff. SO we may say we have no time for a building and rituals but we cannot easily just ignore God’s chuch if we truly say we love GOD. And yes loving good people is easy for sure, but it really takes effort and time and discipline to love those that are not so lovable. Only the Holy Spirit can come into your heart and do this work for sure. Great post and God Bless!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your thoughts! You are absolutely right that coming to love people with rough edges takes much time, discipline, and focused effort. I was listening to a sermon last night where the speaker was saying that God intentionally puts such people in our lives because it’s so important to Him to train us in the art of loving like He does. I know He has for sure worked on me this way. It’s honestly been very hard, but He is AMAZINGLY faithful to help me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Permit me a story here– two months ago, a little girl who is a member of my parish and similar in age to your daughter was attacked by a dog. She wound up in surgery to repair leg muscles that were “shredded.” My pastor was seriously ill at the time, so I went to the hospital to see her the next afternoon. “Mandy” was exhausted, of course, but had to get up and walk with Physical Therapy assistance while I was there. I had to leave while she was making her way down a long hall. She looked up to me, pulled me close, and said, “Tell Fr. Riley I hope he feels better.” Such a large heart!! At that moment, I became a fan of hers for life! So yes, indeed, I have experienced what you describe! 🙂 –Mike

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I used to say that too but have come to learn that what I really hate is the ‘self’ nature; in myself and others. When those around us choose to live in ‘self’ and express it we have to withdraw since there is no compatibility between ‘self’ and spirit. However those that choose to follow spirit we very much want to be with. Unfortunately there are not many around like this.

    Blessings,
    Homer Les
    http://www.uncompromisingfaith.ca

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The first time I attended our church as a member, I felt such joy, I had tears in my eyes. What a privilege to be part of the Body of Christ!
    Before joining this church I had been attending for several months, completed the members’ class, had my interview with a pastor, and had been voted in by the other member. – Yes, they are thorough. 😉 Maybe the reason I love that church so much is that they ARE very careful to make sure that whoever joins has a thorough understanding of what it means to be a Christ-follower and is willing to live out their faith. I don’t believe I have ever seen in any of them the self-righteous or hypocritical characteristics that turn off the unbelievers. I think some churches are too eager to accept new members, and so they take in people who don’t take following Christ seriously, or may not even be believers. (In my opinion, when persecution comes, it will automatically weed out the fair-weather “Christians.”)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree about persecution! I’ve heard that some Chinese Christians, when told, “We’re praying for you, that the persecution would stop,” earnestly protest, “Please don’t! We are praying for _you_ to experience the blessings that come from persecution!”

      Your church sounds delightful ❤️

      Like

  6. All of the people who love the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him are HIS CHURCH. People not buildings or denominations or ideologies etc. Beloved of God…..ALL.
    If they are covered with the blood of Christ and have accepted His Sacrifice surrendered to Him, and ‘born-again’ into His Kingdom. ALL can come.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my goodness !!! I’m struggling with this very thing right NOW lol.
    I even met with a lady from my Bible study to talk about it.
    I really appreciated this article.
    I did have to look up a couple of words but nothing wrong with expanding my vocabulary lol.
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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