build the house of Christ

 

Sometimes she will slip in at the most inconspicuous moment, lost in the busyness when when no one will notice her, hungry for the Word… for a morsel that falls from the table of the privileged.  Yet she believes the that the morsel is enough, it is what she has been told she deserves.

He chooses to drive by the building at the last minute, aware that once again he will miss the connection he longs for, the one that will tie him to Truth. But bitterness holds him back because it will all end the same,  there is room only for the reserved.

They wait for a phone call, an invitation, and a reminder that somehow they still matter but the phone stays silent and the mailbox remains empty… it has for a long time because now that they are no longer useful tools in the ministry, they have been forgotten.  And hurt grabs their heart because they served faithfully too,  they wonder if there was a purpose in the serving.

The firing line isn’t always on the mission field.

This standing tall, standing firm in the faith, arming ourselves for the fight of our life isn’t always a battle in the world. The most ruthless attacks happen close to home, it is in the circle of faith where wounds go deeper than the accusation of the enemy could ever inflict.

Hebrews 10:25 tells us, “to forsake not the gathering together  as believers to admonish and encourage”,  so that we can hold fast to this faith that is strong enough to withstand the force of pointed lead pounded upon the pliable hand of love.

This gathering is meant to lead us to do as Hebrews 10:19-24 instructs,” to draw near with boldness into a living hope”, consecrated by the torn flesh of the Savior. We are admonished to hold fast without wavering, cherishing every life-filling promise that is ours, as HIS own, to claim. This occurs as we build one another up, exercising continuous care over one another; looking, studying, seeking ways to build up within one another  love and good works.

And friends, there are days I see the firing line of the enemy, from which we are not susceptible to fatal injury, beyond the horizon. No matter how close the arrows of the wicked fly, they can only skim the surface of our covering.  The arrows of those close to our hearts, those partaking in the communion of His blood, wound the deepest. We are blindsided by the attacks within because we expect it from the world.

I wonder, then, am I sharpening an arrow of contention to be aimed my way when I make the choice to admonish those also called by His Name without love as my motive?

This exclusivity so rampant in the body is our biggest enemy, not the defeated world on the other side.   

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds where we cast down all those high and mighty assumptions that are clothed in the phylacteries of religion.

How is LOVE, which is God, going to be felt  in the world if the church is incapable of loving one another first?

Friends, deep and wide, that is the breadth of His grasp. We can’t reach the end of it, so why do we push others to it?

I challenge you to stand firmly rooted in love as you affix your heart to faith, today. Rather than sharpening your arrows in the direction of the redeemed, sharpen them instead with the banner of love.

This radical LOVE is the passion that bleeds red, staining our soul for all eternity, healing all our wounds, and redeeming our lives from the destruction serving self inflicts. When we choose love, we choose His Way. We choose victory in the battle when the evidence of our faith results in LOVE, because LOVE wins in the end.

1 Peter 4:8 – Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.

 

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This post is a part of a series of stories shared over at The High Calling. This week you will find a community of wordsmiths sharing stories of living out faith in the line of fire.  Grab a cup of coffee and an open heart, settle into your favorite chair and join us as we share thoughts and encouragement to lift you up.