First Go And Be Reconciled, Then…

People are often anxious about showing their love for God, and I am not referring to Christians only. Even folks who do not know God, but only hope to know Him would go through extreme measures to show how much they love someone whom they do not know.

Loving someone without truly knowing them is not new and is not true love in itself. It’s rather obsession. Fans crazed about stars. People lose their minds over their choices of politician.

Many individuals rush to a place to try to show God how much they love him. Yet, they struggle with loving each other. They may be obsessed with their beliefs of who God, but yet fail to know God because what they have toward God is not love but obsession.

It takes people to first hear that God is love, understand that God is love, know that God is love to love as God loves. Because if they truly admire God, if they truly admire love then love will more often be their motivation for gathering and not anxiety about trying to impress God when they’ve missed the simple portrait of God altogether. Such portrait is Christ Jesus.

So many times I have felt and believed that I’m doing something for God. It could have been helping another. My motive wasn’t out of love for another but the anxiety to prove to God that I’ve just done something for Him. What’s lacking? The relationship. It’s like an episode where the folks serving the food at a soup kitchen had very little interest, if any, about the lives of those they’re serving. Imagine the servers gathering together to eat separate from the folks they’re serving.

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:11-12)

I just wish and pray that we would take Christ’ words literally when he said,
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)

I just wish and pray that we would spend more time in seeking to know each other, to love each other, before we even bother and gather to make lots of noises with hearts that want to be open to God, but not to the ones around us.

I honestly don’t believe that God would have been short of stock of our hypocritical “worship” services since we have spent millennia seeking to prove our love for God with very little regard to the love of God, Christ Jesus himself.

How many of you will spend the day saying God more than saying Jesus being a bit uncomfortable? How many of us believe to have direct access to God, as if leaving Christ to the side? How many of us simply wish Jesus was never part of our vocabulary? How many of us believe that when we praise Jesus, we’re robbing God of His praises? How many of us have such fear due to a grayish understanding of the relationship between God and Jesus? How many of us treat Jesus like we would treat the son of a colleague of ours? We know the colleague, but have very little interest in knowing the son.

As we’re rushing to show how much we love God with our huge edifices, boasting in works we’ve done for our own reputations, seeking glory and praises from the blinds who never get to see the love of God through our religious works but the obsession of man who love being praised for what cannot satisfy the soul, let’s turn off the mixer, turn off the lights, gather in the parking lot and discuss what’s truly going on and only enter the place of worship with Christ as the leader, after we have truly heard Him and felt free to listen to each other and address each other’s need. One more worship service will not add anything beneficial to our salvation. One less worship service will not remove anything from our salvation. The blood of Christ works. Let’s start with that and proceed with the resurrection to rest at last in the new covenant.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)

First go and be reconciled to them. Be reconciled with the fact that God loves you both as Christ has made you aware.Then come and offer your gift of praises of the one who reconciled you to Himself in Christ Jesus.

“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)

Churches should have strikes, strike against the hypocrisy, against the bitterness, the lack of understanding and love toward each other. Put all worship services to the side. Lock up all the collection plates. Freeze all accounts until the message of God’s love for all of us truly resonate in our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with one another.

Church is not about sacrificing to God. Church is about living the abundant life in Christ Jesus that’s founded on the sacrifice of love he freely gave to each and everyone of us.

First go and be reconciled to them. However long it takes, weeks, months, years, decades, God has all eternity and is never hungry for worship services offered by contrite or haughty hearts. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, the Psalmist said. Joyful. Without any regard for love, joy will always be out of sight.

First go and be reconciled to them. Then come and offer your gift of praises.

Praised be his name for the new covenant, Jesus. Amen.

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