9.29.15 "Christ's Love Controls Us!"

2 Corinthians 5:11-15 11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

Some years back when we lived in Dallas we attended a church that had a well know Senior Pastor that had been pastoring for years and had spent many years at the church we attended.  He was a gifted teacher and I recall always trying to make time to attend any bible study sessions he led.  It was in one such class that he made a statement that caught me off guard.    He was speaking of things that challenged him and mentioned that there were indeed times that he had doubts.  This sort of shook me.  Here was the Pastor of a very large church, who had spent years in school and in ministry devoting his very life to CHRIST telling us that there were times when he had doubts.  I thought if this man, whom I deeply respected, had moments of doubt where does that leave me?

As he continued for the first time I saw him as human, a man, not a Pastor.  In response to the anxious questions the entire class had about how he dealt with the doubt, his face broke into a warm smile and he teared up as he explained he didn’t do anything.  He shared that always when those feelings would come something would happen to remind him of all that he had seen and experienced as a servant of CHRIST and the doubt would quickly be replaced by joy and a sense of peace.

The Pope’s visit garnered lots of attention this past week not all of it positive.  There were plenty of those that made unkind comments about the ridiculousness of the idea of a virgin birth, GOD in the flesh, and resurrections.  To them believing in such things is crazy especially now, more than 2000 years later.   For me the fact that we are still talking about it 2000 years later makes it not so crazy.  For me seeing that Pastor transformed, his eyes filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, his face beaming as he explained what faith was and where it came from, that’s not so crazy.   For me when I consider the alternative and the source of the alternative, now that’s crazy.

Heavenly FATHER thank you so much for this day and the opportunity to boldly share the truth no matter how crazy it may sound to some.  Help us LORD to remember what we have seen YOU do for us and for those we love.  Let YOUR HOLY SPIRIT shine through us LORD like crazy!  Amen.