What Heart-Eyes See
We were not alone when we laughed out loud at what the preacher was saying. “Why is it,” he asked, “that we think that in order to appear ‘Christian’ in our decaying culture we have to be marked by our symbols? We have ‘Christian coffee shops’ and ‘Christian jewelry’ and ‘Christian bookstores’ and ‘Christian t-shirts’ and we even want our underwear to have the ‘Jesus fish’ label on them! Hey, this pastor is giving all you Christians permission to wear Fruit of the Loom!” And at that we, along with the 100s of others worshipping with us, could not help but laugh out loud. ☺
God was building a monument in sin-city Ephesus that would display His incomparable glory and His superior wisdom. He was erecting a temple to His own honor in the shadow of one of the Seven Wonders of the World. But rather than marble pillars and gold-plated altars, His was being constructed with the lives of certifiably un-save-able sinners whom He had purchased out of their slavery to idols and fear and addictions and other forms of ungodliness. He was setting up an exhibit of His rescuing grace. God was building a Church! But His Church would not be identified by its symbols or its political activities or cultural commentary or its pious isolationism. No, His Temple would be recognized by two unmistakable characteristics.
The marks of His work in the lives of the redeemed sinners now declared to be saints would be these:
- Their unshakable loyalty to Jesus Christ
- Their non-discriminating love for ALL those whom Christ had rescued
A true Church is marked by a double love…its love for Christ and its love for men. Jesus declared it to be the Great Commandment that fulfilled every other commandment. “Love the Lord your God…and love your neighbor as yourself.”
So…we will not be seen as Christian simply because we have a chrome “fish” attached to our car, or a gold cross hanging around our neck, or restricting our java consumption to shops owned by and frequented by other Christians. It won’t be the logos on our t-shirts or the labels on our underwear ☺ but it will be the observable and undeniable passion we have for knowing Jesus deeper and deeper while extending His love for others in increasingly costly ways.
Or in the words of Jesus, “By this will all men know that you are MY disciples, if you have love for one another!” John 13:35
“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward ALL the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you…” Ephesians 1:15
They will know we are Christians by our double love. That’s not something to laugh about!
See you Sunday, Church!