This morning, I kind of sort of... skipped out on church. I don't do this all that often (especially comparing to the fact that I go to church more so now than when I lived at home!). But last night, I decided that today, I would try to sleep in, maybe read a little bit, and overall, just enjoy some morning time at home, since I really don't get to these days.
I promptly woke up at 7:15 am, with zero chance of going back to sleep. So I made myself a bit of coffee, ate some chocolate chip muffins and read a bit of my newest issue of Life : Beautiful (I think they'll have a blog coming soon! A million yays!). And of course, in this issue, there is an article called "101 Reasons to go to Church." Way to tell me something, Jesus! ;)
If you are ever looking for a good Christian woman magazine, this one is the greatest. Like I was telling my mom, it's like Martha Stewart or Real Simple for the Christian gal.
All of my life, I've been told (mostly by the 'older' generation) to never listen to the teachings of Joyce Meyer. Some of this may be because she's a woman and she travels and preaches to thousands. Because of this, I have always been skeptical of reading anything she's written. My gosh, have I been missing out.
In this newest issue of Life Beautiful, there's a small piece written by Meyer, taken from her series Overcoming Fear with Faith.
Basically, this article was written for me.
She starts with Mark 11:22 "Have faith in God constantly."
You know, I've read this verse over and over in the past couple of years, and for some strange reason, it pretty much slapped me in the face this morning.
Have faith in God constantly. Constantly.
She says that faith in Christ is like any muscle in your body - in order to grow a stronger faith, you have to exercise it. In the same vein, she mentions that love must grow for faith to grow. "Your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing" 2 Thessalonians 1:3. How amazing it is that our faith in Christ can grow when we love each other?
Have you ever experienced this? The more you love other people, the more willing you become to let Christ step into your life and take control? This weekend, my church hosted the annual One Sole Purpose 5/10k. All the donations/entry fees go towards buying a new pair of shoes for a child in the community. When I see things like this, and our PowerPacks fund - that is when I see the most love in our church, when I see the most community.
Lately in my community there has been some sort of uproar about a local pastor speaking out against the homosexual community (but, if you ask me, he shouldn't have been asked to speak at the task force meeting at all. But that's just me). You know, I feel like as Christians, we are supposed to feel a certain way about these hot topics.
But when I read the Joyce Meyer article this morning, all I could hear in my head was, "Haley, you are called to love. You are called to give your all. You are called to serve people." And not a word of it I heard was, "tell these people that they are wrong, tell these people they need to repent now."
I've talked about this in the past, but I've been told that I am misleading others and being mislead. I am so sorry for those people that feel that way - I feel like they are missing out an a truly eye opening relationship with a God that loves them just they way they are - flaws and mistakes and sins and all.
Today, I am using my faith. Today, I am loving others the way Christ has always loved me.
What are you doing to grow your faith?