What Do My Friends See In The Church?
I am hurriedly walking along a dirt road near the Mount of Olives. Dust is covering my toes and small pebbles burrow under my heel. As I stoop to remove the irritation from my sandal, I hear loud voices moving in this direction.
Quickly, I move off the road uncertain what this commotion might mean. I see people spreading their cloaks on the road. What in the world?
A large crowd of men are joyfully praising God, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” A king is coming? I move closer to the crowd and my heart beats wildly in my chest.
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” shouts another man. My confused eyes land on a man riding a colt. Who is he? Wouldn’t a king be riding a stallion?
Just then some of the Pharisees from the temple push through the crowd and turning to the man on the colt, say “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
But the man who the men call Jesus replied, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Jesus is headed to the temple and I desperately want to follow.
I turn to my family asking them to go to the temple with me, but no one desires to go. I’m perplexed why they wouldn’t want to hear more about the man who had performed all the miracles. Blind men can now see and the crippled are now walking! I definitely want to know more about Jesus. As I turn to follow the crowd, I call out to my friend for her to join me. But she also shakes her head, no.
I had heard about Jesus of Nazareth who just a few days before had stopped as he was walking and asked a man, “What do you want me to do for you?”
What would I say if Jesus stopped and asked me the same question?
I would ask the Lord for my friends and family to desire to know him for who he truly is, the Son of God.
Even in this day and age, I silently wonder, “Why won’t my family and friends come with me to church?” We tend to only think of church as being a building where people gather for public worship.
But then I read, Philemon 1:2 To Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home.
A building can’t meet in my home so that must not be the only definition of the word church. People who worship Jesus Christ and God are the church in this verse.
So let’s look at my question again? Why won’t my family and friends come with me to church?
They do come to church! Every time they are in my presence, they are interacting with the church.
So let’s take a look at what my friends and family see in the “church.”
- Do my family and friends know that I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?
This was really hard for me. What might happen if I admit the truth? Will they avoid me, not invite me to events, or stop listening to me? Even today I have difficulty posting things on Facebook because so many of my family, friends, and co-workers do not believe. After all, it might offend someone.
2. Do my actions reveal me as a follower of Christ?
- Do I praise God in front of my unbelieving friends and family? Oh Lord, give me courage!
- Do I hold my purse tightly? Loosen my fingers, Lord.
- Do I give money as gifts (without being expected to be repaid)? Help me to trust you, Lord as provider.
3. Do I pray with my family and friends?
When I was younger, I was comforted by the fact that my grandmother was praying for me. And during certain times of my life, I would even seek out people to pray for me. And then when people mentioned for me to pray for them, I said I would.
But why not just pray with them right then and there?
Well, I didn’t because I was afraid to pray out loud. Maybe my prayer would be rambling or I wouldn’t know what to say.
If you also worry about this things, be comforted that the Holy Spirit will teach you what to say. It can be quick:
I praise you Lord for caring for all our needs.
I thank you for hearing our prayers, and I ask you to heal my friend.
Short, sweet, and to the point is enough. God knows our needs.
4. Am I serving others or being a good steward of God’s money?
According to Dave Ramsey, “Because we are designed in God’s image, we are happiest and most fulfilled when serving and giving.” Giving is a type of praise to God for blessing us with little or much. It is all from him.
Giving is a type of worship. James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted from the world.
This week find a widow, an orphan, a single parent, or a military family who has a deployed member. Ask them What can I do for you? And you have the ability, do it. If not, pray for with God all things are possible.
Are you willing to hand someone a card?
If you also struggle with inviting your family or friends to church, much less talk to them about Jesus, or pray with them. I ask you to click the link to join my email list and get access to a poem about Jesus that you can give to a family or friend this week. This poem can help others know who Jesus is and all you have to do is hand them the poem. If you are especially brave, you can write an invitation to them to visit with you the “church.”
May I pray for you?
Lord, I desire for all my readers’ family and friends to receive you. May we all have the courage to share with others how we have been healed. Loosen our grip on our possessions and share with others who have needs greater than our own. Help us to pray with people who ask right then. Protect our hearts from anxiety and focus our minds on you being trustworthy. Help us to see someone we know who may have a genuine need that we can fill. Give us courage to do so. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
- If you struggle with sharing Jesus with others, please click the link to join my email list. You will receive the poem, I Am the Way, The Truth, and The Life so that you give it to others. Every month you will receive a new item that you can email or print out as a gift for others.