The one thing that Jesus-followers have going for them that nobody in any religion has is the love of Jesus.
Jesus is the Rock, the common ground of all who know Him, love Him and name Him as Savior and Lord. Despite all of the fussing about stupid stuff – hair, music, dress, associations, etc. – that we may do down here, when it’s all said and done, if we’re His, we’re family. And that’s what we should all focus on.
Preacher, don’t preach at us or to us or “for” us; just show us the love of Jesus. Do you have it? Do you (really) know Him? Then share that love with us so that it is something that we all want to have and experience. Tell us about Jesus and what He’s done for you; don’t try to impress us with big words or oratorical skill or vast knowledge of the factual aspects of the Bible. (And if it’s not about all about Jesus for you, please find another line of work.)
Don’t assume upon yourself the “authority” to tell us what to do, how to dress, where to be on Sunday, where not to be on Saturday night, what music to listen to, how to dress, what to drink (or not drink) … to judge whether we are “good” or “bad” based on your observation of our externals, our associations, or how our kids turned out.
But you know what? I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of preachers who have ever led me closer to Jesus – the REAL Jesus. Not the Jesus of factual expository preaching, who passes all of the litmus tests of XYZ seminary or denomination, but the REAL Jesus – the loving Son of God, the Creator, the One Who came and died for me that I might live, the ever-living and unchangeable One.
Jesus never changes.
Political candidates will change. (Trump will change, and he won’t be here forever.) Seasons will change. (Yep, the globe will warm … then cool off again.) Schools and churches and denominations and ministerial associations will change. Minds will change. And emotions? Well, nobody’s really happy ALL the time … nobody except those, that is, whose joy is found in Jesus.
So don’t waste your time. Is Jesus in it? If not, why go there? Or, if Jesus is in you, if YOU go there, Jesus goes there, too. So maybe you SHOULD go to that place just to carry Jesus there. Especially a place that CLAIMS that Jesus is there, that Jesus rules there, but that doesn’t really “practice what it preaches.”
Can you go and bring the joy of Jesus with you? Can you not be distracted by externals and shows of hyper-spirituality and just bring the reality of the Rock there?
Jesus never changes. He never goes out of season. And His love lasts forever.