Dear Friends and Family of LCC,
At LCC we always talk about being God’s love with skin. People are watching Christians. Some people are just checking us out because they are interested in God. Others watch us waiting to get mad about something.
Jesus said, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. John 15:18-19
Even though people may not like you because you are a Christian, we are to love them and remember that we are in this world to be God’s representatives. We are to be His love with skin.
Even though faith comes from the hearing of the Gospel, we are the witness of the Gospel. A good witness can encourage a heart that is open to hear the Good News.
Peter writes, Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 1 Peter 3:8-9
I call LCC the “church in the neighborhood.” We want to be good neighbors and represent Christ well, right here where we worship. I received an email from an anonymous unhappy neighbor this week. The email subject was, “Love thy neighbor.”
He wrote; “God will view your actions, not so much behind your worship doors, but as you conduct your life on a day to day basis. Please show your devotion as you leave your worship service. Jumping on your Harley and BLASTING down Nutmeg Lane after a “Christian” service, is not very Christian or neighborly. Respect the community you choose to worship in. Most Gods’ don’t view Hippocratic behavior in a favorable light. Beware.”
He has probably received our mailers and looked at our website and knows that I ride a motorcycle.
I don’t think he is a Christian because of the line, “Most Gods’ don’t view Hippocratic behavior in a favorable light. Beware.” This is the exact neighbor we are supposed to love. This is the neighbor to which we are to make the best “God’s love with skin” impression.
I wrote back, “ I did not ride my motorcycle on Sunday …. I am usually very careful in the neighborhood. … I am sorry if someone rode fast … I will address those in our church who ride … I agree that how we represent ourselves in public is very important … If you would like to call me my personal number is —–“.
Peter also wrote; …you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. 1 Peter 3:15-16
Lisa said that during our second service a group of guys came down the street pretty fast on their motorcycles. I don’t know if the person saw an LCCer or someone else driving fast. I don’t think it really matters. What matters is the way I responded, gently and respectfully. It matters now, and it will matter, if I get to talk to him again, in the future that I have a clear conscience.
I hope I do get that opportunity. I want to be that neighbor that represents Christ well.
This Sunday I will be teaching part 18 of the series; Romans: The Greatest Letter Ever Written. I am calling it, “Free to Be“. The Bible tells us to imitate God. Jesus freed us up to do that. I am looking forward to teaching the grace of God this Sunday.
See you Sunday. Bring a friend to church.
May you be blessed with much grace and peace from our Lord.