This afternoon I was reminded of two very painful periods in my life. The pain in both cases was delivered by the political hand of the church. The sad reality of these situations was not only did I get hurt but so did many members of the congregations.
I stayed away from the church for many years. I thought I was just avoiding more pain, but the Spirit pointed out to me that my absence was caused by my anger towards the church.
One day, while studying, I came across this verse, “Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior” (Ephesians 5:23). The church is the body of Christ. I could not say that I loved Christ but hated His body. That would make me a hypocrite. To abandon my life fully to Christ, I had to love His church. At the time, that realization was a hard pill to swallow. I wanted to hold a grudge. But the Spirit enabled me to release my anger toward the church, forgive and move on.
When I finally surrendered to the Spirit, my anger and hatred toward the church ended. Then God said, as He did to Peter, “Do you . . . love me?” (John 21:15). When I responded, “Yes, Lord” (John 21:15), He instructed me to make His church strong. I don’t know exactly what that means or how it will look, so for now, I stay close to the Spirit and follow.
Photo by Stefan Kunze
Denise Larson Cooper has a passion for Christ and sharing His Word. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise currently works as a gymnastic coach.
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Godnesia: Keeping God in Mind Each Day http://amzn.to/2GSquOD
Ordinary Days With an Extraordinary Savior – http://amzn.to/2mFGASB
Life Is a Metaphor: Recognizing God in the Everyday – http://amzn.to/2De1rU2