One thing I love about the Lord’s church is the fact that we are family. We are brothers and sisters united by the precious blood of Christ. That means no matter where we go, we can find family.
This past week Neal and I have been with the Hollywood Rd. church of Christ in Houma, LA. We both feel like we have been among true family and gained true friends. In the body of Christ, it doesn’t take long to form heart connections! The Christians here are warm, friendly, and giving. It is obvious they love being together. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
It was easy for Neal and I to identify that common love in the church here. We are Christians coming in among fellow Christians. But what does the world see?
Tuesday night one of the members brought a guest to the gospel meeting going on this week. The guest showed up early enough to enjoy the meal we had together first. What was his impression? What did his first glimpse of the Lord’s church reveal? I am so thankful that we learned the answer to those questions. Last night we found out that this visitor went to work the next day talking about his experience. He said, “Those people not only love Jesus, they love me, too.”
A higher compliment to the church here in Houma could not be paid! Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? Isn’t the goal of every church to be so loving that visitors walk away with the impression of being loved? This visitor knew that he was taken in and loved because the Christians here love Jesus. What’s their secret here? How did a one-time visit leave such an impression on this man? I know the answer to that, too, because I saw it unfold. He was greeted warmly, he was hugged, and he was served. This visitor knew the Christians here love Jesus because they acted like Jesus.
I hope I remember this for a long time. I am so convicted by this simple experience. I am challenged to do my part in my home church to make visitors feel loved.
What impression are people left with when they visit your home congregation? How do you make them feel? May we all do our part to make sure others “know we are Christians by our love.”
Those people not only love Jesus, they love me, too.