WHAT FOLLOWS IS AN EXCERPT FROM MY SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED NEW BOOK CALLED “100 DAYS OF THANKSGIVING A DEVOTIONAL-JOURNAL FROM THE HEART OF LARA LOVE”. YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOOK & PRE-ORDER IT AT 100 DAYS OF THANKSGIVING.
A Challenge to the Churches
Some people do great with this. I don’t. At all. You know. The sit-stand-sit-stand-sing-sit-stand-pray-make-sure-you-don’t-sing-for-more-than-10-minutes-everything-at-Sunday-church-service-has-to-be-pre-planned-and-run-like-clockwork-or-else. I am not here to judge. I believe God sees our hearts. If we’re genuinely loving, praising, worshiping Him, etc. “in spirit and in truth”, very strict programmed church scheduling or not, I believe God is blessed with sincere love and adoration for and of Him.
But I wonder is it possible God is offended and dishonored and disheartened and perhaps even disgusted by what is going on in so many modern day American churches with the extreme programming, bright lights, smoky stages, video screens, comedy, expensive stage sets, entertainment, in-church gyms, well-rehearsed worship music with the choir facing the congregation rather than everyone looking upward worshiping God, with Christmas decorations when Christmas trees go against God’s Word, etc.?
What if all this were stripped away? What would remain? What would He see in our hearts? And hear coming from our mouths? I wonder what it would look like if all the churches all across the land, and world, would lay aside our man-made plans and let the Holy Spirit lead the way. Some churches do this, mind you. And I would imagine the first Christians likely did.
What if we prayed as long as we’re led to pray? What if we sang the songs God puts on our hearts unrehearsed not with the congregation facing the choir and vice versa but with all of us looking heavenward and singing with great passion to God? What if we let people give their testimonies when they yearned to tell the congregation what God had done even if the yearning came at the time the third song is normally programmed to be sung? What if instead of bowing our heads and shutting our eyes when the pastor asks if anyone wants to commit his or her life to the Lord we all had our eyes wide open and people started crying out to God with godly sorrow for their sins desperately calling on the Lord to have mercy on them like they did in the times of great revival long ago?
What if the pastors preached the whole Truth of the Bible leaving nothing out even if all the people ran away when the pastor preached on sin, heaven, and hell and called the people to repentance and a life of obedience and holiness? What if the pastors didn’t sugar coat God’s Truth to please the people and keep the church pews filled?
And what if when it comes to thanksgiving, whether we’re in the church building or out walking our dogs or sitting on our front porches or crying in our jail cells or smooshed up in a tiny bunk bed at our homeless shelters or driving cross country to a funeral service thinking about God we simply and sincerely started calling out to God in our hearts or even boisterously aloud to tell Him how THANKFUL we are?
What if we got rid of all our human-made regulations and rules and restrictions and as long as we did things “decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:14)” to honor God we lay all the human traditions and programs and agendas and church comforts aside and simply humbled ourselves before God almighty and loved and praised and thanked and worshiped the Lord with every single ounce of our hearts?
What if our thanksgiving alone with God and in the presence of others poured from our hearts, mouths, and lives continually as well it should?
And what if we all went all out getting out of the pews and going beyond the church walls to tell the world about the Lord Jesus Christ and how to have forever life with God instead of spend eternity apart from Him in torment in hell and the lake of fire?
May all who read this message and I humble ourselves, cry out to God, and make any and all changes in our hearts and lives so God is loved, honored, praised, obeyed, served, thanked, and glorified by us this very day and forevermore! Glory be to the Lord! Amen!
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 KJV
*** below you will find a little letter from my heart to yours…! ***
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:14-16 KJV
This message you just read is extra near & dear to my heart! I have grieved greatly over so much of what I have seen & heard about in modern day American church culture. I am afraid many have gotten way off course. So many it seems are more concerned with comfort & pleasing self than with forsaking all to follow Jesus & love, praise, honor, serve, obey, thank, & glorify God no matter the cost to our flesh.
So many professing to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord are lukewarm. So many seem spiritually dead. My heart’s cry is that all who call Jesus Lord will humble ourselves and forsake all for Jesus. And my heart’s cry is that all who do not yet call Him Lord will repent, believe in Him as Lord and in His death and resurrection, & commit their lives to God wholly and forever. That all will live totally devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ forevermore. And that in so doing our hearts and lives will overflow with endless thanksgiving to God almighty!
love & blessings,