“Then he turned to his critics and asked, ‘Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?’ But they wouldn’t answer him.”
Mark 3:4 (NLT)
The Pharisees just didn’t get it. Jesus came to seek and to save those in need. He came to call the undeserving to repentance. He came to love those outside of the synagogues as much as those inside it. And in many ways, neither do we get it. We too put our priorities in the wrong order. This became painfully apparent to me in reading a new book, “The Externally Focused Quest.” Eric Swanson and Rick Rusaw wrote, “Most churches, blatantly or subtly, have an unspoken objective – ‘How can I be the best church IN our community.’ – and they staff, budget, and plan accordingly. – The externally focused church asks, ‘How can we be the best church FOR the community?’ and that one little preposition changes everything.” We can aspire to be the biggest church, best worship, largest children’s program, all good things but if we are not reaching those whom Jesus loves, are we really doing His will? If we are not loving the least in our community, are we really living for Him? The authors asked another crucial question. They asked, “If you had to close the doors of your church today, would your community care? Would they miss you?” Today, what would happen if we all decided to be the best church FOR our community?
Father, help me to love like You love. Help me to set my own priorities in the order You would have them. Help me work in my church to be the best we can for our community. In Jesus’ name.
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