Far too many of the churches I have visited seem to be spiritually dead or dying. Others seem to be fired up with passion and zeal...but I can't figure out what is the focal point of their passion. Services at some of these churches remind me a lot of the pep rallies we used to have in high school the day of the game. Only instead of promoting the team, its a new program, upcoming event, new sermon series or new support group that is being touted.
What I don't see at most churches is true ministry to the "least of these." (Matt. 25:40 & 41). There is much passion, but very little compassion.
I remember reading a few years back that many of the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets and T-shirts sold in Christian bookstores were made in South American and Asian sweatshops where the workers toiled in unsafe and unsanitary working conditions for a salary that amounted to little more than slave labor. What hypocrisy!
Instead of wasting time contemplating what Jesus would do, we ought to be simply doing what he commands us to do. Most of his commands can be summed up in one four letter word: LOVE. Who are we to love? God tells us in Matthew 25, in Luke 10, John 15.
I used to complain frequently about the high rate of Biblical illiteracy in today's churches. But a man far wiser than I told me recently that people don't really learn by memorizing, they learn by doing. Memorizing a cook book does not make you a cook anymore than memorizing Scripture makes you a disciple. As important as it is to hide God's word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11), it is far more important to do God's word (John 14:21 & 15:14).
I was reading through some back issues of Pray Magazine online recently and came across the following from the November/December 2006 issue: “'Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.' Are you willing to pray the same prayer? God will take this prayer seriously, so make sure you mean it. But if you do, pray it now. Then watch for God to give you His compassion as you pray for the hurting and hopeless."
Lord, God, let my heart be broken by the things that break your heart.