I love the church. And I don’t love it nearly as much as Jesus loves the church. He’s the One who died for her.
We often evaluate the church today as an institution. We’ll talk about what’s wrong with the church, what’s right with the church, what’s changed about the church, and what we want when we look for a church to join.
But think about it. Jesus didn’t die to create an institution to be sized up according to our personal preferences. He died to start a family of people, united together by a common covenant and belief that his death and resurrection changed literally everything, forever.
The New Testament refers to the church as the “body of Christ.” He’s the Head. From him comes the church’s life and leadership. And the church is, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the active and present ministry of Christ to the world around us.
And the church Jesus started was a generosity movement. Luke described the early church this way:
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
~ Acts 2:44-45 NIV
This earliest generation of Christians had the unique privilege of having worshipped with Jesus personally. They’d stood before him. They’d received his words and his love individually and face-to-face. And they’d watched him embody the gospel entirely as he gave his life for them on the cross.
What he’d given, they couldn’t take for granted. Because he loved them, and because they loved him, they simply had to love each other. And that means that they had to take care of each other.
When you’ve been close to the Giver, generosity isn’t an option. It’s a way of life.
May this Spirit-filled, Bible-guided, Jesus-led, gospel-focused movement of generosity continue to grow and to flow until Jesus returns!