I remember my early experiences of church as a new Christian at University, a large charismatic church. A profound experience of encounter with God, but coupled with a terrifying sense that one sunday someone would get a word of knowledge to expose and humiliate me for the stuff in my heart. I thought God would be out to get me.
What would Jesus do if he peeled back the mask and shone his light into my heart? Thankfully he would work to shine light - to bring life - to breathe love and life into me. Love doesn't attack, love breathes.
And he's done that in my life. In the early years of marriage I thought I was a great husband, but he kindly shone light into my heart to show me how things really were, and to begin to change me.
So it was for the church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6). With a reputation of being alive, and yet dead. Insecure, nervous, not sure she's loved by her divine husband Jesus. He says, repent. Not weep but come. Come to Christ. Come and receive from him... come receive beauty, clothed in his gospel not on our works... come receive security - safety, knowing he'll never leave us. Your name on his breastplate and carrying you into the presence of his Father and his angels. He rejoicing in you. He and you saying: I am my beloved's and he is mine. For he is mine, and I am his!
How do I come to know the depths of his love? Jesus has the Holy Spirit - the one who brings us into the reality of life in God. Filling us. Delighting us. Transforming us. He peels back the repuation and uncovers our hearts - not to destroy us but to love us.
MP3: Love Breathes (Revelation 3:1-6) - 33mins (Frontiers Church Central - March 18th)