Colossians 3:12-14 – Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity. (NIV)
Not long ago, I witnessed a congregation hard at work renovating their tiny church building. As I watched their progress over a number of weeks and months, I began to consider some of the reasons why renovations of church structures take place. Sometimes, the building has become too small for the existing congregation, or the facility is ancient and needs modernization to accommodate ministry needs. Other times, congregations renovate in the hope of attracting new members. Sometimes this works, but more often than not, it doesn't, because people are not generally attracted to Christ due to their interest in a building project. Rather, people are drawn to Christ when they witness the renovation of God's people.
When Christians take off their old selves and put on the new selves, which are being renewed in knowledge in the image of their Creator, Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour, they become very attractive to those who are spiritually seeking. Why? Because the inner renovation which occurs through the power of Christ's love cannot help but be reflected outwardly through each Christian's actions. It is compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love, the renovations of the human heart, that draw others to Jesus, not the remodelling of a building.
A church which houses the renovated people of God will soon find the need to remodel its building, for it will grow and expand to overflowing, bursting at its seams, as love cannot be contained. Love must find a way to reproduce itself in others, just as Christ found a way to reproduce Himself in us.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the transforming power of love in Christ Jesus. May each of us be open this day to the continued renovation of our own hearts, minds, and souls in Him. Renovate Your people anew, O Lord, that congregations everywhere throughout the world may blossom and grow in the Spirit of Your love. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.
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