Love -Fueled Community is not a theory or some profound biblical teaching. A theory although true is still theory and something that the speaker has never personally experienced. What value would that have in the present discussion? Thousands of sermons have been preached and hundreds of discussions are debated daily on Facebook on this subject. This is not by coincidence!
The Holy Spirit is at work in the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ and many are waking up to the reality that the status quo results of years in the religious system have not helped this generation, much less ourselves and our families.
The Real Thing today is as uncharted as when Columbus sailed west for the New World. Finding a living example has been so difficult that many who have left the religious system have returned saying it doesn’t exist. I assure you it does! The problem is many are not willing to pay the price to love enough to be the Church even if it is just where “two or three are gathered.” See https://godsleader.com/can-find-organic-church/.
As the Lord continues to dismantle His Church, each one of us personally must unload years of religious rituals and baggage to clearly follow the Voice of the true Shepherd and Chief Apostle of the Church. Easier said than done! Just when you think you are free and not like the rest, Papa reveals another area in our life that doesn’t line up with the example of our Savior.
If you are looking for a HOW-TO to adjust your present religious system gathering, you are wasting your time. Jesus said it best and He wasn’t kidding!
16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
When the Lord first began to give me this word, I thought I just needed to make a slight adjustment. I wrote an entire article on this; https://godsleader.com/tired-of-being-a-church-tweaker/ Today 30 years later, everything that could be shaken has been shaken (I think?) revealing the rotten and ugly foundations of my heart. Everything that was not based in the pure non-agenda love of the Lord is being stripped and replaced with Him. Traditions of men are being replaced with His Nature. The Light is shining, and we are realizing that the Lord is the centrality of everything He builds!
How do you go from a weekly religious observance to a daily walk with Him and our brothers and sisters in the faith? How do you go from a weekly “worship” of the Lord in Heaven to a daily worship of the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth? What does this even mean? To understand Love-Fueled community we need to throw out years of religious system baggage. Everything relating to the Church began with “For God so Loved” and will end with the same.
This is hard but we must confront the how and why of our Sunday morning weekly rituals. This is probably the hardest man-made tradition to break. You can literally have withdrawals for the need to DO instead of the desire to BE. See https://godsleader.com/church-services-meetings-gatherings/.
So, enough introduction! How do we find and become part of the Church Jesus is building? Look for Love-Fueled community. Look for a people, not a building. Look for 24/7, not a weekly attendance. Look for a place where your participation is equally valuable as the rest. Look for a people to give to more than a place to go to get from. Look for a place where you follow a living example, not submit to a religious title. Look for a family, not an organization. Look where the Spirit leads, not men control. Look where Christ receives all the Glory, not men! In conclusion, look for the Lord Jesus in places you are not used to, at times you are not used to, and in (with) people you are not accustomed to!
In one sentence, Love-Fueled Community is where you find it!
People look at me strange when they ask me “Where is your Church?” and I respond right here – right now. I have found that following verse is not a MINIMUM or quorum for Church;
20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
So that takes care of my numbers problem and the false religious system value measurement that big is blessed, and numbers mean success. Cemeteries grow in numbers daily too, and there is nothing there but the dead. I think you catch my drift….
So, when egos are obliterated by the Lord, the only reason that will remain will be Love. By the way, you don’t have to fire the hirelings; they naturally remove themselves when they see they can’t Lord it over the people and make a living doing it. When the check doesn’t exist is when you come face to face with the question, “Do I really serve for love’s sake?”
35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Christianity can be reduced to one verse! The Love of the Father sent the Son. The Love of the Son sent Him to the cross for us. The Love of the Son send us to our brothers and sisters need. Whenever and wherever that is happening, you have LOVE-Fueled Community. All the rest is literally rituals, liturgies, and religious games we play.
We love to talk about Spiritual Warfare because it is easier to fight the devils around us than the devil within us that keeps us from loving our brother. It’s easier to pray than to love. It’s easier to give than to love.
So, all you Sunday Morning Church “worshipers,” here is a word from the Lord! Read this before you get your “emotional” Praise on!
1 John 4:20-21
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
So, let’s look at two examples of brothers loving brothers or love-fueled community where they have found it.
Can we build up those whom we cannot meet daily with face to face?
David Fredrickson of Oklahoma USA says;
“Suppose a person lives in an isolated area where there is no opportunity to meet with others? Or suppose she has a job that keeps her on the road? Several brothers living in different parts of the US and Canada meet for an hour or more every week on Skype. The opportunity to meet face to face is limited to a couple times a year, and in a couple cases, not at all. Yet our relationship has grown to the extent that we consider one another among our very closest friends. Whether on Skype or by phone, we open our lives to one another, counsel, encourage, and teach one another. We’ve seen God move in power when we’ve agreed in prayer for others. We genuinely consider one another as family. We collaborate in writing projects and function as co-workers in the body of Christ.
Not one of us have been unable to find the depth of fellowship and strengthening in our local area that we are enjoying with our physically absent brothers and sisters.
In When the Church Leaves the Building, I tell the story of a very elderly couple living together with a single man in a ghost town located in a remote area of Southern Arizona.
I will summarize here briefly. In circa 1887, a small group of believers formed a community in what is still today a very remote area. Although the group of about 30 people disbanded in 1889, two of the original residents returned later and were still there when my wife and I visited in the late 1970’s. John and Anna McIntire lived in house a couple hundred feet up the hill from the old school house and meeting room. It turned out that John remembered me and my family as we used to visit them before they moved back into Sunnyside. More remarkably, Rachel found out she and Anna were distant relatives! They served us some apple pie fresh out of their wood-burning stove and soon were talking about the subject most dear to their heart. John’s eyes beamed as he shared his love for Jesus and his burden for the lost. We couldn’t help but wonder why one who was so concerned for lost souls would live in an area so remote that you had to travel miles from any town, first by lonely highway, then via dirt road, and finally a two-wheel trail to find them. But then he began to tell us how God brought the people to him. College and University students majoring in historical research would travel to Sunnyside as a group on weekends. John was their guide and living history teacher. As he told the story of the Christian community, the gospel was shared and seen from the love that flowed through his wife and himself.
I believe that though we may touch many people with the love of Jesus wherever we live and wherever he may send us, there are those who God has ordained to walk together more closely than others. Surely this level of relationship would be foundational to church life. And this is what those of us who Skype together have found as we reach out to those around us and in other parts of the world. A few of us have those that some would call disciples in other nations who, lacking mature believers in their area, have reached out for those who can teach and even father them. In one long standing relationship, it has taken place mostly through email. When finally, able to connect by phone, it seemed as though there was no distance separating the two. And indeed, there is no separation among those who are one in the Spirit who convey all that is lacking as far as physical proximity.”
Do you have any other Living examples of Love -Fueled Community?
Molong Nacua of the Philippines says;
“When we have a ‘schedule’ to have fellowship with other believes that means we don’t have other believers living with us every day.
I encourage you to invite others to do ‘yahshab’ to other believers than just do a quick 2-hour meeting. ‘Yahshab’ is the Hebrew word for ‘dwell together’ in Psalm 133:1, it resonates with Acts 2-4, and Luke 10. It is not a quick meeting, but it is a “prolonged relationship-sit together-doing things together.'” It is living out the Jesus-Life that is in you ‘with’ others who have it too.
Stay together at someone’s house for a day or two, or for a week, or month to a year. To teach each other how to brother and how-to sister each other. Learn how to father and mother each other’s children. To learn how to become a family. Having a 2-hour meeting is a business meeting, not a ‘church’ meeting.
See, church is not only because we have relationships with each other, “Oh, I go to that church because I know a lot of people. I have friends there,” but because also we ‘serve one another.’ If we don’t do this then we are just like any social club. We do things together to have fun. Fun of what? Singing? Dancing? Joking around? Drinking and eating?
Our joy should be found in serving one another because that’s where our freedom can be found. In serving one another we become free. Our meetings should be meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters. My recent trip is with over 20 businessmen and woman and presidents of banks who have done meetings for four years already, yet their leader says to me, “We are not family because we cannot even help a brother who has a heart problem.”
We know how to do meetings for years. But do we know how to treat our own brothers as ‘our’ brother? Our sisters in the Lord as our ‘own’ sister?
We all say we want to be family, but after a meeting we say our ‘goodbyes’ to one another. The hand cannot say to the foot, “See you next Sunday!” Oh, how exciting!!!
Many came to ‘visit’ us here and politely tell us what to do: “Oh you should do this and that,” or, “You’re good at this and that, yet what you lack is this and that.” And will politely answer them all back,
“Where were you yesterday?” And they haven’t got a clue of what I said.”
I hope you have been blessed by David’s and Molong’s example of love-fueled Community. Their lives and example have so blessed me.
As we said in the beginning, finding love-fueled community may be difficult in this day and age, but that doesn’t mean it does not exist. May you find and become a love-fueled community where the Lord has planted you!
Jose L. Bosque