I have been thinking a lot about the climate this week.
Soupy, sauna-like, steamy weather has dominated the area.
And it has been intense.
It makes me wonder about “climate change”.
I have friends on both sides of the issue.
Ready with arguments at the drop of the hat – or the drop of the phrase.
Frankly, I can see both sides.
But regardless of what is happening in our weather, a much, much scarier climate change is real for the American Church today.
Our hearts are cold.
We have lost our first love.
And the coldness is terrifying.
Yes, I am speaking in gross generalizations.
I know of pockets of believers in the States that are on fire.
Their hearts are warm and soft, malleable to the touch of the Master’s Hand.
But in general, we – Christ-followers in the US today – are in grave danger.
We care more about what is happening with our weather than we do about what is going to happen in the future.
I have seen joking comments about this heat wave feeling like hell.
But the reality is that most of our friends and neighbors are heading there.
Into an eternity that the Bible describes as full of eternal flames and yet impenetrable darkness.
An eternity separated from God.
And yet we are busier about the business of politics or rhetoric or wringing our hands or not offending our friends than we are about the eternal realities of a world that is dying and going to hell.
The Bible is very, very clear that we have three tasks, given to every Christ-follower. Every. Single. One.
We are to:
And out of that love, we are to make disciples.
(Matthew 22; Matthew 28)
Loving God means putting Him first.
Making His Word and His ways a priority.
Not just with our mouths.
But with our actions.
Forgiving the unforgiveable.
Defining our lives in relationship to HIM before we take on any other definition.
So I am not a woman first – I am a Christ-follower first.
I am not a white woman first – I am a Christ-follower first.
I am not an American first – I am a Christ-follower first.
And when I put Him first, love His first, seek Him first, everything else falls into place.
He guides my steps.
He give me HIS love for the unlovable.
He changes my heart to match His own.
He works supernaturally in me to change my mind.
To pour out His love.
To serve well.
Which leads naturally to loving others.
If my vertical conduit with God is clear, unblocked, and open to Him, then my horizontal world takes on a whole different light.
I don’t see the guy who cuts me off in traffic as the biggest jerk on the planet.
I see him as someone for whom Christ died.
I don’t waste my breath criticizing politicians on every level.
I spend it praying for them, for their hearts, for God to give them wisdom.
I don’t look at you and classify you by your race, gender, ethnicity, language, political party or socio-economic status.
I look at you as a fellow creation of Almighty God, another person who God loves just as much as He loves me, another person He wants to shine for His glory and your good.
And if I am really, truly loving others – if God’s love is pouring through me to them – then my greatest desire is to see them in heaven when I get there.
That’s the third task – making disciples.
Not just wearing a cross or a Christian t-shirt.
Not putting the right bumper sticker on my car.
Not just inviting them to church.
Not simply posting Christian memes or quotes or comments.
But loving them into the Kingdom.
As my friend says, “Loving them until they ask you why.”
Loving them when we disagree.
Loving them when they are ugly.
Loving them when we think completely differently.
Loving them when they don’t love me.
Loving them when they fall on the other side of an issue I am passionate about.
Loving them the way God loves me.
Without God, definitely impossible.
But in Him?
In a grateful response to all He has done?
In obedience to His commands?
By the same power that raised Jesus from the dead?
More than possible.
Because He is greater than every possibility.
He longs to work in you and through you.
In me and through me.
He longs for our hearts to be fully His.
He longs to see US make a change in this world.
For you and me to deeply and directly impact the climate of our individual worlds.
Starting with the climate of the heart.
So how about it?
Is your heart cold?
Maybe not completely – but does it have icy patches?
People you won’t forgive?
Habits you won’t surrender?
Obedience He is asking that you will not give?
Please, please – ask Him to thaw your heart.
To give you His eyes for your world. And the world beyond your world.
To give you His heart.
That’s the amazing thing – this isn’t about willpower.
You don’t have it in you to change the climate of your heart.
But you can ask Him to do it.
To show you what needs to change.
And then surrender to whatever He shows you. To obey whatever He tells you to do. Wherever He tells you to do it.
We desperately need every heart to beat for His Kingdom.
Not just the “professional” Christians – the pastors, the missionaries, the evangelists or authors.
We need you to show His love to the people in your path.
They are dying without Him.
And you have all that you need to change their climate for eternity.
First, love God.
Then allow Him to love others through you.
And share with them what He has done for you.
It is as simple as that.
Will you be an agent for eternal climate change?