Do you ever get those emails that say, “If you love Jesus you’ll send this to a gazillion people, and if you don’t you’re a heathen dog that deserves to spend your time at a raging lake of fire?”
Neither do I, but I do get emails that claim, “You must not love Jesus if you don’t email this to all your friends,” or words to that effect. Most of them have stuff in them I wouldn’t mind passing on to friends because they have good stories in them, then I get to the bottom and the inevitable ‘guilt trip’ is passed on trying to get you to pass the story on. Some of the time, I’ll edit the ‘guilt trip’ part out then pass on the email. But, a lot of the time, I don’t pass it on at all. “Why not?” you may ask.
When we face Jesus on that day, is he going to say, “Well done good and faithful servant,” because I sat at my computer and passed on emails or because I got out and did something that has a loving affect on someone’s life? Is He more concerned that I followed the rules of the ‘church’ or that I loved those around me? Is it more loving to send out an email declaring, “Look at me, I love Jesus, because I forwarded this email,” or because I was willing to say, “Hi,” to someone that is new to our fellowship no matter what they look like?
Love will protect the innocent. Love will do what it can, not because it’s part of ‘religion’ or the ‘rules.’ Love will do, just because it is a part of who Jesus is, and if Jesus is dwelling within you, it becomes a part of who you are.
Romans 8. The flesh vs the Spirit. Doing things because they are part of my ‘religion’ is trying to do it in the ‘flesh.’ Doing it because it is a part of who you’ve become, not to make brownie points, or prove anything about how ‘spiritual’ you are, is walking in the Spirit.
Love follows Jesus, because Jesus is Love. Everything gets back to Jesus.