As we head into 2014, after another year, what are our goals moving forward? The diet, the gym, a bigger bank account, more time with family, more time with friends, even being nicer to people. As we consider these things, and look back on every second of 2013 that God allotted to us, have we stopped to consider what those moments were for, and if after all, they were for us to begin with? We ended 2013 defending our Christian faith, making sure Jesus was in Christmas. A nativity somewhere in the house, some kind of a Christian film being played amidst the Jim Carey and Will Ferrell movies, a moment to stop on Christmas day and explain to the kids that it isn’t all about trees, gifts, eating and snow, but actually “God with us” Immanuel. We made sure to let people know it wasn’t just”happy holidays”, but “Christ-mas”.
Well now that “God” is “with us”, we have “believed”, and put our faith in Jesus, what about taking an account for how we walked with Him this past year? Did we draw closer, go to Him for more Grace and Mercy to overcome our struggles, lay aside all the “weight” we carry, and live our call of “following Him” and being “fishers of men”, going on to “disciple”?
He gave us the Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion!
One of the things that church worldwide has been distracted by this past decade has been filling seats. If the numbers are up, then all must be good, but is this so? How many sheep are we reaching, as opposed to goats? How much of the visible church is actually His bride? While using all the resources we can to reach people should be our goal, we can’t be so “seeker friendly” that we don’t use the sharpened Word of God, or know that sometimes, the messages may tread on toes, and even offend. It was God after all who lets us know they we are “illegitimate” if He as our heavily Father doesn’t treat us as His children. We aren’t called to bait and switch people, replace comedy hour, or tone down the call, as we can actually be doing more damage than good. Satan himself is a master strategist after all, and would gladly help us filling a church with souls no more attuned to Gods call than they were in the world. Isn’t it interesting, that Jesus said He was the one Who will build His church, and that our job, as He told Peter, is simply to “feed” His “sheep”… I can promise you, that as you live on purpose “following” Him, being “fishers of men”, “going and making disciples”, this call will shape the other parts of your life, that may well be feeling off balance. Your marriage, your view of money, your struggles with sin… Try wanting to live for others, die to self, and use your time to encourage and gather and sure enough a lot of these others struggles won’t have as loud of a voice into your life. His call is for your good, but sadly, you may not have heard it as direct as He said it. “Follow Me”, and “I will make you fishers of men”…
Here’s a recent message I was blessed to be able to share at our home church, as we head into 2014 and know Gods Blood is still working to forgive the sins of those who turn and repent. Join Him in the ministry He is doing, and remember, we are not waiting for The Holy Spirit, He came in the book of Acts, but He is waiting for us †