Yesterday contained two sermons in one. A bit of a tongue-in-cheek one first, titled "Finding Personal Comfort in a Chaotic World." The main bullet points of this one:
- Limit your exposure to the needs of the world. Keep those blinders on, folks!
- Wait for lost, needy people to come to you. We have a big, pretty church. They know where to find us.
- Stay in your comfort zone. It's safe and comfy here.
- Make sure the pursuit of Christ doesn't interfere with your pursuit of the American Dream. Yes, God wants you to have that big house, the boat, the fancy car, even if it gets a little in the way of following Christ.
- Wait for God to give you a specific calling for ministry before you do anything to serve Him.
- Minister in ways that aren't messy. Stay a safe distance & don't ever get mired up in the muck of other people's messes.
- Face facts that one person just cannot make a difference.
So that's the have-it-your-way sermon. This leaves us with a very comfortable life, but such an empty, unfulfilling one!
The REAL message is that we're called to take up our cross and deny ourselves daily! Coming to Christ and trusting Him for our salvation does get us to heaven but we can miss out on so much of the purpose He has for us on earth. If He had no purpose for us, then we'd be transported straight to heaven at the moment of our salvation.
So here's what we really ought to do (as opposed to those bullet points above):
- Confront the reality of our fallen world.
- GO into the world! Take the church beyond the boundaries of our walls!
- Live like comfort is not an issue. Get way out of our comfort zones!
- Don't let the American standard of living interfere with the pursuit of Christ!
- God calls us ALL to be involved in ministry. We're all given certain gifts and talents, but there are some general commands in scripture we should all obey, like sharing the gospel and caring for those less financially blessed than we are, etc...
- Join God in the messiness. He reached down into the mess of our lives to save us from ourselves, so we should do that for others as well!
- You CAN make a difference!
We can ask the Lord to show us the needs around us, and find out what He would have us do.