|Posted on November 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM|
It is no secret that this life can drag us down. With Thanksgiving right around the corner and Christmas not far behind, our mind begins to wander off to other places. Not to mention we all have bills, jobs, and families. But what about the church? Have our churches today lost their focus? After all, we have activities, committees, and meetings within the church. Have we forgotten what the Christian life is all about?
I believe that we must look back to the begining in order to get a good perspective of what "The Church" is all about. First, the word "Church" literally means "the called out ones". If the world can't tell the difference berween the lives of Christians and the lives of non-Christians, we have a problem. The model of a Christian life is described in Galatians 5:22-23.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Is this what we are showing our friends, families, and coworkers? The early church had one main focus above all else: the cross! Everything led back to the cross. But part of Jesus' concern when He died on the cross was His deep love for all people. I think the modern day church has shifted the focus away from the lost people of the world and put it on internal and external distractions. Our number one example to follow should be in the life and works of Jesus Christ!
Notice that throughout His ministry He didn't schedule His witnessing around His activities or His vacations. Reaching lost souls was His number one priority. His main concern was always for the people. So, if we claim to be followers of Christ shouldn't the things that He was concerned about be the same things we are concerned about? Don't get me wrong, there is a time for - and even a need for - these other activities and committees within the church. Our first priority, however, should be serving the Lord. That means getting up off the pews and sharing Jesus with the world.
Not only was the life of Jesus an example of witnessing, He also commanded our obedience to actually follow His example in Matthew 28: 18-20
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
First, He establishes His ability to give this command by saying "All authority has been given unto me...". Next, He gives the command. Notice that the wording here demands action on the part of the reader. Jesus used the word "go," which demands action. This passage underlines the fact that Jesus knew that we won't reach others while sitting in a pew. It is important to go to church and take part in fellowship with others. However, going to church isn't the only part of what we are commanded to do. This passage doesn't say "if you can fit it in" or "if you feel like it." It is a command to all Christians - pastors, deacons, and newly saved believers alike.
Let's all strive to bring our focus back to Jesus' original intent by reaching out to others and sharing His love - and the Gospel - with them.