For many of us, money wars with God for our affections more than any other idol. We are possessed by money, but there is a greater possession in the Gospel, better and abiding. It is in this Gospel that we see the generosity of God toward us and because of this Gospel that we are free to be generous with each other.
Prayer is a Gospel issue. We can communicate with God because Christ has torn open the curtain, making a way for us into the holy places of God. But why does this matter? And who is this God that we pray to? A judge? A convenience store? A Father?
As Christians we follow a missionary God who came to us in Christ. We are all, therefore, missionaries as well in reflection of that Gospel. Despite a myriad of obstacles, we are sent out to foreign countries, to internationals in our own city, to our workplaces, to our families and to our coffee shops to boldly proclaim the good news that Christ was sent to make possible for us.
What does it mean to be a learner? Does it mean getting a certain degree? Is it something for pastors, professors and theologians? We are called to be disciples of Christ and make disciples of Christ in identity, confession and hope. We follow Jesus, hold fast to Him and point others toward Him.
Hebrews tell us to provoke each other to good works. Why? We serve others because Christ served us. We must serve others because the Law says to, but we, in our sinfulness cannot. Thus, Christ served us perfectly on the cross and now we should serve because we have been served and we serve to point people back to Jesus. But what does it say about us if we have no desire to serve at all?
We have all been deceived about community. We have been fed so many lies about what community is or why we supposedly can’t have it, but the truth is that we need community for the sake of the health of our souls and it is available right here if we are actually willing to step out and invest in it.
We are all worshipers; we worship our kids, money, popularity and, chiefly, ourselves. What we often fail to recognize is that there is only one worthy of our worship, and it is He who is often most neglected in our worship. In the first of our rhythms that we will look at in this series, we see what true Christian worship looks like and how we can play that out as a church.
It is too common and too easy these days to say that we love Jesus, but could live without the Church. Dr. Allison asserts to us that the church is an essential ingredient in the Gospel. We can’t love Jesus and hate His bride. We must love the Church as we love Christ, though we recognize the places where it has yet to be redeemed, we must still see it as the beautiful bride that Jesus is preparing for Himself.
As we reach our 3rd Anniversary, we take the time to remember why we are here and we revisit what our driving force—our passion—is. We remember not ourselves, our religion, our dogma, our events, our numbers or our programs. We celebrate not the ways that we have proven ourselves in service or the ways that we have sacrificed for Christ. We remember that what we have been called to and what we have pushing us forward is the Gospel that we have experienced and that tells us that it isn’t what we have done for God, lost for God or won for God, but rather what Jesus did for us, the life that Jesus lost for us and the life that He took up again to win for us victory over death and peace with God.