The statistics that I listed in my earlier post are telling. Put together 20,000 people who commit their time, money and efforts to making Christ known across the globe and see what can be accomplished. Even on a small scale, imagine what could be done with an entire church of individuals who banded together for such causes on a regular basis. Needs would be met, hearts would be softened, and seeds of the gospel could be planted and hopefully harvested.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no illusions of a Utopian Christian world being created by acts of kindness. The world is not made of gumdrops and unicorns. Sometimes our efforts to serve and share are rejected and even mocked. Persecution and rejection come with the territory. That should be no surprise to us since Christ himself was mocked and spat on throughout his ministry and even as he went to his death. But I do not think our biggest problem is a fear of rejection born out of many experiences. We don’t have the experiences to even begin to justify that problem. I think that the struggle to go deeper in our commitment to Christ comes from our misunderstanding of reality. Being born again, we have been given a new set eyes, a new heart, and a new mind so that we might see the world as Jesus sees it. Of course, this new vision of reality comes progressively. We will never see or understand things perfectly. We will never embody Christ perfectly. We grow into our faith over the course of our entire lives. Yet it seems that many times we are content with going through the motions of our Christian faith instead of really pushing our faith as far as it will go and asking the tough questions. What takes greatest precedence in our life? How is our time and money spent? What have we been reading and studying lately? What prayers have we offered up? What physical needs have we met? How have we made the gospel known? These are the type of questions we should be asking constantly. And we should push each other to go deeper in our commitment to Christ. We have been born again. We are his children devoted to his ways for his glory. And we should sacrifice everything we have in order to glorify God and fully devote ourselves to him in every way possible since he is deserving of such adoration and loyalty.
As I examine my own life, I realize how often my words are betrayed by my life. I want to believe that I don’t waste time or spend my money in frivolous ways. I want to believe that I’m serving in meaningful ways that are helping people in need on a regular basis. I want to believe that I am spending hours each day mining the treasures of God’s Word. In reality, I fail miserably at all of these things. I praise God that my salvation is not dependent on them. However, I realize that there is limitless room and a great need for growth in my life. I want to be more faithful than I am right now. We need others in our lives who can be used by God to push us in that direction. That is what we should find in the church. It is also what we should be as the church…a community of Jesus worshipers who challenge one another to go deeper in their devotion and affection for our Savior. So let’s challenge one another to press on closer toward Christ on a daily basis. Let’s be the church and let God take care of the rest.