If you want to keep an enterprise of any sort alive, you have to keep selling it. You must never assume that people understand why you exist, what you believe, or where you’re going. Every day is a new opportunity to present your vision – and you must do it in a way that makes sense to your audience.
D.A. Carson has said it something like this: One generation believes in something. The next generation assumes it. The third generation forgets it, and the fourth generation denies it. I think he’s on to something. Culture varies from place to place. Some are ahead of, or behind the curve. Overall though, I think America is roughly in the same place with Christianity.
“I want my life to fit in this book one day.” – Francis Chan
Just to expound on one of his points in this clip, what do we do that is weird? Is it worth it? What would it look like if it were in the bible?
Then the church in Thessalonica, which Paul had founded, split because Apollos was a much better speaker.
And the church west of Ephesus died because of their worship style.
3000 people were saved on that day, but they never met again because the church service was for too early.
How embarrassing would that be? It’s a good thing that today’s church won’t be recorded in the bible. But then again, it will be recorded. So what will those that come after think of us? Just a thought to bother you on your day off. You’re welcome. 🙂
Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers”.
He did not say “Blessed are the peacekeepers”.
It may sound trivial, but there is an enormous difference.
Peacekeepers seem to have a godly motivation.
“Peace” sounds like a good thing, after all. But peace is not a goal, it is a result.
Peacekeepers don’t want to rock the boat.
Peacekeepers want to please people.
But stasis and people-pleasing are not godly ideals.
Let’s be honest – peacekeeping is little more than avoidance and denial.
Peacemakers, on the other hand, aren’t afraid to break some eggs. If the boat is going in the wrong direction, shouldn’t somebody rock it? Sometimes it takes a troublemaker to start a reformation. Isn’t that what we should be all about? We should be in the business of shaking things up and making people uncomfortable. I don’t see that Jesus ever intended for us to be comfortable.
I think it’s time to stop the peacekeeping and start the peacemaking.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain” – Ps. 127:1
Notice the beginning. “Unless the Lord…” Ultimately, isn’t everything meaningless if we don’t have our priorities right? If the Lord orders our life, everything will fall into place. It’s when we go off on our own that we really louse it up.
But that should be a given. If we are truly Christians, our days, our lives, our calendars, our checkbooks will all be ordered according to God’s will. For as we go on, we should become more and more like him.
But that’s not what struck me when I saw this verse recently. What struck me was the second half. Or more specifically, the inverse of it. If we take the opposite position that the verse implies, we get “if the Lord builds the house, the workers do not labor in vain.”
If you were to skip church this Sunday, would anyone miss you?
I don’t mean would your friends notice, although it is good to be connected! What I mean is this: What vital church functions would go undone? What programs would suffer? What needs would go unmet?
If the answer is none, then you are doing it wrong.
Let it sink in. Feel free to feel convicted. If the shoe fits…
Am I condemning you? No. Well, maybe. Let me ask this: Why do you go to church? What is the point? (If this sounds familiar, I might have mentioned it before.) Are you going to be fed? To learn? To see friends? To hear the band? None of these are bad things. (To be honest, the majority of our idols aren’t even bad things. They are good things done wrong.) But if Sunday morning is all about you, or all about you feeling God, then you’re doing it wrong.