So we’re taking a little different approach starting this week. When we read and process through Scripture together, we want to conclude by asking a simple set of questions. And the question we want to focus on is this:
If what we just read and discussed is true, what does it mean for us in community and in fulfilling our mission?
Here’s the deal: We spend time reading God’s Word, but why do we read it? Do we want to know more about God, or do we want it to influence who we are as people? When we read it just to read it, it’s for head knowledge. We know and understand who God is but on an intellectual level. When we read it and evaluate our lives in relation to it, it becomes transformative and heart knowledge. We don’t want to live a life that is leading down the wrong path, so we alter our trajectory to get back on the path Christ wants for us.
So that is what we want to do here as we discuss and recap our sermon from yesterday. We want this to be transformative rather than informative. We want our lives to change because of what we hear on Sundays and read throughout the week, not get some more knowledge about God and think of it as an interesting thought.
The questions we were left pondering yesterday were these: How far are we willing to go? What are we willing to lose for our Savior? What are we willing to give us or deny to make sure that one person we love, or that one person who lives down the street, or that one person in the cubical next to us at work doesn’t end up apart from God forever?
It’s a tough question and if I’m being honest, I think most of know the right thing to say in response to a question about it. “This means everything. This is what Christianity is all about. This is what we should be doing so I would give up everything.” But then when you look at your life, are you really doing that? Is what you know in your head, have studied over time through God’s Word changing your heart? If someone looked at your life, would they say, “Now here is a Christian who is on mission and gets it.
Being honest, I know I’m not where I need to be. I know I have failed to do what I need to do. I see a need, I see a situation I need to step into, and I will walk away and stay silent when God is just saying, “Go! I’m right here and I will be in it.”
And when I look at Paul and all He was able to do. So many lives won by Christ because he was willing to do anything and never worried about the cost. How at one point, he was beaten almost to death, and got up the very next day bloodied, bruised, and probably with some broken bones, and went 30 miles to the next town so that they could hear Christ. And I’m too introverted to walk across the street to the neighbors.
Paul was willing to give it all. Paul did in fact give it all, being executed for His belief. How far are you willing to go? Whose life are you willing to impact at any cost? And is the God who has loved you with an endless love, covered you with immeasurable grace, and has placed in you a Spirit of unlimited power, is He worth doing whatever it takes so that one more can come to know Him more?
My hope and prayer is that we will answer yes to God’s calling in our lives. We have all been sent out into the world to seek and save the lost. And I rather continually go, plant a seed, and fail every time than be successful at doing nothing, and failing the one who has given me everything so that I can risk it all for Him. My hope and prayer is that you join me in stepping up your game. And as we process through the Scriptures together, we don’t just read them to say we read them, we read them with the passion and desire to be transformed into Christ’s likeness.