For the past five weeks, we completed the DVD study of John Ortberg’s, “God is Closer Than You Think”. John is a Presbyterian pastor in California and we have been enjoying his studies. The first one we did was, “Soul Keeping”, which made us fall in love with his simple but yet profound insights; therefore, we went on to do another study from his, which is this one.
The following points are a few things that stuck with me: First, God wants a relationship with every single individual. God is NOT sitting on a throne and checking a list of Good and bad – God is not Santa Claus, God is a relational God. Second, we are called to partner up with God and work to accomplish God’s Mission, which is creating goodness for all. Third, we are called to recognize to the voice of God. The more we deepen our relationship, the more we know God’s voice – Just like a dog recognizes the voice of their master. Fourth, the more we know God the more we will see God in action in our lives and the world; because we will be the bearers of God’s Good News to the world, therefore making God’s work more apparent. Fifth and final, it is our responsibility to make the realm of God, the Kingdom of God be evident to all, here on earth. We are the ambassadors to break through heaven and make it apparent.
These are the basics of a Good, godly Life that we often forget to help grow; as we get carried away with the finances of the church that has become a priority because of our worries. John Ortberg also made it clear that the church is not the building but the people. Which Apostle Paul has repeatedly talked about centuries ago: “You are the Body of Christ” (I Corinthians 12). We make up the Body of Christ and Jesus is the head. We are to work together in harmony and not step on others just to take care of what we are worried about…
Next time you are at a council or a board meeting, I urge you to pay attention on how much time we spend on money talk not enough how is our relationship with God. How often do we want to accomplish fundraising in a hurry, and step on other people and crush their joy of working in a community?
Beloved, we need to be attentive to the voice of God, to the needs of others, and live a Life of Grace. For the Good of ALL PEOPLE is what Jesus lived and died for. He did not do everything alone, he invited others to work with him and to be a community that knew how to listen to the voice of God and carry out God’s Vision.
Today, as I look forward to join a group of Youth and youth leaders at Concordia University in Montreal, for Rendez-vous, “Be the Church” (August 16-19), I think of many church committed individuals who are committed to the church as a building and not the Body of Christ, the People. This way of thinking and living hurts others and the church becomes a community of events, a social club, instead of Community of Grace, Hope and Love – we lose sight of our mission and purpose. People are not interested to be at church because they are not needed, they feel they do not belong. In this age of connectedness, social media, where we are ALWAYS “connected”- we are building invisible walls that separate and divide us. I believe, our purpose in life is to walk with God by journeying with one another – and making a difference.
How will you make the change and answer God’s Call?