Time For a Pep Talk! :)

It’s February. It’s cold. Life is getting a little drab…

Time for a pep talk! 🙂

Speaking of the very first Christians, Luke wrote the following description of their early days:
Acts 2:42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
 
What an exciting time; what an adventure! These people were passionate about Jesus- and each other. Their lives now revolved around Jesus. Why? What has just happened to them? They’ve just experienced grace- God’s undeserved favor- and they are passionate about it!
 
We know the confident manner of the self-made man. We know the swagger of the athlete at the top of his career. But nothing can match the confidence- or the boldness- of the forgiven man. He – or she – can change the world. That is true passion- because God loves me, because He is willing to forgive all I have ever done, there is NOTHING I cannot do. As Paul said, if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).
 
Unfortunately, some of that excitement can get lost through our busy, care-filled lives. Even church attendance can become the exception, not the rule. Over the years, we’ve gotten the idea that we put in our time on Sunday, or a few times a year, and that’s it. Somewhere we decided that work comes first. School comes first. Sports come first. Miss church because you’re tired or busy, and the pastor had just better understand! But sleep in on Monday?! Miss football practice… We’d all agree that person is a slacker- and he is well on his way to being fired- or to a school detention. But even so, the question is not one of church vs. school or work vs. church. They really don’t have to be in competition!
 
No, it’s a matter of passion. Being passionate about JESUS. Realizing the real freedom He offers you and me. In all you do- at work, at school, in sports, even in church activities, etc., Jesus invites us to a life of passion for His will- a life of adventure beyond the same old that we think is so important! How do you balance church with school, work, sports, etc? I could give you my opinion as your pastor. But let me say this instead: Make Jesus your passion, and you will know.
 
Luke gave us the four evidences of a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ: v. 42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
 
Summarizing this for today, it would include studying the Bible together, worshiping together, experiencing Love Feast together, and praying for one another and our world.
 
In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren reminds us, “You were made to belong, not just believe… The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers and deprived of fellowship. The Bible says we are put together, joined together, built together, members together, aired together and fitted together and held together… You’re not your own any more!”
 
When a church is devoted as the first church was, it becomes a community…
-A community where love is expressed.
-A community where wrongs are made right instead of being swept under the rug.
-A community where forgiveness is a given, where people live transparent lives.
-A family where all are valued and significant, not for how skilled or accomplished or beautiful they are, but because Christ has deemed them so.
 
Could I invite you into a community like that? That community, though not perfect, is the church. There is just no escaping the need to be a regular part of a worshiping, active church. So come- be made whole by God’s forgiveness. Come take your place in the family. Come find your adventure!
 
~Pastor Mark