Three days before He rose Jesus died a horrible death taking every ones sins upon Himself so we could live with Him in heaven...forever.
Church was full today. As I looked around the sanctuary at many unfamiliar faces I had mix emotions. On one hand I wish that those who attended services today would attend every Sunday. On the other hand those unfamiliar faces are people who must believe or why would they be there?
OK, back to those of us who attend church every Sunday or Wednesday I have this question...are we any different from those who attend once a year? Yes, we go to church and hear sermons about Jesus and the bible. We go to Sunday school and learn more about Jesus and the bible, then what do we do with that knowledge?
If you haven't read "Radical" by David Platt I wish you would. This young man has taught to and alongside our christian brothers and sister in other countries who are persecuted for being Christians and must meet in secret. If caught they could be arrested, their homes or church burned down or killed. This past Good Friday he had a simulcast from his church and many of us around the world attended the Secret Church. It was 6 1/2 hours of intense bible study. For such a young man, I believe he is 32, his knowledge of the bible is amazing. It makes you sit back and wonder how such a young man can have so much knowledge and how he has been able to spend so much time in other countries teaching persecuted Christians. Then I remembered another young man who did the same thing and lost his life for it at the age of 33, his hame was Jesus Christ.
To put it in a short version if you are a christian God has called you to first and foremost go to the world and share the gospel. He wants you to care for the widows and orphans and we are to love one another and yes that means your enemy. If you sit in church every week year after year and don't take what you have learned and share it with others then your not doing what God has called all Christians to do.
As he shares in his book many of us drive in our nice car to a church that is usually in a very nice at least million dollar building and sit in our comfortable pews, looking at our decorated stages and then go home or to a restaurant to eat. We worry about having a great youth program with lots of things to entertain our youth so they will attend. Easter egg hunts, carnivals and other events to attract other believers and non believers to our church. Across the other side of the world our brothers and sisters in Christ huddle in small homes, jungles, buildings in secret. They sit on dirt floors, sometimes sixty to a small room. Some have walked for miles or days to get there. Others have left their families with the understanding they may not see them again if caught. Their desire to hear about, learn about and know about Jesus Christ so they can take the gospel to others is radical! They are willing to sacrifice everything for Him.
I am not quoting David Platt word for word but basically he is said what if we made the choice to worship in buildings that were not so high tech, that didnt' have pews that were not so comfortable, that didn't have all the bling and "what programs does it have to make me happy." And then took all that money we saved and used it to help our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ, to go into the world and share the gospel, to help the widows and orphans? What if we in our personal life quit buying extra stuff that we don't need and used that money to help? What if?
This young man is creating quite a stir. He readily admits you may not like him or agree with him as you read this book. Remember they didn't like what Jesus had to say. Honestly it made me squirm and I am not just a pew sitter. But I see that I have much more to do. Jesus died a horrible death on the cross for my sins and all He ask me to do is have the faith of a mustard seed and believe and take the gospel to the world.
I am a advocate for adoption and orphans. I have always said not all of us are called to adopt but we are all called to help. The same goes for missions and spreading the gospel, not all of us are called to go across the ocean, you can begin with your family, neighborhood or city.
The pictures below are from my recent visit over the ocean. There was nothing fancy about where we were but we had something far more beautiful. Gods presence! Nothing is more beautiful than that.
|The stage wasn't decorated fancy|
|There was no steeple for the cross|
|It wasn't a million dollar building and the pews were not soft|
|They had something that was far more valuable|
|The desire to know Him|
|and worship Him|