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Jesus knew that what he asks of us was not easy – devoting our entire life to his way of life – to die to self so that Christ could live in us. Jesus knew this left no room for things like slicing off little pieces of one’s life to do “good works” for God. That’s not a Christ-like lifestyle – it’s more like a toe dipped in the waters – and Jesus wants a whole lot more than our toes.
And as for church – let’s be specific – of the many holy and sacred, miraculous, things Jesus did in his ministry – he did not call for the establishment of a network of buildings for worship across the world (what we call churches) – to be divided up based on denominational attachments. Instead, His church is the body of Christ in the world today.
Jesus says – if you want to do good works ministry – do it with your whole life – make your whole life about God – make your being a Christ-like appearance in this place – and make your everyday life nothing but a mission trip for the one who is coming.
And Jesus says -- if you want to do church – then do it right – do not make my home another social club of the culture – but devote everything you have to it – get more involved in its ministries – start new ones spontaneously – and make ministry less about structure and meetings and more about spirit and action. And yes, make a new commitment to attend worship – because worship is good – it feeds us with the power of God through the life of Jesus as our antidote to the Roman culture we live in.
This is the time of the year when our souls are in danger. Here’s two things I think Jesus would want us to do this season – and he would want us to pray about them during this time of advent:
• Put “More God and Less Rome” as the number one item on your Christmas wish list – “More God and Less Rome” – and begin to pray about what that would mean in your life – and what would change for you because of the coming of the your savior into your world – “More God Less Rome”
• Put “Make a Full Commitment to Church” as the number one item on your New Year’s resolutions. The world teaches us that membership has its privileges, but Jesus is not of this world. Jesus taught us that following him and being a member of His “church” has its sacrifices. We all need to be in church more if we are to have a church that is the body of Christ in our world today.
(Bob Silvanik is the pastor of Dry Ridge Christian Church. He can be reached at 823-1303 or by e-mail at email@example.com)