It’s taken me awhile to dive into writing this blog post. When I look at my notes from Sunday morning I see so much information it’s difficult to know where to start. But I do want to focus on the gospel because that’s what this series is all about. You can check out the other posts in this series as well here and here.
The Gospel is focused around Jesus. We think we know God so well, but we forget to look to Jesus. He is the gospel! Paul tells us in Romans 10:4 that Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it. (Matt 5:17) So in order to believe, don’t we need to know who Jesus is and why he came to offer righteousness? We can never gain righteousness on our own, it comes from Jesus.
To know Jesus is not enough. If we truly believe that he is who he says he is, then we need to do something about it. There must be a change in us. We must follow him and do what he tells us to do. We need to both read the Bible and develop a prayer life that allows us to communicate with him. To get to know his character.
In Ephesians 5: 22-33 Paul gives us practical advice on how to live the Christian life. This particular passage always made me feel controlled, and that’s just never been easy for me to concede. But the way Jon, our pastor, explained it caused me to look at it differently than I have in the past. Maybe everyone else got it and I was so stubborn that I wasn’t looking at the whole passage and I was missing the point.
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord…25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church….
Jesus died to save those who accept him. The husband should love his wife this much. So submission is something done out of love, not because she has to. The Church is the Bride of Christ. So the Church should submit to Jesus willingly, out of love. Are we really following the example that Jesus set for us?
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.Matt 5: 14-16
As believers in Christ, we have to let our lights shine so that others can see what Jesus offers. The grace that we have can only be found in Him. How will they find that if we don’t tell them or show them?!
We can’t put God in a box. People want to create their own God, making the rules fit the lifestyle the way they choose. But that’s not the way it works. God laughs at the box! He created the world and everything in it. Do you think he’d allow anyone to change his rules?
God pursues us. That’s the beauty of God! No matter how many times we turn our backs on him or ignore those internal nudges that we get, he is relentless.
But this world, as Pastor Jon says, is a dumpster fire! God has created a world for us and Jesus has gone to prepare a place for each person whose name is written in the Book of Life. Why would we want to hold onto this world?
There are many around us who don’t know God and it is our task to reach out to them and share the good news. We can’t change hearts, but God can.
A city on a hill is worthless if you can’t find it!
As the Church, we can’t hide the city on the hill and keep it all to ourselves. We can’t hide inside and create our own little perfect world. Be the light that draws others to the church to see what is so good that keeps us coming back! Our light shines when others see God in us, that what gives our light the power.
God is not a secret to be kept.
Turn the darkness into light and others will see it shine brightly!