I’ve asked that question before, but, now that I think of it, it is somewhat of a ridiculous question. When I have asked people if they go to church, I was usually doing so as a way of filtering what I was about to say to somebody with regard to their perspective, but, even for that purpose, it was a useless question. Asking somebody if they go to church as a means of determining their spiritual perspective is much like asking somebody if they go to McDonald’s to determine whether if they are a cheeseburger.
In popular American culture, the word church most commonly refers to a building where people meet to hear somebody preach. It is understood to be a place where people who claim to be Christians go to discuss and do Christian things. But, Christians shouldn’t merely go to church! Christians should be the church! And Christians should just be the church on the weekends, either, but, in every waking moment of their daily lives!
So, what does that mean?
Jesus said that the most important laws that His followers should follow are, first, to love God with every ounce of who we are, what we think, do, and say. Second, we should love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). Jesus pointed out that both are very similar to each other. How? Both laws point to giving ourselves — our thoughts, time, actions, words, and energy — to God and, in doing so, to others. On God we should focus above and beyond and, on others, we should focus at least as much as we focus on ourselves.
Both of these concepts drive at the same point: selfishness and concern for one’s own agenda is not the path to life.
Being the church of Jesus means that we should, first, seek and serve God in all that we do. Second we should look for and serve others. We should give of ourselves and support each other in our various needs. The church should function like a family, as God’s body — His hands and feet here on earth, spreading the good news of His love and grace to the unaware (Matthew 28:16-20) and serving those in need (James 1:22-27; Matthew 25).
That might sound like a tall order, but, if we realize that He’s already done the heavy lifting by living the life that He did on our planet, dying on the cross, and rising again, all to grant us the blessings of eternal life which we could never earn our own, we begin to understand that live life for Him is a natural expression of joy and gratitude, rather than a burden.
To be His church, first, each day go to Jesus in prayer and find yourself in Him. There, pray that He will guide you to know Him better and, subsequently, that you will notice opportunities in your daily life to share His joy and show love to others. He will guide you to a place where you can meet with other believers to worship Him and build each other up for His purpose (Acts 2:42; Ephesians 4:11-16).
If you invite Him in, He will be with you, no matter where you are so that you can go and be His church in every moment of every day.
Putting Christ First
“But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Just finished up studying my Discipleship Class homework and your message hit close to home.
AMEN to this!