This week at Common Ground we looked at Ephesians 4:1-16. What we saw was a that by paying attention to how we live, and remembering and relying on His presence in our lives, we will as individuals be better able to fulfill our unique role in His kingdom, which requires us to work together in unison. And while that may seem like a lot to take in, it really boils down to three simple principles:
- Get smart: know what the Bible actually says. Stop being a drone in church, mindlessly singing with the crowd and pretending to engage mentally during the sermon while you’re actually thinking about whether or not you’ll have time to update your fantasy football team after the service or the Methodists across the street will beat you to lunch. Listen. Take notes. Learn to study on your own. ENGAGE!
- Get serious: the world isn’t the fairy tale our culture would have us believe. Hell is real and some people WILL go there. Heaven is real and some people will NOT ever get there. (Matthew 7:21-23) Sin is real and it actually matters to God how you treat Him, other people and yourself. (For more on ‘sin’ consult the Bible which offers extensive lists of things both to avoid and to pursue. Handy!) Side note: pop culture is NOT your friend (1 John 2:15-17).
- Get real: too many “followers” aren’t following at all. Instead they have concocted some sort of Disney princess version of Christianity that doesn’t require being a contributing member of the local church. They isolate themselves from sound doctrine, good teaching, worship, service and mission opportunities, accountability, fellowship and pretty much every other function the body of Christ serves because somehow they have become convinced that it’s not necessary to be a participate in a local church, as if the body of Christ could be divided into little pieces. Newsflash: That’s NOT okay! (Hebrews 10:24-25) Just because you have a Christian friend with whom you visit Starbuck’s every week doesn’t mean you’re living out God’s plan for the church. Let’s put it this way, when you can name a part of the human body that will survive indefinitely when removed, you can call your weekly Starbuck’s date ‘church.’ until then, get real.
Our relationship with God is just that, a relationship. It requires time and attention to develop intimacy and purpose. Listen to the world too long and that gets forgotten.