Something is not right and we know it. We can feel it, we can sense it, but we are just not sure how to verbalize it. The church and the people who make up the church in America are just not accomplishing what we could and should be accomplishing.
If what we know and believe about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is true, then this truth must challenge us and change things. Our faith has got to be about more than just going through the religious motions. It has to be about more than a casual reading of our bibles. It has to be about more than attending church just because we think it satisfies our needs. It has to be about more than the practice of sin avoidance.
Our faith has to be about passionate, whole-hearted, devoted, obedient and sacrificial love for God and the things of God. Do you ever find yourself reading the scriptures and wondering why we just don’t seem to get it? Do you ever read your bible and think: “I don’t do that!” or “I should do that!”?
I don’t want to bash the church and I don’t believe that playing the blame game accomplishes very much productive, but we have got to start asking ourselves some of the tough questions and seeking God’s help to get answers to those questions.
The reality is: Each one of us are a part and we all bear responsibility! The church as most of us know it, is in big trouble. A major part of the problem is that we who make up the church are suffering from an identity crises. A crises that clearly indicates that we are not even sure about who or what we are supposed to be.
The real tragedy is that with every passing moment, we are missing out on the miraculous of all that God wants for us. Think about this for just a moment: How important are you? What could God possibly want for you, if He would give His very one and only son, so that you can have the everlasting relationship?
It is possible for us to believe in God and not have a clue about who He is, what He is about and what He is like. You can call yourself a christian, be very involved in church and do your best to avoid the “big” sins. You can fight your evil desires in an effort to try to please God. And you can fail, and when you fail, you can feel guilty and with that guilt, you can feel far away from God.
The churches teachings and our learnings are not incorrect, they are just incomplete! Our view of God is not near big enough. We have a very narrow, limited and small view of God. This little view distracts us from the bigger and better picture that can lead us to a more fulfilling life.
I am a husband, father, son, friend and pastor. Up until a couple of years ago, I was pretty satisfied with my relationship with God and totally loved my service in the church. But then a crazy thing happened: The Spirit started to challenge me in almost every area of my life.
God began to change me and my long-held views that I had carefully crafted through the years. God’s Word began to convict, challenge, correct and change me! Personal experiences began to shift my long-established paradigms and I began to realize that I, nor the church I pastored could stay the same and be pleasing to God at the same time.
This would ultimately lead to my walking away from the church that I thought I might pastor for the rest of my life. This would lead to my stepping out of my comfort zone, but not before I encountered some of the most challenging, difficult and discouraging times of my life.
What I can tell you today, is that there is a lot that is wrong with the church and christians in America, but this does not change the beautiful truth that everything is right with God our Creator, Savior and Friend.
And because it is right with God, His amazing grace offers churches and christians a beautiful opportunity to confess sin, experience forgiveness and enjoy freedom, which allows us to live – really live, an exhilarating and exciting life – every moment of every day.
This is what Grace Place Community is all about! It is about experiencing, sharing and growing in the amazing grace of our most loving God. In the days and pages ahead, we hope to grow in this grace as God moves us out of our comfort zones.