I love how God will always bring something or someone into my path to remind me of His promises. It never fails to happen always in perfect timing and always when I need it the most.
We are finally trying to get settled here in our new home and new community. We still have boxes to unpack and things to organize but we are in that “livable” state where we can get through our daily lives for the most part in the house. The boys are getting settled into their new rooms and we are preparing to start the school year in our new home school room. Life is starting to move on from the “we just moved” stage to the normal day in and day out routine.
The one huge hole in our life right now is friends. We know just a handful of people here and it seems that we are so busy trying to get settled, unpacked, school started, health concerns taken care of, and new jobs going that our natural tendency is to just not take the time to meet people and become acquainted with anyone. We are in the church “hunting” stage….which I absolutely loathe! Each Sunday morning comes around and I am amazed at how tempting it is to stay in our comfy pjs and just have a lazy family day. The thought of getting everyone out the door and to an unfamiliar church is flat-out daunting….you just don’t know what to expect. I wish I could have a week straight where I could just go to as many churches as I wanted, and by the end of the week know which family was right for us. Then we could get started serving and becoming part of “the family”. This limbo stage is just the pits. I want to be where God intends for us to be and be able to start serving, make connections, get the boys finding new friends, ect. If God could just put a big pretty star on the map signalling the church we are supposed to be at that would be awesome!
If I am honest, I just miss my church family in Alabama. Heck, I still miss my church family in Texas! If you have ever truly been apart of a family that does life together you know what I mean. These people have lasting impacts and connections with you that change your life in positive ways and challenge you to be more. They are people who pick up your kids from school, sit with you in the ER at 2am, and secretly leave Chick-fil-A at your doorstep at 6am. Family. I love family.
I say all of this because this afternoon while trying to fit in a little time in my Bible an old sermon insert brought me to some pretty awesome words about family. *if you are a Journey member these notes stem from Mike Mozingo on 1 Feb 2015 *
In Acts chapter 2 Peter addresses a huge crowd and preached to them about the corruption of their generation and about the salvation they could have through Christ Jesus. In verse 41 we learn that over 3,000 were baptized and accepted the message of salvation that day. The following few verses are an account of what happened next with this fellowship of new believers.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the sharing in meals and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (emphasis mine)
This is what a community of believes totally and recklessly committed to God looks like. This is a family I want to be apart of! This is crazy love and reckless abandon to Christ. This is what we are called to be. This is what the church should look like. Is it too much to be searching for a church body that exhibit, or at least try to exhibit, these principles? I don’t think it is. These people devoted themselves to learning and fellowship, to eating together and praying for one another. They met together every day corporately and shared all that they possessed. They gave to those in need, no matter the cost, with sincere hearts. And all of this they did while living a life constantly bringing praise and glory to God. As a result of their obedience people were saved!
So the question that comes to my mind is, do you really want to see people saved? Does your church really want to see people added to the Kingdom of God? If so, at what cost? It seems to me that this blueprint is pretty clear and pretty easy to follow. When we become self-less and God becomes our focus……people are saved. I know this seems like such a strange concept today and would probably even be called a cult…..but it is what the Bible shows us.
So this is what I am searching for in a church. Not too much to ask for right? I don’t know that this church exists in today’s world, but I do know that there are people who have a heart like this. And those are the people I want to surround myself with. That is the community and family I belong to and I want to journey this life with. No one is perfect, and no church community is perfect either. But I am on a search for one that has a heart that is seeking constantly and sincerely after God’s heart with all of their might. I want to be around those that are reckless about the love they show each other and other because it is what God has commanded of them.
I challenge you today, not to look for a different church family, but to be one of these people in the church you are in. Bloom where you are planted. Be the spark of different that causes others to be a little uncomfortable by your reckless obedience to Christ. Rest assured that if you stand for your God in this way conflict will come. But stand firm in the knowledge that you are following the direct hand of the King of the Universe. Your reward will be beyond anything you could possibly imagine. Maybe, just maybe, if we all got a little reckless in the way we loved and served others this country would see the difference. Go ahead…..I dare you…..