For a while now, I have had some thoughts floating around, that only occasionally rise to the surface. Like a trout on a sleepy mountain stream, their timing, intensity and duration have been unpredictable and often unremarkable. It seems these thoughts brewing in my mind have recently been turned up to a simmer. Nothing scary or drastic, but certainly disruptive to the tranquility of the past.
This change is due to things I have been reading (and in some cases re-reading) lately: A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God), C.S. Lewis (Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity), Alan Hirsch (5Q, The Forgotten Ways), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Cost of Discipleship), and others. The commonalities I have found, point to a jarring message of warning to us “the church,” and in particular to us it’s leaders.
For the next few posts I am going to invite you to join me as I ponder some of the thoughts I have been considering in a bit more detail. I covet your input and comments as we journey along together.
We’ll begin here: Romans 11:33–36 (NIV) Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” 36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
From Him; through Him; for Him …are ALL things. In your life, in your church, in your business, in your family, are All things… All His and forever for His glory?
We live in a world where the church we grew up in has accepted a dualism that coyly slithered in among us hundreds of years ago. We sat up churches, temples, cathedrals, and meeting houses to give us “sacred spaces,” specifically for the worship of God. These spaces have been broadly called “sanctuaries,” implying that they are places which are safe, set-apart, and separate from the rest of the world we are forced to live in. This “two-worlds Christianity” is a far cry from the one we read about in The New Testament, and has given many permission to exclude some life decisions from Biblical influence.
Today, that dualism has led many to believe that an idealized Christianity of Sunday, has no lasting power over our lives Monday through Saturday. There is a belief that what we “must do” to retain our jobs (no matter how morally compromising or disruptive to our sharing with church family) takes precedence over what would fit our stated faith. The thought that life’s schedules and demands, family expectations, and job requirements are acceptable as distractions from living our faith as we ‘know we should and wish we could,’ has made our churches, families, and lives lukewarm.
T.S. Eliot wrote: The greatest proof of Christianity for others is not how far a man can logically analyze his reasons for believing, but how far in practice he will stake his life on his belief.
What would change in your world if you decided to purge your life this week of all distractions from your faith? What if you strategically, thoughtfully, and sacramentally dedicated All things to God? How would your schedule change if you sanctified (chose to glorify God) with every moment of your day? This doesn’t mean becoming a Monk/Nun, it simply means bringing the sacred life from Sunday into every moment at work, at home, and at play so God is infused (not excused) from life all week.
Share: What if…? What if everything you did, everyplace you went, and everything you read, or watched, or listened to, were all done for His Glory? What would this look like for you? How would it change your life? What might it jeopardize? How would it affect your relationship with God? Where could one start?
As always, please give this a like, & a share. Mostly share with us your thoughts. Blessings, Pastor Tim