(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Online or in person?
Masks or no masks?
Open or closed?
If you ask many pastors, these are questions that they have had to wrestle with over the past year and a half. Some have used the term “decision fatigue” because of the barrage of decisions that have needed to be made while navigating the CoVid-19 crisis.
In addition to the practicality of Sunday morning gathering, seeking to keep a congregation together when people are vehemently divided on whether to wear masks or not, get vaccinated or not have challenged the resolve and focus of God’s people and their leaders.
All of these are important topics. In fact we spent a few sessions in our most recent pastors’ conference to discuss these issues and how to navigate them spiritually. The church has been forced into the fray of these discussions and decisions.
This week’s key belief is a refreshing refocus for us as the church: “The Church is God’s primary way to accomplish his purposes on earth.”
We must remember, the church is here because God formed it and because God has a purpose for it. He has a purpose today, just as he had the same purpose in the past.
The church is formed by every person who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
The church exists to tell every person that Jesus Christ is their Savior.
1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. …
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
But, the life and work of God’s church does not go forward unimpeded. If the Church exists to carry out God’s purpose on earth, Satan will use every situation to divide, distract and discourage the church. If he can get us divided by masks, distracted by fighting for or against vaccine mandates, and discouraged because it seems like the Church has lost its influence in American culture and society, he’s winning.
The more we fight the surface battles, the more we are losing the war. The real enemy is Satan and evil that is in our world around. It always has. It will be until Christ returns. Sin is the problem that resides in every human heart. Jesus is the solution for sin. Fear creates unrest in every heart. Jesus is the one who brings true and lasting peace. Uncertainty troubles our outlook on the future. Certainty of our eternal home brings comfort to the soul. These truths are what we, the Church, are here to proclaim, live and share!
We are the Church. God “called us out of darkness into his wonderful light” to declare HIS praises!
It is time we get back to being the Church as God intended and as God desires us to be.
I pray the theme and devotions this week will help us do that!
Apply: Has it been easy to focus on the surface issues of Covid-19? What happens when you refocus your heart and hope on Jesus?
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for forming YOUR church and by your grace making me part of it. Use me for your purposes. Keep me from being divided, distracted or discouraged from the work and words you have given to me and to all of your Church. AMEN.