Coming off the ‘mountain top’ of our first-ever mentoring retreat, I’m reminded that Jesus is it. Reading about the religious environment He walked into and the religious environment His followers have created over the last 2000 years, I’m back at square one.
I’m back to Jesus.
When he was a kid, my brother-in-law’s house caught fire and burned to the ground. His dad, an alcoholic, woke everyone. They barely got out with their lives. His mom was the breadwinner and a regular at the local church. After the fire, she called the pastor and described their dire straights . . . three kids, homeless, no money, no clothes, nothing. The preacher’s response was “we’ll pray for you.” He didn’t want his church to be associated with the family of a drunk.
We’ve all heard those stories. Hypocrisy. Self-righteousness. Exclusivity. Lording the Bible over people when it was inspired by God for people.
From my reading, the Scriptural definition of “church” is “ecclesia” which I’m told means “the elect people of God”. In the Old Testament, the “elect people of God” were the Jews. It was clear because God called them His ‘chosen people’ and did all kinds of things to show them He loved them, establish their identity, and give them every reason to trust Him. Jesus came along and expanded the “elect’ to include us Gentiles.
Only through Jesus do we have eternal life.
Only with Jesus do we have peace in this life.
And only for Jesus do we find meaning and purpose for the rest of our lives.
Talk about Christianity, synapses fire and people run to their predispositions about what they believe, what they doubt, who’s in and who’s out. Talk about church and people run to their paradigms of what it is or should be. What’s wrong and what needs to be fixed. Who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong.
But when you come back to Jesus, all the noise fades to background.
Our Creator God, in person, is deeply in love with me. And you. With every one of us. Reaching out to our souls with “I love you. I care for you. I know how you feel, I’m here for you. I won’t ever leave you. I’m ready…willing….able to answer whenever you call on me.”
Make this a week when you reach back. Make your theme one of gratitude and praise for our Lord….
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Question: Will you make continuous prayers of gratitude to Jesus the theme of your life this week? Tell us here
ACTIVATE THE MEN IN YOUR CHURCH
Small group mentoring can help you engage your men, build your core group of leaders, and transform your church. Our free resources equip you with all the tools you need to launch a sustainable mentoring program.