For years I thought it was possible.
I thought I could simply go to church, hear some bible verses and a good sermon, and think “that’s nice” and go home for Sunday lunch.
I thought I could compartmentalize it all.
In my mind, I could do life and do church. And live happily ever after. It was a nice idea and a noble habit. I thought it was important for my kids to be involved, so we made it a priority. Somewhat.
Over the years, however, I have learned that this is really not an option.
God requires more. Or less, perhaps.
But going and leaving with a “that’s nice” is simply not an option with Him.
His Word tells us simply we’re to either be hot or cold…but if we’re lukewarm, He will spew us out of His mouth. (Revelation 3:16)
The more I have grown in my Christian walk, the more I realize that God and His Word calls for a response of some sort. And there’s really no middle ground.
God asks the disciples-and He asks the same of you and me-who do you say that I am?
He doesn’t care what the people on the street are saying. He doesn’t care what the religious zealots are saying. He doesn’t care what your parents say about Him.
He is asking each of us, individually, who do we say that He is?
And then after we answer Him with our mouths….we are then to answer Him with our lives.
We can not simply do church.
He is calling us to be the church in this world.
We can’t just come and listen. We must then get up and do something with it.
So many Sundays, I have heard an inspiring message and yet I leave there allowing it to stop at my ears. I don’t allow it to seep into my heart and be lived out in real life during the week. I don’t take time to meditate on it…to get into God’s Word and allow His Word to get into me. I don’t dig deeper and think harder on what God is saying to me. I don’t digest the sermon and allow it to become more than just words. I don’t take it personally…when that is precisely what God is asking us to do.
The relationship He wants with us is a very personal one.
May we not be a lukewarm people. May we view church, our Bible reading, our actions to be more than a habit, more than a custom, more than tradition. May we open our hearts to be changed by the truths we are exposed to. May we surrender to the power that is harnessed in these things and count it a blessing to even get to partake.
And most of all, may we not simply hear the Truth and turn around and say “that’s nice.”
May we meditate on it day and night and allow it to penetrate our hearts and ooze into our daily lives, thoughts, decisions, attitudes, and actions. It then must flow through us and into the lives of others so that they, too, may be introduced to this life-changing truth.
Friends, we have an amazing God who sent His very Son to serve, to live and to die for you. And for me. He has provided, protected and equipped us. He has blessed us with a purpose and a plan for our days here. He went to great lengths to give us all we would ever need in this life and the one to come….
but it requires a response. A heartfelt response. More than a “that’s nice.”
May it be so. May we be an intentional people who are truly changed at the sound of His name.