ON THE JOURNEY

MICHAEL DUVAL, CO-PASTOR

Is there danger in embracing a “comfortable” Christianity?  Is there risk in being a nominal “Christian” whose supposed faith doesn’t really cost anything?  If faith is actually only a badge that people wear and doesn’t genuinely transform their lives, is it really Christianity at all?

 

If their faith doesn’t prompt people to give up destructive choices, to give generously of their time, talents, and treasures to the Lord through His church, to vulnerably share their faith with others, can it truly be said to be faith in Jesus?  If we attempt to domesticate the gospel to fit what we want, are we stripping it of its transformational power in our lives?

 

The Bible is not to be approached as a self-help informational book that appeals to our selfish desires.  Jesus is not to be relegated to a Captain America type of savior who came and died to save us from hell rather than His being a King who came to save us in order to accomplish God’s divine purposes of love in and through us.

 

There are difficulties that come with embracing a Christian faith in name only.  These nominal believers can try and base their salvation on what they do and experience, not on what Christ did.  When they are challenged towards a deeper understanding of Scripture, they may become easily offended and agitated.  They may feel as though they are being judged or attacked.  As a result, relational strain may occur.  Friendships can dissolve when the gospel is taken seriously.

 

The challenge for those of us who genuinely seek to follow Jesus is to be deeply gospel-centered in all of our living.  Everything we do—personally, emotionally, relationally, maritally, parentally, socially, culturally, vocationally, etc.—should revolve around the good news that Jesus Christ has rescued us from sin and selfishness and called us to live fully according to God’s life-changing will for our lives.  Being gospel-centered means that we constantly ask ourselves the question—is my life continually honoring God?

 

We are not only saved from our sin and selfishness, but also saved to and for a mission.  Being in Christ means that we intentionally use how we live, where we go, what we do, and what we say as a means to share and show the good news of Jesus with the world.

 

We who follow Jesus must be church-minded because it is the body of Christ.  The church isn’t a place we attend but a people we belong to.  When Christ saved us, He made us a part of His family.  Christ cares about His family—their transformation into His image as well as their participation in His mission.  If Christ cares for His family, we should too.  If Jesus is committed to His family—in that He will never leave nor forsake them—we should be too.

 

So, I look forward to seeing you this Sunday with our church family!

 

-Michael