One of the easiest things for us to do as follower of Christ is to become stagnant, complacent, and lazy. This is especially true for those of us who have been Christians for a while. Like many things, there is an initial excitement when your soul is given new life by the Holy Spirit. You crave intimacy with God, you love to be fed by His Word, and you want to grow with other people He has called and redeemed. For many people, again like most things, some of that initial excitement wears off and you settle into a pattern. The problem is that our pursuit of God is not like many other things. It’s not like anything else. It’s not supposed to have an initial excitement that wears off. It’s supposed to have excitement that grows. The Bible promises that God wants and ever-deepening relationship with us, we’re called to want one with Him back. In other words, we’re called to be disciples of Jesus.
In Matthew 4:19 when Jesus called two brothers, Simon and Andrew, to follow Him, He was not calling them to an ordinary life that would start out pretty exciting and then become routine. Jesus was calling them out of their old lives and into new ones. Nothing would ever be the same for them. Their lives and everything about them would be different. For the next three years they followed Jesus as He preached the good news of the kingdom of God. He healed diseases, brought dead people back to life, and performed miracles. All the while, He was preparing them and others to carry on and extend His ministry. That was the mission of His disciples; to respond to the call of Jesus, learn from Him, and carry on His ministry. It is still the call of His disciples today.
If you are a Christian your call is to follow Jesus and help other people to follow Him. In order to do that to the best of your ability, you must be continually strengthening your relationship with Him and regularly seeking out people to preach the Gospel to and help mature in Christ. Both aspects of this calling can be challenging. Some of the places in Scripture that remind me of this great calling the most are Paul’s prayers for the churches he planted or solidified. Read a few of them (Eph. 1:15-22; Phil. 1:3-11; Col. 1:3-20; 2 Thes. 1:11-12) to see how he prays. “Asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding… God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power… it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more… so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Those are PRAYERS! They give me so much hope. That’s not how I pray most of the time and it’s certainly not how I always live, but I want to. Paul’s prayers challenge and encourage me to want more of Jesus! I’m so grateful there is always more of Him to be had.
On Sunday, we are going to come before God together and ask Him for more of Himself in our lives and the life of our church. We’ll start with one of Paul’s prayers in Colossians 1 and work from there. Let’s all make it a priority to be there together, as the church, encouraging, strengthening, and building one another up in Christ! It is going to be a great morning. I’m praying for God to give us more of Himself. I cannot wait to be with you!
For the sake of His name,