Watch or listen…
Just because you went to church you had a Christ-centered life…
Covid has put a spotlight on the reality that many people who attended church did not have a real relationship with Jesus and the pressure of life has caused them to pull away. According to the Gateway Network, 40% of the Church worldwide has returned and 60% or more have left with no intentions currently of coming back. It is somewhat understandable in a world that feels confusing and contradictory. Most people are trying to do what’s right and church attendance does not hold the same satisfaction it once did. Some may have been pressured to find a different way. The reality is that there is only one way – Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Light; and the world is searching for Him more than ever.
John 4:35 (NLT)
“You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe[a] for harvest.”
Luke 9:28-42 (NLT)
28 About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. 31 They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials[a]—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 34 But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them. 35 Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” 36 When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
37 The next day, after they had come down the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus. 38 A man in the crowd called out to him, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, my only child. 39 An evil spirit keeps seizing him, making him scream. It throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It batters him and hardly ever leaves him alone. 40 I begged your disciples to cast out the spirit, but they couldn’t do it.” 41 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you and put up with you?” Then he said to the man, “Bring your son here.” 42 As the boy came forward, the demon knocked him to the ground and threw him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil[c] spirit and healed the boy. Then he gave him back to his father.
There is so much uncertainty and confusion in the world
The last eight months have been filled with a lot of misinformation and contradictions. It has been difficult to determine what is TRUTH or even accurate which leads to confusion. People across the globe are craving truth, comfort, and certainty. We have the solution and it’s time for the church to wake up. Part of the harvest is to start sharing the one who will never leave us or forsake us. Those of us who do have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ need to share it with those who feel lost and out of control.
Q: Think of a time when you were scared, lonely, or lost. What were you feeling? How is it different when you have a relationship with Jesus? How can you share that with others?
A trap that we can all fall into
We all would rather just stay with Jesus up on a mountain rather than come down and face what’s going on in the valley. It’s easy to camp up there and just bask in His Glory. The problem with this is that we have people which need our help in the valley – people who are lost and confused.
We can’t just camp on the mountain with Jesus and hope the issues of the valley go away. Many of us are guilty of having Faith in our Faith. We have faith in formulas, and we have faith in our own ability to believe. We can fall into a trap when we lose our job, struggle with depression, or just feel lost that we didn’t have enough faith to overcome those circumstances. Jesus’ response to us is “if you can believe in Me (Jesus), then His FAITH WILL DO IT!
Q: Where have you had faith in your own abilities? What was the result? How does it compare to a time when you fully put your faith in Jesus?
“All things are possible to him who believes.”
As we head down the mountain, we start to doubt our experience. We focus on our spiritual checklist to make sure we are prayed up and ready to face what comes next. The truth is that we are not capable at all on our own, we will never be able to accomplish it. We fall short every time because we have faith in our own abilities. We need to stop having faith in our own faith. We need to have faith in Jesus and fully realize that He has already overcome the world and everything in it.
There are people standing in the valley. They need you to reach out to them and be told that they can have faith in the One that will fulfill their every need and help them feel whole. Not because you have great faith to reach them, but because Jesus does.
Q: What are you believing for? Do you genuinely believe that Jesus has the faith to do through you what you cannot do yourself?