In keeping with our methodology of "you are the program," here are three simple ways that you can make a difference this year. These are not original ideas, so thank you Thom Rainer and whoever authored the book Simple Church, which I can't remember off the top of my head. I was listening to Thom's podcast today and these three simple thoughts were so transferable that I wanted to pass them along.
This simply means belong to the body of Christ, specifically the local church. Scripture teaches that we belong to each other and it's in that belonging that we find ourselves making a difference in the lives of others and others making a difference in our lives. The idea of belonging is being committed to the local church. Again (which means you've probably heard me say this before), being committed to the local church is just an expression of loving what Jesus loves. When we love Jesus, we love the things He loves and hate the things He hates. Jesus loves His church. And the body of Christ is where we learn to practice humility by bearing with one another in love. I know, I know... you get to practice that in your marriage, too... but the unity of the church is based upon our humility toward one another.
On Vision Sunday, I said, "You're the program." As our relationships with Christ develop, God develops us into His witnesses and hands and feet, etc. One of the best ways to develop a deeper relationship with Christ is by developing a deeper relationship with His body. The way we do that around here (at Center Church) is in our small groups. If you want to thrive in your relationship with Christ, consider joining a Center Group. This first session beginning in February is a good starting point, because our Center Groups are only going for five weeks. See what a difference those few weeks might make in your relationships in the body of Christ. I believe it's how the life of each Christian thrives.
Go. The God of the Bible is a missionary God. He sent His Son to save us. Then Jesus said the same way His Father sent Him, He was sending us. Now, I'm not asking you to take a short-term mission's trip. I'm saying take a long-term mission's trip into your family and community and workplace. Think of someone you can help this year. Think of something you can do to bless someone else's life. Go to someone and help them. Canyon Lake is full of clubs. Join a club with the intention of taking the gospel to a new friend.
Belong, Thrive and Go
Who knows what God can do? Well, He does. That's why He's filled the Bible with verses like Isaiah 41:13 where He says, "For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'”