i Love My Church (Part 5 – All In)
Every February my my friend Jason and I ski Winter Park, Colorado. And every year we tackle a challenging run called Mary Jane (like a couple of giddy schoolboys). There’s a popular saying that goes like this, “No pain. No Jane.” Mary Jane will kick your tail if you’re not careful. You can’t start down the mountain and change your mind. You’re either all-in our out. There is no halfway.
“Be all-in or get out. There is no half way.”
There was a stagnant church in the ancient kingdom of Lydia called The Church of Sardis. Sardis was the capital of an influential city in the Persian Empire located somewhere in modern day Turkey. The Church of Sardis is addressed by God in Revelation, chapter three:
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen (get strong) what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. 3 Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. —Revelation 3:1-3 (NLT)
These are pretty strong words that can be applied to us as well. This is not the time to waiver on what the Word says. Verse’s fifteen and sixteen continue the stern warning to another lukewarm church in Laodicea:
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
What he’s saying is, “You’re stale. Your lukewarmness makes me want to vomit.”
God wants us committed. He wants us all-in! And to be all-in with God is to be all-in with His Church!
- He created it.
- He’s the head of it.
- He’s building it.
- The gates of hell can’t stop it.
What usually keeps us away from church are the people inside it. Why? Because where there are people there are problems. People are messy. But the good news is Jesus came for messy people…so let’s learn to get along.
You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoys its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. —James 3:18 (MSG)
Notice in the Scripture above that James doesn’t say, “…do the hard work of recruiting volunteers or creating a culture of excellence. He says, “…do the hard work of getting along.” And if we do this hard work of getting along it will be easier to recruit volunteers and create a culture of excellence.
Check out what Paul writes to Timothy:
I am writing these things to you now…so you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. —1 Timothy 3:14-15 (NLT)
The Message translation says, “…you will know how everyone who belongs to God’s family ought to behave.” What we believe determines how we will behave.
5 Behaviors That Will Help The Church Get Along
1. KEEP IT REAL
- Proverbs 28:23
- James 5:16
- Galatians 6:1-2
- 1 Corinthians 5:3-12
2. KEEP IT HUMBLE
- Proverbs 16:18
- 1 Peter 5:5
- Romans 12:16
- Philippians 2:3-4
3. KEEP IT KIND
- 1 Corinthians 13
- Romans 15:1-2
- Titus 3:2
- Romans 12:10
4. KEEP IT CLEAN
- Proverbs 16:28
- Proverbs 20:19
- Psalms 141:3
5. KEEP IT GOING
- Hebrews 10:25
- Acts 2:46-47