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God Focus in a Sea of Change

God Focus in a Sea of Change

We have just gone through so many changes here at Pleasant City Church. It may just be me but this new year there seems to be even more "new." Just at church we have a new name, new look, new staff from this time last year. My life has also felt like whirlwind of change this year: new job... ordination...Sara Beth (my wife) started PA school. Even for someone like myself who loves "change," this has been a lot. When my life begins to get too crazy I start focusing more and more on "me."

When I start getting too "me" focused I have to remind myself of what Jesus said when asked about the greatest commandment. In the 22nd chapter of Matthew, Jesus was confronted by a few Pharisees who asked him what the greatest commandment was. In verses 37 and 38 Jesus responds with "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." He then doesn't stop with just one, Jesus gives them a second commandment in verses 39 and 40: "And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

So, if I am going to follow the two greatest commandments, I need to at the very least focus on others as much as I focus on myself and focus on Christ more than both. Often times, in my life, that can seem difficult but I believe Christ put those commandments in that order for a reason.

Love God, Love Others.

Love God, Love Others.

Love God, Love Others.

When we focus all of our "heart, soul, and mind" on Christ, the second part comes naturally. That's why the first part of our vision at Pleasant City Church is to "Love God." Without my love for God, trying to love others like myself becomes even more difficult. Which goes right with our culture value "We Get To > We Got To." Once my focus is on Christ and off of myself, everything I do for others becomes a "get to" not a "got to."

In our student ministry, this has become known as "aggressive kindness." We as Christians get to do more than just idly wait for ways to show Christ's love. We get to seek out ways to show the love of Christ. In Romans 12:13 Paul writes, "Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality." We as Christians and we as a church should be defined by the way we look for ways to show the love of Christ to others.

This is simple but difficult. Difficult because naturally we stay focused on ourselves. This is nothing new but if we make ourselves and work at keeping our mind on Christ, everything we do becomes a way to show the love of Christ.  A trip to Wal-Mart can be a mission trip, going out to dinner becomes a service project, walking in the park is actually an outreach ministry.

When we "pursue hospitality" and look for ways to show God's love we become people, a church and city known for our love of Christ and showing that to others. People's lives and eternity will become changed because they were shown Christ's love through one of His children.

 

test 14

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