From Pastor’s Desk: 6-5-16
James 5:20 …remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
The sinner should be the focus of our endeavors to win the world for Christ. Programs, benevolences, agendas, and even our so called “sinner-targeted” sermons should not be top priority. The goals of preaching, teaching, and ministry should be to win the lost at any cost. We must be careful to not become so “Churchy” that all we do and say gets lost in motivation, thus diminishing the effect of the message we preach and ministry we are doing.
Don’t misunderstand. Programs, benevolences, agendas are a great arms and legs of the church, the effect of which is not to be minimized. But it is when they become our foremost motive that the world does not hear the message or feel the compassion, love, and mercy of Christ flowing through the church.
Oft times it seems that a spiritual pride arises within the church. By that I mean, what started out as good, honest outreach has somewhere along the way turned into a “Look what we as a church are doing” attitude.
May we never lose sight of the Great Commission Christ Jesus left His church: “…go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Maybe it’s time to reevaluate our motives. Maybe it’s time to get back to basics seen in the early church. The out-pouring of The Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost didn’t just bring a “Feel-good” experience. They were endued with power, power for a specific purpose; to be witnesses. Acts 1:8 says, “…when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The promise of the Father was not be contained in the upper room, rather, it was to spill out into the streets so that everyone would hear about it. Thus the power behind all the church is and does was implemented. The result? Acts 2:41 states, “Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church — about three thousand in all.” Verse 47 concludes the chapter with “…each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.”
Programs, benevolences, agendas are for sinners after they have accepted Christ as Savior. Let’s get them saved first!