What does it look like to be a Christian in 2015? There was a boom of church plants in the 90's and in the new millennium. Now we see more of an organic church and meeting people where they are.
The church as a whole is under attack.
You are the church and you are being judged, watched and persecuted daily when you claim Christianity.
I have been on both sides of the coin, the judged individual who was living a life of sin and saw the "church" as my judge and have been on the other side of the coin in which now I see the church being judged and ridiculed and honestly feel like a minority in this beautiful America that was founded on God, and a protestant religion.
As a Christian, or Christ Follower you are under a microscope to live up to the teachings of Jesus Christ and walk a straight line or else you bring damnation and a bad taste into that unchurched, or de-churched or lost person who is watching you intently. They are watching and waiting for you to mess up so that they can say you are no better than them as they are living under conviction and running from God either from being hurt by the church or by a Christian. There will always be those that are looking for condemnation and mistakes, but my prayer for you as a Christ follower is that others around you can get a glimpse of Jesus Christ. They will see hope, and sincerity and authenticity, even if they see a mistake, I pray they see other attributes as well.
What can we, as Christ's Church, do to show others sincerity, hope, and authenticity for Christ?
1. Establish Roots- embrace the city, the place you are right now, right here in 2015. In Jeremiah 29:4-7 God told the exiles to embrace the place you are in, settle, buy houses and embrace it.
"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare" Jer 29:7
2. Pray for your community. When we pray we involve God.
3. Love- Love others and extend his mercy to to others. If you are a Christ follower, you have been called to love others, to extend grace and mercy to others so that through that they can see Christ.
We, as Christians are not a bridge to Christ or a connection to him, we are signs, like clues to Him. We are His in this world and as others read your sign, it should help point them to Christ, maybe give them some clues as to how to get to him.
We are in a hurting, oppressed world looking for something to fill a void.
I pray my friend that you can be that sign of hope to a hurting world.
This past year has been a great year, God has blessed abundantly and we have seen him move in St Pete ! Today I claim that 2015 is gonna be great and we are gonna see him do something great in St Pete.
My prayer is that through him, Reliance will spread his love, his hope and others can experience authentic life through him. I pray that all who are affiliated with Reliance will be empowered to share Christ. To begin relationships that glorify him, to encourage others in a world of oppression and depression, and we will see salvations and re-dedications to him !!
" The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly" John 10:10
God wants you to have abundant life through him !! He promised all who will ... Are you willing?
Are you willing to follow him, to show love to others, to make him Lord of Your Life? Are you willing to submit to him?
Are you willing to share with that co-worker, that homeless person, that cashier what an amazing God we serve?
Are you willing to extend his mercy to others as his mercy has been extended to you?
As we say goodbye to 2014, I must comment that it was a great year ! We saw 2 Baptisms, and 3 Salvations and several re-dedications to Christ ! God is Good ! We have grown and God is the reason for that growth !!
We owe all to him and through him 2015 will be awesome !