This Lord’s day, I am finding myself asking many questions. Hard questions. Questions for myself primarily, but questions that may help spur others on to deeper reflection as well. Questions like these:
Why does our church life not seem to look like what we see in the book of Acts? A church that is thriving, growing exponentially, and confronting the world because of how different the love of believers was for each other and for the world? What are we doing wrong? Is church just a social club for us; somewhere we go out of duty or because our friends and family go there and that is where we click?
When we sit down to read the Bible, what are we doing? Are we reading it as God’s revelation to us of Himself and how to have a relationship with Him that reaches out to help others? Or are we reading it merely out of obligation, to check off a box on our daily spiritual to-do list? Do we really believe that as we know the mind of God we will be transformed more into His image? Do we even read closely enough to remember what we read an hour after we finish? Do we hunger and thirst for the word of God, or do we just coast by, reading when we are able?
When we pray, do we really believe we are communing with the God of the universe? Do we really believe that the Spirit who rose Jesus from the dead dwells within us, and that we have access to the very throne of God by the grace of God which is ours in Jesus Christ? Do we truly believe that prayer makes any difference, or do we merely pray as another part of our to-do list? Do we stay in constant communion with God throughout the day (praying continually), or do we just set aside a set amount, no more and no less, to pray? If the latter, how would our spouse feel if we did the same thing? Do we believe that God loves us and wants to guide us through our lives as any loving parent would?
Do we really believe that Jesus’ death not only set us free from the wages of sin but also offered us a new life that begins now, an eternal kind of life that is being made stronger in us as we follow Him? Do we really believe that Jesus came not just to forgive our sins but to take away our sins, increasing our level of holiness and purity day by day? Do we believe that God actually wants to change us to be more like Christ, not just in totality when we die but in stages now as we live? Or do we make excuses for ourselves when we give in to temptation to anger, lust, gossip, jealousy, worry, etc?
Do we really believe we are called not just to make converts, but to make disciples, people who will learn to follow Jesus in their lives, walking and talking as He would if He were living their lives in their place? Do we realize that this is not just a command for us to reach out to strangers, but to disciple everyone we are able, especially those closest to us, such as our spouses and children? Do we realize that to do this, we need to do more than just teach doctrine; we need to demonstrate a lifestyle of following Christ so that others may follow our example as we follow the example of Christ? Are we allowing the seriousness of this expectation to influence our daily lives?
I could go on with questions, but that is quite a list as it is. These are personal questions, so no one person can give an answer for someone else, as it will be different for each of us. These are questions I am pondering in my own life, and they are hard hitting to me. I hope that reflecting on them will help you in your walk as well.