Can you relate?
Funny picture, but it is often true. Many of us have been raised all of our lives in the same church where we ask Jesus to be the Leader of our lives and even baptized there in water. At this same church where you found faith, you became content. You keep Jesus in your little box and then take him out only once or twice a week when you go to church! If we are believers and full of faith can we not think out side the box?
Looking back at the church I grew up with in Abu Dhabi, and several of the Indian churches here in the United States I see one common pattern. Church is more or less a ritual. We go to church, worship, hear a sermon, families get together for lunch after Sunday service, and we call it a day. During the week we have prayer meetings, which at times are simply social gatherings. From a South Indian stand point, you can not do anything out of the ordinary because it would be considered a sin, and if you rebel to think outside the box in your church you are looked down upon. WOW! Today we have technology at our finger tips and we are educated to high levels of understanding yet we still tend to hold on to our rituals and being content with Jesus in the box. So the question arises what have we done with and for God? If you ponder the question I'm sure many of you would have to say nothing outside of the church and your normal routines.
My thoughts are inspired by two sources:
- Taco Bell - "Think outside the bun."
Craig Groeschel - "We will do anything short of sin to lead people to be fully devoted followers of Christ."
As a church we need to expand our horizons, think and dream big! As individuals we need to share Jesus with everyone and encourage them to build a relationship with Him even if that means thinking outside of the box!
Get Outside the Box
If you are a new Christian who just found Jesus or even if you are a long time Christian who has been living and thinking inside the box after reading part of this blog you may be asking yourself...now what? Matthew 28:19(NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
There are several things to be noticed about Matthew 28:19 (People's New Testament):
- Go, implies an aggressive warfare. The Gospel army must move upon the nations. The Lord seeks universal empire, and sends forth his armies to conquer the world. Every church and every disciple must understand that they have marching orders.
- Not only is every saint commanded to go, or to take steps to make the gospel go, but the object is stated. They are to make disciples, or pupils, and scholars of Christ; not great philosophers, but babes in Christ Jesus (1Co 3:1), who have entered the school of Christ and are to be taught afterwards.
- Who are to be made disciples is next indicated. Not the Jews only, but all nations. Christ came to be the Savior of the world. His is a universal religion. In the Great Commission he looks beyond Judea, and commands that the Gospel shall be offered to all nations. The test of eighteen centuries shows that Christianity is not local or national, but is adapted to the needs of all mankind.
- It is next stated how disciples shall be made baptizing them.The right by which those who believe upon him should be formally enlisted and enrolled in the school of Christ is baptism. It is a baptism of the Spirit that he means, because it is one that those whom he addresses are commanded to administer. He alone baptized with the Spirit; his apostles and disciples baptized in water, and it is to this rite that he refers. Hence, when we turn to the preaching of the apostles under this commission, we find that all converts were at once baptized (Ac 2:38-41 8:12-18).
- The end or result of baptism is also given. Converts were to be baptized.
- Into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.It is a positive affirmation of the Old Testament that where the name of the Lord is recorded there will he meet his disciples, or there will be his presence. See Ex 20:24. The Lord declares that the three names, that of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, are recorded in baptism. In this rite, then, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit meet the believer; the Father to receive him as a child, the Son to welcome him as a brother, and to cover him with the mantle of his own purity; the Holy Spirit to endow him with that Spirit by which he can say, Abba, Father. Into the name of is equivalent to into the presence of, or into the Father, and into the Son, and into the Holy Spirit.
Welcome to faith!
"Welcome to faith! Now, here's your complimentary box, outside of which you should never ever think again!" I did laugh when I stumbled upon this picture, because it's so true. The truth in the humor is the sad part. What are we teaching to our congregation, or to our children? Let's keep and hide Jesus within these four walls? The grave could not contain HIM, yet many churches and individuals seem to have found a way. Are you thinking outside the box yet?
Posted on Sun, September 2, 2012
by Vinod Samuel filed under