Seeking & Searching

     Is it just me, or does it seem that everyone today is seeking & searching for substance?  I don’t think it is by coincidence or chance, and I can’t buy the sale that says, “whatever feels best.”  Not that there is a shortage of supply or anything – it’s all over the place. 

     But what is most amazing to me is how quickly the Christ-follower forgets and moves on from what he/she knows to be true.  Some allow things to compete for their time, attention, and focus.  Others seemingly stay in the valley.  And even more fight a battle, day by day, that has already been won.  What are you talking about? – you might ask.  So glad you brought that up…

     How can a follower of Jesus Christ, the Hope of the world, allow and permit themselves to be shaken and stirred by what is going on all around us?  Yes, I realize that we will all feel the trials and the challenges – to say otherwise would be foolish.  But how is it that some surrender to it, withdraw, and lose credibility?  Does Jesus not say, “In the world, you will have trial and tribulation – but be advised:  I have overcome the world!”    Yeah, I believe that is exactly what He said.  So with that promised statement, we can only turn to the fact that people decide, for themselves, in the seemingly broken state of their self-will, what priorities they will follow.  In essence, they follow their own priorities instead of those communicated and commanded by Jesus.

     When Jesus ascended, He looked to the body of believers and gave them His Commission (Matt. 28).  Earlier, He had told them that the world would know they are His disciples because of their love for one another (John 13).  How soon some forget.  All throughout His life and ministry – Jesus was about relationship.  Some attach “religion” and “movement” to Him – nothing could be further from the truth.  He came to give light, and that light was the light of men (read John 1).  He was affixed to His relationship with the Father, and He was connected in His relationship with others.  I don’t see stress and anxiety over the government, over the economy, over the state of the “religious” order and hierarchy exuding from the Mission.  What I see is the God-man, Jesus Christ, continuing to go and impact people, where they were, for His Kingdom.

     Some 2,000 years later – right now – our mission is unchanged.  Yes, we have work, we have family, we have responsibilities.  My question for each and every person who reads this is simple, yet profound.  And today, perhaps more than at any other point in our lifetime, we need to answer it and own up to the truth:  Have we left, have we departed (however short term we thought it would be), from our first love?  If in some part we say “yes,” let us return to Him and to each other, immediately.  Let’s be the body of Christ to a lost world, for His glory!  We do this out of our love for the One Who is wonderful and everlasting.

In the attitude of prayer and gratitude,

Pastor Porter

Go, Make, Baptize, Teach, Obey

     The last spoken words of Jesus, just before His ascension, contained all of these action verbs.  It wasn’t simply “to believe” or “to have faith.”  Sure, those were fundamental to going, making, baptizing, teaching, and obeying – but there was to be more to our followship of Him.  When I read Matthew 28 and what we often refer to as The Great Commission I am reminded of an earlier statement that Jesus made to all who have freely received:  “to whom much is given, much more will be required.”  If we have truly received the Salvation of the Lord – if we are “in” Him and have the grace and love of God that has transformed us, and now empowers us – we know we have received much, much more than we deserve.  I know what I deserve – the exact opposite of what Christ has done.  But because I have confessed, professed, and surrendered, I am His; I belong to Him. 

     These days, I have found myself in Matthew’s Gospel consistently.  In fact, I am going back in my own devotional time and seeking the Lord’s lead and direction through this Gospel treasure.  I start by reading Matthew 28:16-20 each time, so that I will remember the Master’s commission to us all.  There are days, personally and in ministry, where that passage coupled with the Spirit’s presence reaffirm in my heart the “why” and “how” of ministry.  Why?  Because Jesus called and commanded us to.  How?  Knowing that He is with us, and then, going…making…baptizing…teaching…obeying.  When we are rightly related to Him and we are lifting up His Name, I can tell you:  There is nothing like it in the world, and we will not grow weary. 

     Thank You, Lord, for your mercy and grace – that could save and sanctify even me.  Today, go with me and before me so that all I do and say glorifies You and helps to fulfill Your vision of reaching souls.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen!

     Pastor Porter