Is Modern Chirstianity too Easy? Is That Why the Church Appears Dead?

Devotional Thought of the Day:

But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.  2 Timothy 4:5

165    You, who for an earthly love have endured so many degradations, do you really believe that you love Christ when you are not willing to suffer—for him!—that humiliation?

Go back a few years, to the first time you felt like you were falling in love.

You thought constantly about the one you were in love with, that you were enchanted by.  You would do anything to gain their attention, to see them smile. You would invest time, and your hard-earned money.  You would overlook the challenges, the problems that would separate you from them. You would tolerate the friends and families that didn’t just understand.

or think about the investments we make in children, our pets or anything else we love.  Consider the 17-year-old, washing and polishing their first car. Or the musician who prizes their new instrument, spending hours playing it, learning everything to make the instrument sing.

If we don’t consider the things we do for earthly love a sacrifice, then it would be logical that we don’t have to consider our sacrifices for God, who loves us more than we can imagine, and whom we fall in love with, because of His love which is revealed.

I wonder though if we haven’t robbed our people of the blessing of loving.  If we’ve made being saved too easy, to friendly, that we’ve taken away the challenge of responding to God with a love that embraces the work that love is?

Here it all is, here’ s heaven, and forgiveness, and mercy.  Now just sit there and soak it in, and don’t worry about changing.  You don’t have to be changed, you don’t have to face your fears and anxieties, you don’t have to share this incredible hope you’ve been given, and you don’t have to forgive.  ANd life will be normal and amybe even perfect.

Except it isn’t.

There is a temptation at times – to soften the sermon, for we know a person who will struggle with it, who might even be plagued by their own emotions and the issues which oppress them.  We want to spare them, and yet we realize the message is for all our people.  But we cannot, for their sakes and ours.

CHristinaity isn’t easy, he doesn’t stop the hard questions from being asked, it doesn’t put us to sleep, but encourages those questions to be asked, those sermons to be preached, the reality to be lived within, even as we don’t have the strength.  People need to know Christ meets them in the hardest part of their life, and sustains them.  It isn’t a faith for the healthy- but hope for the broken.

The call to preach, to teach, to ask those hard things can’t be ignored.  Those issues will draw them to the cross, to the place where they will encounter a compassionate God, who loves them. A God whose love overshadows our afflictions and suffering.

Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 515-516). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on October 11, 2016, in Devotions. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Terrific.  One for the book!

    Sent from my Galaxy Tab® E

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