Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How to "Be The Church" in our chaotic world

I did something this past Sunday that I have never done before. On my way to gather with the Hub City Church family I felt led to lay aside the sermon I had worked on all week and call an audible. 

One question kept resonating in my head. It's a question that flows out of the vision God has given Hub City Church.

Our vision is for Hub City Church to be a training, equipping, and sending hub so that we can Be The Church in our neighborhoods, workplaces and around the world as salt, light and ambassadors for Jesus.

The question that I couldn't get out of my head was: In light of all that happened in our country last week, how can we "Be The Church?"

God brought 5 passages of scripture to mind and 5 things we all can do to Be The Church. Here they are.
In light of all that happened this week: What would it look like for us to be the church this week?
 Pray for those in authority.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:1-4 NIV
Pray for enemies.
““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43-48 NIV

Pray for peace and prosperity of our city and world.
“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.””
Jeremiah 29:4-7 NIV
I have friends who aren't Christian who say, "Enough praying, do something." That's because they don't understand the power of prayer.
 Repent of racism, condescension, and disrespect.
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Galatians 3:26-29 NIV
 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 NIV 
Love your neighbor.
“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.”
Mark 12:28-34 NIV
 This requires a relationship. The best thing we can do to be the church in these divisive times is to pursue relationships with people who are different from us and show them love.