This weekend, we are closing out ‘The Elephant in the Room’ with one last topic…
“What does a healthy church look like, really?”
Throughout the series, I believe there are 2 primary takeaways that we need to recognize no matter what topic we are discussing.
1. Know what God has already said.
Seriously, this is such an important concept for follower of Jesus to get. Instead of spending needless time debating, forming opinions, and arguing where “we are coming from”, we just need to know what God has already said.
Sometimes this is simple.
It’s clear and spelled out in black (or red) and white.
Other times, we need to be aware of all of scripture when there isn’t a literal instruction for the issue you face.
God may not speak to your “elephant” specifically, but once you understand God’s heart, you will have a sense of how He wants you to respond.
Regardless, those who claim to follow Jesus but are not growing in their knowledge of scripture are just fooling themselves.
His words give wisdom and show us the way to walk in His footsteps.
Knowing what God has already said is crucial for living in this great big world of His.
2. Draw closer to Jesus.
In almost every topic we have discussed from abortion to depression, same-sex attraction to politics, there is 1 primary encouragement for dealing with these issues…draw closer to Jesus.
Many in the church today were told an incomplete story about the gospel because many of the gospel presentations that you will hear are focused on one event…judgement.
“If you will repent and trust Jesus for salvation, God will forgive you for your sins and you can spend an eternity with Him in heaven.”
This is a true statement, but it is incomplete.
Certainly, the promise of heaven is an incredible promise to give us hope and an expectation that better things will come.
However, there is so much more.
Not only can we trust in being with Jesus in heaven, we can draw close to Him right now.
Think about it.
Much of the struggle we face in dealing with temptation and depression is faced alone…in fear…and with the immense pain of shame and guilt.
This is not what Jesus wants for you.
The life blood of every follower of Jesus is to spend time with Him and draw close to Him.
How do you do this?
Start by spending time reading His word. Hear the encouragement and the grace that is lavished upon those who know Christ.
Talk to him about the things that you are struggling with. Prayer was never meant to be a 1-way street. He will respond!
This is one of the richest, most influential parts of my walk with Christ…simply hearing from Him.
I don’t mean that a voice enters the room, but I can hear Him…through the scripture I read…by reminding me of a lesson He’s taught me…by showing me a new way of seeing something…the list goes on.
Live out what you learn, even when it’s hard. This is the secret to drawing close to Jesus.
When you align your life with Jesus, His presence can be felt as strongly as a friend entering a room.
No matter what your “elephant” is, draw close and you may find it is not as big and intimidating as you thought, after all.