I am as convinced as I’ve ever been that our Passion Statement is dead on. Here it is again:
GLORIFYING God by TREASURING Christ above all things and REACHING others that they may find lasting joy in Him!
To simplify the reminder of this passion, we regularly highlight the 3 primary words: Glorifying…Treasuring…Reaching. As I’ve been sharing my passion for this Passion with staff and lay leadership in recent days, I’m bolstered in my position that this is a solid, biblically reflective statement good for use in the local church, particularly UBC.
One encouragement I want to give you (and I have to keep this brief because I’m writing on Saturday evening), take this into the “smallest” expressions of the church: your family and home. It is so simple to apply this to how your home is established and even more specifically to particular decisions. For instance, you should always be asking, “Does this decision (purchase, movie, vacation, house, job…) glorify God?” How you answer that depends upon your understanding of God’s holy attributes and whether or not what you do will make much of Him or your flesh.
Second, you should regularly ask, “Is there anything in my life (in our home) that appears to be a greater treasure than Christ?” We in the West particularly battle worldliness, but the important thing about this battle (I think) is that we keep battling. It’s when we give in and justify our materialism (using family, future possibilities, etc…) that we find that our heart was simply more in the world that for Christ. Remember, where your heart is there your treasure is (Matt.6:21). God finds particular pleasure (and glory) when we (as His children) treasure His Son, Jesus Christ, above all other loves. Fight for a greater joy in Christ than the temporal joy in stuff!
Lastly, we are called (as a church) to go and make disciples. We should ask ourselves, “What am I doing to disciple others?” This is the idea of REACHING. Do you go to your neighbors with ministries of service in hopes that the gospel will have opportunity at some point to be proclaimed in its entirety (think God-Man-Christ-Response). Are you waiting on a church program that fits you? Do you really think that when you are required to give an account of the deposit of the gospel in you, and your stewardship of it, that you’ll be able to say, “I just didn’t find a church program that fit my personality”? Reach, church.
Here’s what I’ve discovered in meditating more on our Passion statement. Simply put, God is most glorified when we treasure Christ. And treasuring Christ is the key to Reaching others because we will declare and proclaim to others (whether or not they want to hear it) what brings us the greatest joy.
Well, back to study so that in both the preaching and the listening we may all treasure Christ together more than we did the week before.