They say that to be a “disciple” is to be a “follower of Jesus.” This is true. But to “follow” Jesus, is not merely to believe he is Lord and Savior, but to become who and what he is in our very own lives. Becoming like Jesus is the biggest transformation and journey we will ever make in this life. His grace given freely to all is not merely to get us “out of trouble” but to get us “into holy love and holy living.”

Far too many Christians in America have opted for a discipleship that is more informational than it is transformational. The heart of the gospel is not so much about what we will believe, but what we will behave in becoming new people. Nationally renowned pastor and author, John Mark Comer, has saliently spoken a word of warning to America about the demotion of discipleship in America and across the world. He says we struggle with...
A wide band of Christians who have a nominal faith, that is really a syncretism of the way of Jesus and the left or the right, who are consumer oriented in all honesty, and whose primary reference point for spirituality is the self-life, not the self-death. Then you have a minority who are actually following Jesus, and living as disciples or apprentices.” - Pastor John Mark Comer

If you let that sink I for just a moment, you begin to see how the practice of our faith can become stuck in honoring traditions instead of chasing after life transformation. I realize this sounds like a tall order, and to be sure, it is. The invitation (indeed, command) to “self-death” is epicenter to authentic faith. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Following Jesus as an apprentice is, for sure, a time-intensive, emotional-intensive, energy-consuming work of Heaven’s grace in our lives. Nobody become new overnight.

As we continue in our own sacred life rhythms of gathering Sundays for worship, may we seek something more and deeper than merely a good feeling from songs or sermons. May we hunger and thirst for righteousness itself (Matthew 5:6). May we realize that we are not called merely to ATTEND church, but to more importantly BE the church. This is who God calls us to be and this is the sole purpose of the existence of every church all throughout history.

When I ask you to “Join me AT church” this Sunday, please know that I am also asking you to “Join me AS church.”

Chasing after Jesus…Together!

Pastor David

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