Pastoring Outside The Walls

As a Christian, I am called to be a faithful steward of the life and good news of Jesus Christ. As a pastor who loves the Church (and loves my own local church, Joyland) I have come to understand that the message I steward is to not be confined by the four walls of any church building. Instead, it is to reach out to all with the grace and power of God. Such a view of the gospel can’t help but encourage open and honest dialogue and interaction. I invite you to join in that dialogue and to rethink our view of the work that Jesus accomplished and the gift He is. If we will do that, I believe we can begin to see God with fresh eyes.

In John 14 Jesus begins with a revealing statement, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” Why in the world would He say that? Is it possible to hold a belief in God yet at the same time fail to believe in Jesus? Obviously it is possible for someone who believes in a pagan god…but Christians? Later in the same chapter Jesus answers Phillip (a follower) with these words, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Phillip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

OK then! It seems like it might be possible to be a believer in God–even a follower–and miss the point of Jesus. Maybe our belief needs to be measured by something other than the facts we accumulate and agree with. Maybe belief doesn’t really come into its own until it leads to knowing (Matt 7:21-23, Jn 17:3). Working from that assumption, let’s press into knowing Jesus!

I want to challenge you as I am challenged…to fix our gaze on Jesus Christ with a sense of awe and adventure. Let’s really receive (Jn 1:9-13) all the bible reveals about Him–and equipped with that knowing, let Holy Spirit confront and comfort us with the goodness of God revealed in Him!

Take a deep breath, relax, and look at God in a new way today.

Pastor Larry

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