Tonight, Matt Pearson laid down a challenge at Kairos. He spoke about how so many North American believers have become inward-focused, as in “What’s in it for me?” and “How will this meet my needs?” He mentioned that the most inwardly-focused believers are usually the most miserable people who are always complaining about something.
I confess that I am one of those people sometimes. I crave comfort and ease at the expense of obedience and faithfulness. I definitely try to avoid any semblance of pain and suffering at all costs.
Jonah was a lot like that. God sent him to Nineveh to warn them of what was coming if they didn’t repent. You’d think after the whole city repented that Jonah would have been pleased, but he was peeved. He thought God’s love should be for the Israelites exclusively– or in other words, people like him. Jonah didn’t like the Assyrians and didn’t think they were worthy of God’s love. Not that any of us feel that way about any particular ethnic groups today, of course.
My takeaway from tonight is that any vision other than seeing God’s love displayed and proclaimed to all the people of all the nations is too small. What matters isn’t what songs we sing in worship or even what kind of songs. What matters isn’t if the church building is traditional or modern (or even if there’s a church building at all).
What matters is that God so loved all the sinners in the world (including you and me) that He sent Jesus to die for us and make true deliverance and salvation possible for anyone who trusts in Him.
That’s what I’ll be pondering and praying over for the next few days. At least I hope so. I don’t want to go back to the comfortable me-centered faith, and God willing, I won’t.