Gospel Community

This past Sunday was so rich. It was a sermon on pouring your life into the church. This is something I would have opposed a few years ago. I would like to think that with how Pastor Brad broke down the scripture that I would have soften, however, I know the Holy Spirit has changed me so much since then. And what I do know is how thankful I am to not be the same person I was then, or a year ago, or even six months. At least I hope I am constantly growing and changing.

An excerpt from his sermon outline is a quote from one of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s books:

“Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God‟s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves. By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world. He does not abandon us to those rapturous experiences and lofty moods that come over us like a dream. God is not a God of the emotions but the God of truth. Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God‟s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it. Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pp 26-27

“When a person becomes alienated from a Christian community in which he has been placed and begins to raise complaints about it, he had better examine himself first to see whether the trouble is not due to his wish dream that should be shattered by God; and if this be the case, let him thank God for leading him into this predicament…The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our fellowship is in Jesus Christ alone, the more serenely shall we think of our fellowship and pray and hope for it.” Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pp. 29-30

Striking.

Something else that has not left me since Sunday morning is this, “When Jesus stops caring about and loving the local church…then so can we.” ~Brad Bigney

You’ve got to hear this:  Gospel Community: Pouring Your Life Into the Church.

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