Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Thought

“Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper and said, ‘Lord, who is the one who betrays You?’  Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, ‘But Lord, what about this man [Judas]?’  Jesus said to him, ‘If I will that he remains till I come, what is that to you?  You follow Me’.”
John 21:20-22

Chad Holtz, a fellow UM pastor, recently wrote a piece answering one who had asked, “How can you keep on serving a denomination that is headed in the wrong direction?”  Chad, bless his heart, answered this question pretty easily because his heart – and his attention – are focused right where they need to be focused: on the church he serves as pastor.

This is not to say there are not concerns about schism and the direction the wider Church seems to be taking (or is being taken), but what should be our greater concern?  Jesus answers the question of Peter very succinctly: “What is that to you?  You follow Me.”

There are many within the wider Body that seem to have a focus more on social politics than the Gospel. Because of this, then, it seems there may be a greater concern for what does not apply to us in our local setting – at least, not right at the moment.  But Jesus answers this as well; “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).

Jesus never assured us we would not encounter problems; He only assured us He will not abandon us.  So the local church is our primary concern; and that concern has more to do with what we are doing for the sake of the Gospel and our own church’s mission because this will be how we are judged - not only by the Lord in His Coming Day but by our neighbors in the day which is upon us.  This, dear friends, is our primary concern for today.

What someone else may or may not do, or what someone may or may not have done, is not our concern.  We are the people of the Gospel, and this is our charge.  This is our mission; this is our concern.  And if we truly have The Lord in our hearts and are eager to represent Him fully within our own capacity as individuals and as a Body, what are the other things to us?

The local churches are where the rubber hits the road.  This is where the Gospel impacts those around us.  So let us go about the business to which we have been charged, the duty we freely took upon ourselves when we said “Yes” to our Lord and His saving mercy.  This will be sufficient for today.  We’ll deal with tomorrow … tomorrow.



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