November 20 – Following Jesus in a Jacked-Up Church

Read 1 Peter 2:9-10

Have you ever noticed that when people are involved, anything has the potential to get messy?

I can’t help but think of a family I know. The parents divorced when the daughter was in elementary school and, as a result, people were deeply wounded and relationships were shattered. Deep pain was infused in every family member at a very young age and because of that, you never know how certain members will treat each other.

When people are involved, things get messy.

Would it surprise you to know that the Church is no different? Even with people passionately pursuing Jesus together, things can get complicated.

Over the next 9 days, we are going to study the church in Corinth which, to put it bluntly, was pretty jacked up. It was a complete mess. I count at least 15 distinguishable problems that Paul addresses in 1 Corinthians alone, ranging from rival leaders, incest, prostitution, divorce, lawsuits, idolatry, speaking in tongues, worship, women praying and prophesying in immodest ways – only to name a few.

Before we formally begin the series tomorrow, I want to get us centered on who we are in Christ. Our reading today includes Peter telling believers that:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

As followers of Christ, we are chosen and holy and to be used for God’s purposes in order to declare His life changing praises to those around us. The unofficial definition of a church is a whole bunch of jacked up people going after someone who’s not. We are never going to be perfect. However, we need to all have the same standard.

“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

God saved us from our sin and gave us, through Jesus, access to eternal life. We have been shown mercy. Why not show it to those around us?

As we prepare to look into some jacked up church issues, I challenge you (especially myself) to examine yourself. Are you living a life that is honoring to God? Are you pulling people together or pushing them apart?

The Church is never going to be perfect. Things will always get messy. However, we need to stay focused on our purpose which is to develop all people into fully devoted followers of Christ.

Jake Lawson

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