Sunday Worship: Contemporary @ 9:00 a.m. | Traditional @ 10:50 a.m.
First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

Sermons on Purpose

Ephesians: What’s the Point

What’s the point? Thanks to Jesus, whatever it is that you are lacking in your life, and particularly the stuff that we seem to be MORE lacking today than 2,000 years ago – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, THESE kinds of things – whatever it is that you’re lacking in THIS kingdom, it IS available in that other kingdom, the Kingdom of God. And thanks to Jesus, you can access that other kingdom and all the wonders it offers while you still live here on this planet, in THIS life. But, of course, there IS a catch. You’ve got to wholly commit to living in that other kingdom to access its wonders. Which kingdom will you choose?

Changing the Rules

Which gets me wondering: how are we, FCCGJ, doing when it comes to seeing the rules of our faith through the lens of loving and helping other people? Do we spend more time telling other people what to believe and how to live or more time shining the light of our love in the their lives? Do we spend more resources on ourselves or on others? In other words, are we following the rules made by people, even US, to help us feel comfortable and good about what we have, or are we doing everything we can to follow God’s rules?

“Many Imperatives; One Commandment”

If you want to love, all you have to do is place the needs of others – all others, even the most difficult and especially the most needy others – above the needs of yourself. Folks, THAT’S love. It’s not really all that complicated. If you really believe you are doing what is in the best interests of others, you are loving. If WE – if CHURCH – really acted in the best interests of others instead of getting caught up in all the others stuff that for some reason so occupies us, I have serious doubts that very many people at all would say we’re more about the organizing part of religion than we are about loving. I seriously doubt that many people at all would call us hypocrites.

Abide and Ask

So…there it is, the implications of this amazing metaphor of the vine and the branches: God wants all his branches to bear fruit, to do things that make a positive difference in the lives of other people. And that fruit-bearing, THAT is actually our purpose in life, and it’s the key to living a purposeful life. And the only way to bear fruit is through a connection with Jesus – don’t fool yourself into thinking there’s any other way. And the way this works is to develop a relationship, a connection with Jesus and to LISTEN to what HE wants and DO that. That’s what Jesus was and is trying to communicate to us through this metaphor.