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Thoughts on Japan and Christian maturity

March 14, 2011

Yesterday as I preached in our gathering with Converge Church, my heart was heavy (and still is) with the weight of the destruction of so many lives in Japan. Not only displacement from homes and power outages, but the fear of aftershocks, exposure to radioactivity, lack of food and water, and a death toll (likely) rising to thousands of lives lost.

My heart sinks and my prayers go out to God for the people of Japan…especially those who’ve lost mothers, fathers, sons and daughters and are left with nothing but a pile of rubble and the clothes on their back. I listened to one mother tell her story how she had no time to get away and while their house was being washed away and they were being taken over by the tsunami, her daughter was violently swept away, out of her mothers hands…never to be seen again.

I can’t imagine.

At the gathering on Sunday’s we’ve been working our way through the Letter to the Ephesians and yesterday’s message was on Ephesians 4:17-32.

In light of the current events, I felt God had placed on my heart to call us Christians to maturity. For people who have been called to faith in Jesus Christ and are finding their identity in him, its time for us to live out what we say we believe. GROW UP.

What happens when we are faced with theological controversies and doctrinal error? What about when we are faced with real disaster like the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan? Will we, the church, respond in ways that reflect we are mature and dependent on Christ?

The Bible is clear on our instructions for maturity. And, hopefully you’re not surprised that its not a list of do’s and don’ts.

Christian, your maturing in Christ means learning to speak the Gospel to each other.

This is the main slide I had up:

Its important to recognize that Paul (the author of Ephesians) is speaking to people who are a part of the body of Christ. Your neighbor is the people who visit with you in your home and call themselves a part of your church. We are not mature unless we know how to speak the Gospel with fluency to each other.

We’re working on our gospel fluency at Converge Church and I pray that the Christian church would realize that its time to stop in-fighting, stop being so easily influenced by random teachings and be deeply affected by the worlds most significant event, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Remember, “How do we live?” is the last question and our lives are not to be lived in hopes of gaining salvation, but because of salvation.

Things in Japan are bad. Pray for them. Find out ways that you can help. One way that I hope Converge Church can participate in is through helping the churches of Japan through Churches Helping Churches.

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