A few weeks ago I was asked an unusual question: what is the most important thing in the church? I gave a quick answer and moved on. As I thought later, the question continued to follow me. The more I thought about it, more things came to mind. I could have answered that question in many different ways. Even my answer of Jesus seemed incomplete.
I thought that maybe the area of outreach is most important because we are meant to reach people for Jesus. Perhaps the area of worship is most important because that is where we gather to experience Jesus. Maybe the area of ministry is most important because we meet the needs of others in Jesus’ name. All of these things are important but what is the most important?
Last week as I came into the sanctuary for prayer time, it hit me. The most important thing in our church needs to be the cross. The cross is the center of everything it means to be a Christian. The cross stands at the center of our theology. The cross is the center of biblical prophecy. The cross is the center of our purpose. The cross is the center of our message. The cross is the center of our methods.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
In our world, trust seems to be a thing of the past. There was a day when a person’s word was their bond. A handshake actually meant something. A commitment was exactly that a commitment. Our world has gone to a fierce relativism. Where nothing can be trusted and nothing can be counted on at any time.
Jesus can be trusted. This is the basis of faith. The fact that we can count on Jesus to be who He said He was and to do what He said He will do is the basis for faith. Faith is nothing more than simply placing your trust in Jesus. We express our faith by placing that same trust in Jesus each and every day.
Trust and Obey
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.
The life that we live here is gauged by a hope that there is a better life waiting just on the other side. A hope that the pain of this world will be erased and that there will be an eternal reward waiting. A hope that Jesus has indeed prepared a place for us. A hope that heaven is where we are destined to go. A hope that we will spend all of eternity with Jesus. How can we have this kind of hope?
Hope like this can only come through faith. It almost seems like a paradox. We must have faith to gain hope and our hope then increases our faith. Faith works like the muscles of our bodies. The more you use them, the stronger they become. When was the last time you exercised your muscle of faith?
We are to live by faith, not by sight. Having a life that is centered on the cross means that we walk each day by a simple faith. It means that we place our complete trust in Jesus. It means that we live with an eternal hope beating in our hearts.