Pastor Jonathan's Monday reflection:
The gospel-formed church is sacrificial, supportive, and safe. We see this in 1 Corinthians 16:1-11. This formation is the result of all the proclamation of the gospel up to this final point. If everything that has come before is believed, then surely this is was will happen in the life of the church. They sacrifice income for others in the kingdom. They support ministers with friendship and resources. And they are safe for others because Jesus is safe for them.
And this is what happens when we are gospel-formed. The truth of Jesus translates into and transforms us into these people.
I have been around long enough, and in plenty of professional settings, that I have learned well the best practices of success and the ways of self-actualization. I wonder how similar gospel-forming is to all that. While it certainly isn't a self-driven transformation, if I am not exposed to and interacting with the gospel on a regular basis, I won't be in a position to be formed.
How dangerous. The gospel assumed or used as an excuse to not engage in the word or community of believers. My justification is secured eternally, but I miss the savoring of it and living in it without gospel exposure. So to be formed, I read, Scripture and other books, and I surround myself with gospel speaking people. This way I will see and hear, be reminded over and over again of the goodness of Christ and as it sinks deeper into the dark depths of my soul, I will be transformed.
In what ways are you neglecting exposure to the gospel? Has the schedule gotten out of hand? Do the kids' sports get in the way of hearing the gospel preached and community fostered? Are you too exhausted to engage with the source of real rest?
My prayer for us today is that we would be fat with the gospel because we consume it at every opportunity like it is the most important thing (because the word says it is!) Engage, come around, speak into each others' lives the truth of Jesus, read the word, and let's see together how we might be formed.
Lord, enthuse us with the desire to be around one another and to hear the gospel together, to speak it to one another and help us yield to your transformation. To become sacrificial, supportive, and safe because you have been these things and more for us. All for your glory. Amen.