Sunday Morning Doesn’t Count (at least not like you think it does)

My writing partner, teaching pastor Todd Molter of Legacy Church in San Diego, likes to point out that a person passionately pursuing Jesus Christ will exhibit a public attitude of discipleship and a private attitude of Loving God by spending time with him.

I can hear some Christians, the ones who think that going to church on Sunday morning equals a solid effort at expressing their faith, suggest that Sunday morning is where they get their discipleship and where they spend time with Jesus.

Here’s the rub though…Sunday morning doesn’t count. At least not like you think it does. Now, before some of you say, “Well, smarty pants author, fine. I won’t go on Sunday mornings anymore,” let me say that Sunday is indeed important. We should never shun meeting together. In fact, we should do it way more often that you do (speaking to those who would say the previous quote).

But Sunday morning was never designed for you to check off the block marked: “Weekly Opportunity to Pursue One’s Relationship with Jesus Christ.” It was never meant to sign off the discipleship block either. In fact, I suspect you’d be hard pressed to prove that you’re being discipled much at all on Sunday morning.

Yes, the Bible tells us to gather corporately (Hebrews 10:25). We were meant for community. But counting for your week of pursuing Jesus? Hardly.

More like passive participation.

You can do better. So can I. Work to find real discipleship. Work to spend real time with Jesus Christ through personal Bible study and prayer.

 

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Of Sailboats and the Hearts of Men

img_20190725_063650.jpgOur family vacationed in Oceanside, California this week. We stayed at a very nice hotel right on Oceanside harbor and went to sleep every night after a gorgeous sunset and woke the next morning with sounds of the surf.

While waiting for my family to wake up one morning, I walked around the marina. Boats…lots and lots of boats.

On this particular morning, I saw a beautiful sailing boat a few rows away from me and started walking in her direction. She drew me in with her varnished wood on her clean, white decks, her blue canvas covering her boom and sails, and her black hull.

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When I got closer, I noticed that she looked good from far away, but closer inspection revealed a new truth. That truth was that the varnish was peeling away in many places, the blue that seemed so clear far away had fading where the sun drenched it, and the pristine deck was anything but.

It was then that I Samuel 16:7 struck me. “…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

And I stopped walking. I’ve been a fool, trying to keep up appearances so people wouldn’t see how fragile I am, while God sees the stripped varnish and sun-drenched stains. His magnified eye can see all of me. All that I’m hoping you won’t see.

IMG_20190725_194435I’ve wondered, as someone trying to become a known author, if you’ll ever know the whole me…the one with the emotional scars, the horrible sins, the ruins of past relationships. I wonder if knowing that will make you not want to know me.

Seeing that sailboat, and seeing it again close up, made me realize that it’s not you I should be worried about. I’ve been hoping, all this time, that my far away appearance might just fool God. That maybe he won’t get close enough to me to see my heart, my past, my scars…all of it. And I’m humbled.

He has seen it for eternity, yet he has loved me and loves me still. God is good.

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