Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry

WHY ARE YOU DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING??

Those who know me are aware that I have made a lifelong commitment to reflection, teaching, and writing in the area of church health. A great deal of my thought and deliberation are spent in this arena.

Repeatedly I’m asked, BUT WHY?? WHY does this issue consume you? Occupy lots of your time and attention? Is it something you enjoy pursuing intellectually? Is it simply your hobby? Something you’ve become unnaturally radical about? In short, have you become an addict to this pursuit of church health thinking?

I do not resent these questions. Not at all. Nor do I wish to sidestep them. Ignore them. Pretend they’re not important. Those who question in these ways are sincere. Genuine. Because there is indeed a danger that one can become overbalanced in a specific area.

In response, allow me to ask a question of my own: Is it possible that those in the medical field can do too much research in regard to the human body? Is all their research, thought and reflection, really all that necessary? All that important? The answer to such questions depends on how much weight one attaches to bodily health and well-being.

  • Is it wrong, for example, to pursue answers to identify a cure for cancer?
  • Seek understanding for effectively addressing serious heart related illnesses?
  • Find improved ways of more effectively living with the growing problem of diabetes?

I think I already know what answer you are going to give. “Continued medical research,” you would insist, “is vital. Crucial.” For if we fail to responsibly address such bodily health issues, our continued livlihood is at risk. We might as well say: “Turn out the lights, for the party here on earth is about over.”

My medical lecture has ended. Yet, it is but a window through which one is enabled to see an even more serious health risk. Not an earthly health risk, mind you, but an eternal one. For you need to see the church from the perspective of a body. Why? Because the Apostle Paul often uses this analogy in his New Testament documents, when he is writing about the church.

As a body, the church has as its Head, Christ Jesus. And those who comprise the church, its human members, complete its earthly form. When functioning as Christ’s body, the church has a three-fold mission to execute: to glorify God; to assist and encourage one another; and to become an arm of outreach to the world. If the church is not functional in these important ways, it has become a serious spiritual health hazard on earth. It is hurting more than it is helping. And it is more dys-functional than it is functional.

The physical body will never be perfect here on earth. Never. Nor will the spiritual body, the church, ever be a perfect organism while here on earth. But through thought, reflection, research and attention, both bodies can become much better. Remarkably improved.

My goal as a church health practitioner, is to enable congregations to become much more healthy in function, and much less dys-functional in their life and ministry. Why again? Because enjoying eternity with God will depend on it. Nothing is more important here on earth than that of having healthy Christians and congregations that help prepare persons for eternity!

Thus, Rick Warren was absolutely correct when he insisted that the important issue in the 21st century will be church health, not church growth!!

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January 11, 2012 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Outreach, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment

STEPPING UP TO A CHALLENGE

My wife and I had an interesting experience this week. Something new. Something different. Something completely out of the ordinary for us. Something I would never have believed that we would ever do. And I seriously doubt that we will ever do it again.

But we did it. Accepted the challenge. Entered into a new life adventure. Put our lives on the line. “Do what? You put your lives on the line? Are you kidding me, Bill? Are you being serious here? Telling me the truth? Letting me in on some kind of dark dangerous pursuit of yours?”

I’m not kidding. On Tuesday Sue and I put our lives on the line. Literally. For we accepted the mandate to go ziplining with our church staff. In fact, the rest of the staff insisted that we accept the challenge with them. Can you imagine my initial response. Quite honestly, I contemplated leaving our staff retreat early. Pack our vehicle before the crack of dawn and head straight for the safety of home sweet home. But we didn’t want to appear like cowards. Non-conformists. Those who refuse to accept a challenge. So we stayed.

When we arrived at the zipline I still considered a quick escape. Racing out of town. Leaving the Buffalo River Canopy site. For the view of this high wire far above earth was frightening to say the least. But we stayed. Yes, we stayed.

Later in the morning eight of us brave souls ascended to the platform to make the leap of faith. Six times we slid across an exceptionally high wire above the land below. Can I make a confession? I was initially petrified. My wife Sue was initially horrified. Neither of us could bear looking down. And I’ve never seen a woman hug a tree so long and tightly as Sue did prior to her jump from the platform.

But once we got started the zipline was not so bad after all. It was fun. Exhilarating. Made your blood flow. And each leap became easier than the leap before. A painful experience became a fun experience. Something we didn’t want to do turned into something we were glad we did do. Why?

  • Because it was a great experience with six very special people. They helped make it fun for us.
  • Because it was an opportunity to witness God’s beautiful creation all around us from a high and lofty perspective.
  • Because it tested our willingness to trust someone. Someone specific. The Christian leaders who guided us through this zipline experience and tour.
  • Because it made us aware that being taken out of our comfort zones is really not something bad. It is something good!!

There is a message here for the church. A most important message. The message is this: We often become much to comfortable with something we are already familiar with. At different times we need to be challenged to step outside of our comfort zones, and be willing to do something that will test the authenticity of our faith and trust.

The ball is now in your court. Will you be willing to do some daring and different things in the ministry of your church? Prove it by taking that first step.

September 28, 2011 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Outreach, Relationships, Service, Spirituality | Leave a comment

A DAY WE MUST NEVER FORGET

9/11. A terrible day. A painful day. Do you remember it? Perhaps a better question would be: How could you ever forget it? Be able to dismiss the events of the day from your mind? For terrorism invaded our backyard. Destroyed our sense of peace. Worse yet, destroyed many innocent lives. Families would be impacted forever.

We were stunned. Numb. Anxious. Trembling. Tears blurred our eyes. Pain and anger tore away at our hearts and minds. Uncertainty began to grow in our hearts.

America would never be the same again. Be free of the fear of alien forces. Erase from our minds the thought that enemies wish to destroy us. Our children would not be safe. Nor would our grandchildren. Furthermore, we could never ever again be able to take for granted the safe and serene lives we’ve enjoyed in the past. Why? Because America was under attack.

We thought we were invulnerable. Beyond the danger of invasion. Safe. Guarded. Protected. Free of anxieties and fears. But the attacks nonetheless occurred. Happened. As a result, we were made keenly aware of just how vulnerable we are to evil and terrorist threats.

On September 11, 2001 our lives and futures in America were under attack. At 8:45 A. M. American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Ninety-two passengers lost their lives.

Then at 9:03 A. M. United Airlines Flight 175 rammed into the south tower of the World Trade Center. Sixty-five passengers were automatically snuffed out of existence.

Next, at 9:43 A. M. American Airlines Flight 77, flying from Washington to Los Angeles, crashed into the Pentagon. Sixty-four lives were ended.

If this wasn’t enough, at 10:48 A. M, it was established that United Airlines Flight 93 crashed a few miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Several additional lives were lost in this airline that had left Newark, New Jersey, and was bound for San Francisco.

Our President at the time, George W. Bush, announced through the media that these were “apparent attacks on our country.”

Indeed they were attacks on our country. Serious lashes against our fair land. And the threats of attack have not subsided. Ceased. Come to a halt. The enemy continues to threaten. Intimidate. To strike fear into all of our lives. Life has changed forever in our country. No longer can we take life and its various freedoms for granted.

What have we learned from these terrorist activities?

  • That freedom is not free. Freedom will demand sacrifices. Cause us to suffer loss. In short, freedom will always be costly.
  • Evil is ever with us on earth. It is never far away. That is why we continue to pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “deliver us from evil” (“from the evil one” – Matthew 6:13).
  • The need for faithfulness is called for as we patiently await the final revelation of the “new heaven and new earth” (see II Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1).
  • That we continue to live righteous lives on earth. And that we encourage all others to do the same with us.

Finally, the pathetic condition of our broken world is ever a clear and clarion call for the church to be the church. To be the healthy biblical fellowship that continuously functions as “salt” and “light” in this crooked generation.

My prayer is for God’s empowerment from above, and for God’s empathy made known through us, to be shed abroad here on earth!!

September 8, 2011 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, Service, Spirituality, The Devil | Leave a comment

SUNDAY WILL BE SENSATIONAL!!

Today I wept. Openly. Much. Before my computer. And my tears freely flowed. As I cried, I engaged in considerable prayer and reflection.

“Do what?? You wept?? You’re a grown man, Bill. Why be so childish? Emotional and sentimental? Is it really necessary?”

I think it is. In fact, I know it is. It is necessary frequently. For if I don’t let the tears flow, they will build up inside me and cause a rather disruptive explosion.

Tea kettles also let out steam. A lot of it. If not, they too will blow up. Literally. Thus, I suspect, like the tea kettle, a human needs to let out the steam.

If I recall, Jesus also wept during His time on earth. The shortest verse in the Bible reminds me of this fact (see John 11:35). I would even think Jesus did this often. Quite frequently. For He loved God deeply, including His people Israel with a shepherd’s heart.

My tears erupted quite freely today as I thought of all my family. They have given me eight beautiful grandchildren, with one more yet on the way in September. I did my dead-level best to lead my children to Christ. I challenged and encouraged them to make Jesus Savior and Lord of their lives.

But guess what?? My children are now following in my footsteps. For they are leading their families to Christ. I am so proud of them. My grandaughter Elly, my oldest son Thom’s daughter, serves as one example. Sunday she will be buried with Christ in baptism. She telephoned me and her grandmother recently with this great news.

She wanted Sue and I to be there for the occasion. And guess what?? I will be there. Sue will be there. Even Jenny, our new little Cocker Spaniel, will be going to be with Elly and the rest of her family on Sunday. This is a day of celebration. Rejoicing. Scripture teaches that even the angels leap for joy when persons are brought to Jesus (see Luke 15:7). A grandfather and grandmother are in step with the angels!!

But allow me to ask my readers a few questions on which to reflect and ponder:

  • Are you seeking to lead your children and grandchildren to Christ Jesus?
  • Are you aware this is a parent and grandparent responsibility?
  • Are you deeply involved in your children’s/grandchildren’s lives?
  • Will you make sure they are discipled and nurtured in Christ Jesus once they are obedient to Him?
  • Will you be a firm and constant example of the difference Christ Jesus has made in your life?
  • Will you be concerned that they are in church on any given Sunday?
  • Have you made it a practice to pray for your children/grandchildren on a daily basis?
  • Are you sensitive about where they will spend eternity?
  • Are you also aware that healthy churches have healthy families?

I hope you provided positive answers to these questions. But one thing is certain for me: I am looking forward to Sunday. Being with Elly. My tears will flow that day once again. I will thank God for faithful children who’ve taught their little ones about Jesus. But I will mostly thank God who thought of us first through His Beloved Son!!!

August 26, 2011 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Prayer, Salvation, Scripture, Service, Spirituality | 2 Comments

PASSING THE FAITH ALONG

A healthy church is a growing church. It is always adding more disciples to its number. As you read the New Testament Book of Acts you see additions to the church taking place and even the eventual multiplication of numbers. When a church is increasing it is healthy and happy. When a church is decreasing it is unhealthy and unhappy.

Something I’ve noted though is this: people in congregations, generally speaking, are uncomfortable with the expectation of sharing the faith with a non-Christian. In fact, they prefer and will often insist on passing this responsibility along to a professional. That is, one of their preachers or staff persons. Why? Because they believe the professionals are better trained and equipped to share the faith. Furthermore, these individuals are viewed as gifted commuicators. It is believed they can field questions well and are able to respond with understanding, sensitivity and clarity. 

Sharing the faith in biblical times, however, was not the function only of professionals. Those who were the up front leaders. The preachers. Theologians. Instead, it was the function of all believers. All Christians.

But how do we return to this ministry and function of passing on the faith in today’s church? Do this with those in the pews? Will it be by preaching at them about the responsibility, creating a sense of guilt? Brow beat them, or, hammer them into doing what they should be doing? Should a church conduct calling programs once again and expect lay persons to automatically show up and be prepared to go out and share?

I don’t think so. In fact, I know from experience that this is not the way to go about producing sharers of the faith. Any time pressure and guilt imposition is employed it results in being a non-productive boomerang with no participants.

Sharing the faith in congregations can only happen when persons are taught practically how to do it. How to do it by understanding what needs to be said, and then how to go about effectively saying what needs to be said. Not until a church is willing to enter intentionally and educationally into preparing their folks to share the faith, however, will they ever be able to do it in a confident and effective manner.

Why though should lay persons be taught how to share their faith? 

  • It is because Jesus expected His followers to be disciplers. To be those who show others the way to Him (see Matthew 28:18-20).
  • It is because Christian disciples experience joy and confidence in Christ as they learn how to effectively communicate their faith with others.
  • It is because this is the way communities and the world at large will be brought to Christ. It was the way Jesus outlined it to be done in His teaching.
  • It is because it enables all persons to develop that important experience of being assured about eternity (see I John 5:13).

 Is your church teaching its members to share their faith? On a daily basis? If not, you should begin this important ministry today. It will be a healthy step to make.

July 15, 2011 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Outreach, Preaching, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment

CHRISTIANS AND HEALTHY ATTITUDES

There was a time that I thought I had it altogether. That I was the lone person who understood what was important and necessary. If you believed what I believed, I reasoned, you were on the right religious track and headed toward heaven’s gates. On the other hand, if you didn’t agree with my convictions you were clearly standing on a banana peeling and ready to slip into the fire of hell.

Yesterday I was listening to a television preacher. He was excited. Emotional. Convinced. Those ingredients were obvious. But it did not take me long to realize that he was suffering from the alienating ailment I once had. His brand of religion was right. The only way to go. And everyone else and their belief’s were wrong. Completely wrong. If you didn’t get in step immediately with the directions he was insisting up0n, you were headed for hell fire.

I laughed. But then I felt pain. Much pain. For that is not the attitude and message we should be conveying to the world as Christians. Once Christ Jesus takes hold our arrogance and pride are removed. Eliminated. The beligerant attitudes are buried. We can no longer cling to the way we once acted and behaved.

Christians are bearers of good news. Glad tidings. We have become salt and light. We have a message that has transformed us. Made us new creations. New beings. Those who’ve been changed from the inside out. There is a sweet melody playing in our hearts, a broad beaming smile on our faces, and a relationship with Christ that has become evident to all.

I am no longer in the fighting mood. Wanting to argue and debate with anyone who disagrees with me. Attempting to destroy the atheists, and pulling the rug out from under other religious groups, is not my game plan. My course of action. For such practices only serves to alienate me from humanity, and does not attract humanity. It manufactures legalism and banishes love. Creates retaliation, but doesn’t build respectful relationships.

I’ve been amazed at the rash of books appearing lately on the publishing market that promote atheism. When I began to read what these atheists were actually saying, I could see a lot of the motivation for their “no god” sentiments. For they were judging God on the basis of what they were seeing in churches. They were “turned off” to the presence of arrogant, uninformed, and smug attitudes. Furthermore, many they see who proclaim belief in God live before others as if He were dead. Some religious writers have well labeled this error as, “practical atheism.”

Healthy Christians and churches, I now believe, seek to live in a holy manner, and they have sincerely left the arena of hypocrisy. They want to be witnesses and not advocaters of war and its woes. They wish to adore Jesus only and not argue about Him.

I suspect that when this contagious Christian spirit is able to take hold of Christians generally today, we’ll become so different that our own dog won’t even be able to recognize us!!

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Preaching, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, Service, Spirituality, The Devil | Leave a comment

HOW ABOUT SOME GOOD NEWS??

Life features a universal quest: to be loved. Accepted. Wanted. To belong. To be needed. Thus, life is not really about who you are, but rather about whose you are.

The universal drive is to be: included. Share an okay from others. To be on the team. Accepted by the inner circle. Given a place.

In a populated world with noise everywhere I encounter a lot of lonely hurting people. Those who are on the sidelines of life. They feel left out. Excluded. Without connection. They are in their little solo corner of the world.

I’ve experienced a lot of this non-acceptance among children. One child in a group, it seems, will always be left out by a larger group.  But the experience isn’t just with children. It seems to also be a growing experience in the adult world. Many adults feel pushed out of the larger circle. Alone. Swimming in the vast sea of life without anyone to grasp them. Preserve them. Hold them. Embrace them. Love them. Make them feel they are part of life.

Whenever I have the opportunity I enjoy bringing some good news into this otherwise lonely and hurting world. The good news is that you aren’t forgotten. Alone. Without connection. Unable to experience the joy of someone caring for you. Loving you. Holding you up when you’re down.

God says the following: “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart'” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 – NASB).

Do you get it? God wants to connect with you. Love you. Live in close fellowship with you. Enjoy intimacy with you. Be there for you when all others have left the playing field. 

Prior to this open door offered by God you were indeed all alone. Helpless. Hopeless. In great need. But God cared enough to reclaim and rescue you when that terrible intruder known as sin had ravaged you and left you beaten.

Through Christ, God chose to reach out with a helping hand and lift you from the mire and mess of a lonely and misdirected life. He not only offers you His constant presence to keep you afloat, He also offers you the fellowship available in His church. For it is in His church where genuine relationships are meant to be identified, formed and enjoyed. And together with new friends in His church you can reflect on life’s maze with the great ship Captain while sailing on life’s massive sea.

You are not alone, my friend. All by yourself. Swimming solo in life’s sea. For God wishes to have you on board in his ship. With his passengers you are headed for that grand and celestial city where life together will never end, and there will be only one endless family reunion!!

I’m anxious for life there!! How about you??

June 24, 2011 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Outreach, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, Service, Spirituality | Leave a comment

SHOULD CHRISTIANITY EVOLVE??

At one time Christians were troubled over secular cultures attempt to undermine Christianity. To destroy its validity. Be able to toss it out the window as a relic of the past. Now, many are troubled from an opposite side of the pendulum. For some who have been traditionally  labeled as Christians, are currently taking their own punches and swings at Christianity. 

One major example of this inside attempt to destroy the faith, as we’ve known it, is Philip Gulley. He is a Quaker minister. But Gulley has some rather radical and ever growing views of an alternate style of Christianity. This has become evident as one views several of his recent books. Gulley’s new release, and the one that presently concerns me is, “The Evolution of Faith.”

The word “evolution” frightened me initially. Most Christians do generally shake, rattle and roll, anytime they encounter that word. But Gulley isn’t on a creation tirade. You know, like, where did we come from as humans and the like? Instead, Gulley is troubled with what he views as an antiquated Christianity. A Christianity that is poisoning the minds of moderns about Christianity and the church.

“What is it Christianity is poisoning modern minds with,” you ask? You may be shocked with my answer. I say this because it about blew my socks off! Here is his position: Gulley believes that the Christian teaching about there being a hell, the presence of miracles, and even Jesus being the only way to get to God, causes those outside Christianity to resent it and to remain a considerable distance away from it.

How do we solve this dilemma? You need to pay attention to Gulley’s response: We adapt Christianity to humanity’s expectations! We need to make Christianity palatable to human interests and tastes! Highlight a Christianity that shows an interest in humanity, but scrap all the Christian teachings that have become absurd and unacceptable to moderns!

My question in response is this: How did we ever arrive at thinking that Christianity is to adapt to humanity? Adapt to humanity’s wants and expectations? I thought God sent Jesus to be humankind’s Rescuer and Savior. We are the ones who have the problem, not Christianity. Why would one ever want to believe that Christianity is the existing problem? God came in Christ to save humanity from the terrible curse and condemnation of their sin.

While I’m aware that Christianity has often become cold and indifferent to the outside world  and its needs, removing from Christianity its cardinal teachings, those teachings that address mankind’s problem with sin, becomes something clearly crazy and absurd to me.

I would agree that a number of congregations are often culturally irrelevant to many in our time. But the problem, I still advocate, is not Christianity and what it teaches. The problem is humankind’s sin and alienation from God. And through Jesus only, Mr. Gulley, will any one of us ever be able to arrive into the heavenly presence of God (see John 14:6). This is not my  conclusion. It is taught clearly in Scripture, and becomes our ultimate reason for anticipating the lasting joy God will give to each one of us!!

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Preaching, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, The Devil | Leave a comment

THE TARES AND GOD’S TIMING

Today in my devotional time I encountered the parable of Jesus on the wheat and tares (see Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43). After reading it I spent some time in reflection on the message it was seeking to convey.

Allow me to briefly narrate the story for you. It concerns a man who sowed good seed in his field. But as he slept an enemy appeared and sowed tares. It wasn’t until the grain began to grow that the evil was revealed. For the tares had grown up alongside the wheat.

The owner of the vineyard was instantly aware that an enemy had done this. The servants wanted to remove the tares. But the owner was opposed to this procedure. This was because if the tares were removed, there was the danger of also uprooting the wheat with the tares. Not until harvest time, the owner insisted, will the separation be made, and the tares removed.

What was being conveyed by Jesus in this parable? His original disciples wanted to know. And so do I. Jesus is the sower of good seed. The devil is the sower of evil seed. In the world, which is the field, both seeds are being sown then and now. And not until the end of the present evil age, however, will God’s angelic messengers appear and fulfill their ministry of separating the good wheat from the evil tares. The evil tares will then be destroyed, and the good wheat will endure forever in the eternal kingdom of the Father.

I have often ruminated about this parable. Thought deeply about its implications. Its underlying meaning. While there are many interpretive directions to be considered, one meaning stands out clearly to me: good and evil will remain in the world and church for as long as we continue life on earth.

As one recognizes this problem, there is a human tendency that wants to lure one into the effort of identifying the evil tares and then removing them. Eradicate them as quickly as possible from the scene.

I believe this parable teaches the folly of such human intervention. For if a church engages in heresy hunting, they will also fall victim to destroying many good persons with the supposed bad ones.

So, how does a congregation deal with those individuals who have seemingly been planted by the devil in the sacred precincts of the Lord’s church?

I am referring here, for example, to ill intentioned leaders who have been politically positioned to achieve a behind-the-scenes, or, behind-closed-doors agenda; to those who are constantly busy with sowing discord; and even with those who have chosen to move a church away from its original Divine purpose, in order to erect their own reasons and motives for a congregations existence.

It is not our task to remove them. But our response is to know they are present. Around. Always in operation. But we must wait for the Lord’s timing to “kick-in,” which will bring an end to all the sordid evil on earth. It will nonetheless be replaced by HIS eternal kingdom having finally arrived.

And then: ” … The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15 – NKJV)

April 28, 2011 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Preaching, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spirituality, The Devil, The Tongue | Leave a comment

BECAUSE HE DIED AND LIVED!!

The next two Sundays will be great reminders of what holds Christians together as the church. I am referring to Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday. Our crucifed Lord became the living Lord. Death could not stop Him. Hold Him. Nor could death end His ultimate march to victory.

Yet, the victory march of Jesus was not simply a solo march. It becomes our victory march as well. It is a Divine victory for humanity that permits the sunshine to break through and take charge of the shadows and darkness surrounding our lives.

We are no longer victims. Those without hope. Those who face death on our doorsteps. Jesus now promises His followers, “because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19). New life has begun for us. And there will be the experience of everlasting life tomorrow. This is why Paul could pen the following words, ” … Christ died for our sins … and … was buried, and … rose again the third day” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

“Because He lives we can face tomorrow!” We can face tomorrow ourselves. And we can enable others to face tomorrow as well. For those who’ve been delivered into the new life of Jesus possess the life changing good news that is now available to everyone. It will bring joy where despair once reigned. 

This coming blessed hope for Christians provides ample cause for developing a healthy and wholesome church in these dark days of human history. You know why? Because the bride, God’s church, is in need of being ready and in anticipation of the soon coming Groom to meet His bride.

Are you ready? Is your church ready? There is no doubt about it. The Groom will appear. Suddenly. Without warning. In great power and glory. You can rest secure on this wonderful promise. For Jesus has never made a promise He has failed to keep.

How should we be living our lives in the interim?

  • By anticipating His promised coming.
  • By waiting patiently for His return.
  • By living faithful and fruitful lives. 
  • By increasing daily in our love for one another.
  • By discipling our family and friends.
  • By helping develop a lovely bride (the church) for Him.

The best is yet to be. The very best. I pray that Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday will be subtle reminders to you of the glorious days that await fulfillment!!

April 12, 2011 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Marriage, Outreach, Preaching, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, Service, Spirituality | Leave a comment