Let’s pick up our discussion again of Finding Church. I’m sorry that my surgery and the holidays interrupted our flow here and hopefully we can now finish the book over the next few months. We’ll start the new year with Chapter 11, In First Place.
The church of Jesus thrives where people are relating to and focused on him. Most of us have learned to negotiate human relationships based on our competing desires and affections and who has the power to get their way and who is forced to go along. The church Jesus is building doesn’t play that game. As people engage a growing relationship with Jesus their conversation begins to reflect his presence in their life and his character begins to shape the way they respond to people.
Religion gets us focused on our performance, our failures, our identity, our group’s identity, and how to get our needs met. Everything about God is a tool to make our lives easier. Jesus had something better in mind, those who would embrace him, not a religion about him, and by doing that find their lives changing within.
In this chapter let’s sort out how it is that our lives begin to orbit around his priorities and character, rather than getting him to meet our expectations. What has helped you become more preoccupied with Jesus over the course of your life. What distracts you from that reality and what draws you into it with ever-more passion? What helped you see those things, circumstances, Scripture, the influence of another person?