If we’re not Facebook friends, you might’ve missed my post last Sunday in regards to how much we enjoyed our first Sunday experience at Soul City Church. As promised in the post, I will be sharing some key points from the sermon because it was SO good! Before I dive in though, I wanted to give several brief reasons for why you should go to church.
Disclaimer: going to church does NOT make you a Christian…and not going to church does NOT make you not a Christian. 🙂 I know it seems a bit silly to most of you to say those statements, but in the blogging world people tend to take things out of context and viciously attack you on the internet, so I wanted to be sure that was loud and clear from the get-go. I repeat, I’m not saying that you have to go to church or else you’re going to hell. That’s ridiculous. So let’s not even go there, deal?
Reasons why you should go to church:
- It helps plug you into the community. Most churches are connected to a variety of local events, charity, and volunteer opportunities.
- You might learn something new. And what a shame it would be to ever stop learning.
- You might see the world through a new lens. Hearing someone else share their opinions and beliefs can open your eyes and shift your perspective.
- If you’re already a believer, your faith should deepen. If it doesn’t, then you need to take action: join a small groups, use self-discipline to spend more time in the word, switch churches, etc.
- Hopefully you’ll leave feeling better than when you came in. I pray someone greets you, talks with you, and makes you feel loved- because you are.
- You’ll probably make new friends and possibly meet somebody. There’s so many different types of people in a church, but we all find common ground in loving God and loving His people. Plus, girls are always asking me where they can meet a guy aside from the bars on Friday and Saturday nights. Well ladies, a man who gets up and goes to church on his own every Sunday morning is probably more worthy of your attention than some boy buying you shots of Tequila the night before.
- There’s a variety of churches out there, you’re bound to enjoy one of them. Maybe mega-sized churches make you feel lost in the crowd. Don’t give up that easy. Try another one out next week.
My goal isn’t to convince you to go to church, though I obviously believe it’s extremely beneficial and one of the things I look forward to most honestly. My heart simply longs to let you know that you are welcome there. No matter what your past looks like, or your present, you are welcome. Jesus says that you belong before you behave a certain way and regardless of your current beliefs. The church, unfortunately, hasn’t always been the best at making that clear…so I’m trying to. Because the church isn’t just a place to gather on Sundays. It’s you and me.
What I loved about the pastor on Sunday was his energy. This was the type of pastor that you could never have fallen asleep on. You could sense genuine passion from him.
He reminded us all that the nature of God ought to be the very thing that dictates the behavior and character of His people. So essentially he was saying that God’s nature is LOVE and that should be what we emulate. He stated, “Love communicates the very character of God” which is simple statement, but holds so much truth. It made me think about how many times I’ve had the perfect opportunity to communicate God’s character and passed it up because there’s a lot of things more convenient than love. #Confessions
Then, he said something that totally convicted and encouraged me all at once…”Watch the consistency and the potency of someone’s love. That is how you will know who is an authentic believer and who is not. It’s the litmus test.” If you want to check the authenticity of your faith, take a look at how you love the people around you…are you consistent and how strong is that love? Is it enough to forgive over and over again? Is it enough to stop turning a blind eye? Is it enough to love them even though the world deems them unworthy?
Lastly, the pastor talked about how God is a lot of things I cannot be. For example, I cannot be omnipresent like God. I cannot be omniscient like God. I cannot be a lot of things that God is. But here’s how I can be JUST like God: I can LOVE. So if someone looks like God, loves like God, and resembles God, just remember, they are NOT God, they are FROM God. And those people are serving The Lord well.
Do you want to know who immediately came to my mind when the preacher said these things? My husband. I kid you not. The man I live with and do life with. The one whose flaws I’m exposed to. The one who I should probably be able to share lots of dirt on. The truth is, I don’t have any dirt on E. He’s not perfect, but he fits the description above perfectly! Day after day I see Jesus in him. He loves like God and demonstrates the character of God so well to complete strangers and me. I am so grateful that I married up.
We’re going to continue attending Soul City Church so I’m sure it won’t be the last post having to do with an awesome sermon 😉 and I hope that if you ever find yourself in Chicago you’ll contact me in advance so that we can meet in person. Have a lovely week, friends! XO