Has Purpose Driven You Away?

  Some time ago I delivered a sermon from Matthew 11:28-30.  This passage is one of those "Ahhhh passages" . . when you read the passage it just makes you feel good.  You immediately get this contented feeling because the Scripture speaks to the very inner-most part of you, whether you understand fully what it means, or not, you feel good.  A lot of the Bible does that, you know.

After a Sunday morning service, I wind down from the one busy day of the week (yeah, right), and begin to gear up for the next Sunday.  And I mull over the sermon.  I may pray about it, and think about it, and see how the world interacts with what God brought to us the past Sunday.

God Brought a Lot to Me this Particular Week.

What I found with this passage is that new applications kept showing up, new ways of contemporizing it, new slants on the same message.  And one of those slants needed some action, sigh, I can get so lazy after a Sunday morning . . .

  • Matthew 11:28-30
    28"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30"For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

This passage is specifically about oppression.  Read verses 20-27 to get the larger picture.  It is about worldly oppression, but more importantly, it is about spiritual oppression at the hands of religious leaders.  Why else would Jesus condemn specific cities for their unbelief (11:20)?  Why else would He praise His Father for preventing the wise and the intelligent from understanding His Word, and for allowing the infants to believe (11:25)?  Who are the wise and the intelligent, anyway?  This is a reference to the religious elite!

Enter the Purpose Driven Agenda

A lot of churches are going this route, and a lot of good solid Christians are getting fired up for God like they never have before in their lives.  Praise God for this!  But . . there is a cost.

People who do not agree with this change, loving Christian believers who have faithfully served God all of their lives, are being forced out of these churches.  Therein lies oppression, and this is a shame.

Remember this, Jesus did not say, "that whosoever agrees with the pastor shall not perish but have eternal life"!  And yet, some pastors that I have talked with have actively invited someone to attend another church under these conditions.  Many of these "invited outs" have been with the church longer than the pastor!  I meet so many people in this condition, "I used to go to church, but I was forced out . ."

What's a Christian to Do?

First off;
Start praying for these marginalized Christians.  Do you know what it is like to be homeless?  Well, these Christians have immediately become homeless . . they no longer have a church home to call their own.  Pray that these dispossessed believers will know Jesus' comfort and rest in the midst of all this turmoil!  Pray that they will find a home quickly.

Do you personally know someone in this situation?  Help them find a new church home!  Work with them to create a list of 'possibles', encourage them to begin church visits right away (don't let them sulk at home).  Pray with them for God's guidance in this search!  Visit the new churches with them!  Help them get acquainted!

Are you one of the dispossessed?  Do you find that it is almost unbearable to visit yet another new church and see how it fits?  I personally know your pain.  Take this pain to God, ask for Jesus' comfort and rest.  Ask some Christian friends to help you out, maybe they have some good suggestions.  If you can, ask your former pastor to help you find a new church home.  Just remember, your new digs will never stack up to the old but God has a plan for your life, pray that He will reveal it to you.  Also, forgive your former church and pastor.  Do it now.  Pray about it, and mean it! (see Mt 6:12, 14)  God has a plan for them, too!  Let me challenge you with a question; Do you think that God was not in control of this situation in your life?

Are you the pastor or in leadership of one of these churches?  Is your church even thinking about traveling over into the church growth movement?  Then start an intervention team now!  Do it because you love all those that are God's children, not just the ones that happen to agree with your changes!  Get this going as fast as you can!  This is a critical issue in someone's life!  Let me challenge you with this question; Do you think your religious agenda is more important than the spiritual needs of one of your flock? (see Mt 18:12-14).

Has Purpose Driven You Away?

Have you found yourself on the receiving end of change and were unable to cope?  Were you asked to leave, or did you leave because you found that you no longer fit into your own church home?  Are you on the rebound from another church, for whatever reason?

Where does Amazing Grace fit into all of this?

Come visit us, check us out and see if we fit your needs.  We truly believe that Jesus' yoke is gentle, that He provides rest for all of His children.  Read through our website, check out our values (doctrine) statement.  Call me, or email me, and let's work through any questions that you might have.

Matthew 11:25 speaks of God the Father hiding understanding from the intelligent and the wise, but revealing it to infants.  Somewhat later Jesus tells His disciples to, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Mt 19:14)

You might think of us as the "No Child Left Behind" kind of church

   Grace and peace to you from God the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ!