Sunday, May 12, 2019
Watching the news can be depressing. Murder, assault, burglary, drive-by shootings, protests and disasters are the usual top stories. We are interested in them because they are shocking; usually outside of our normal, personal experience. Many of these events represent man’s natural urges taken to the extreme. People often act and react impulsively, without thought for the rules or laws that are supposed to govern their behavior.
A HIGHER STANDARD
For followers of Christ, we see the disconnect and wonder how people could be like this. Jesus has called us to a higher standard. In fact, so much of the Sermon on the Mount goes beyond things like pride, adultery and murder to talk about the issues of our hearts like selfishness, lust or hatred. Things our neighbor may not observe in us but that God sees with perfect, laser-focused clarity.
God has called us personally, individually, to look into our hearts and evaluate our motives towards one another. And when we come together as the church of Christ, He demands that we live out His love with each other. In obedience to Him, we learn to crucify our own urges in favor of adopting His Jesus-centered, cross-centered, perspective. This means that there are some things that will happen among us that must be taught, encouraged and multiplied. It also means that we must confront and discipline those things among us that are sinful, divisive, mean-spirited and wrong.
Our Christ-centered, Christian Counter-Culture contrasts sharply with the norms of the world in which we live. This is what our focus will be today. Membership in the body of Christ demands that we live in contrast to our natural inclinations and adopt the mindset of Christ.
Part of that ‘counter-culture’ for which we strive can be found in a commitment we have made to each other at the Shoreline Church. If you would like to view a copy of our Membership Covenant, click HERE. To view the scriptures upon which our covenant is built, click HERE.