REGIONAL CONVENTIONS 2018: RECEIVE LIFE. HEAR LIFE. EMBRACE LIFE.
You can answer every question and still be uncertain. You can win every game and never be satisfied. You can be surrounded by food and still be hungry. You can be in a crowd and still be lonely. You can master the Scriptures and still feel empty. You can strive to be holy and still be clothed with doubt. You can wave the flag, go to church, develop a five-year plan, and be convinced of the rightness of your ideas, but in the deepest part of your being still know you are not whole, that something fundamentally important is missing.
Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT). To give life. Abundantly. More than before. Here, now. And, eternal life, as well.
Life. It is too often the missing piece of our daily routines. Our calendar and ambition are too often marked by striving and stretching that suck the life out of every room we enter and brings us exhausted to the end of every day. But, can you imagine church life, daily life, differently, with a certain sense of expectation?
Imagine a room in which hope hovers like the scent of hyacinth under a blue sky, like the unmistakable fragrance of grass, freshly cut. Your eyes stare at the doorway, eager to see; your ears strain to hear footsteps, the sound of leather meeting the flagstone just beyond the threshold. And, then, in a moment, you know He is in the room. Your fears, your doubts, every shadow that has clouded the day is swept underneath His feet as He breathes life into every thought. Faith, hope, and love paint the walls; peace blows through the open window, like fresh air making everything new.
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You take a deep breath, drinking the oxygen of His presence. Life. Abundant, whole, complete, perfect. It is the signature of the living Christ. Jesus breathes life, speaks life, and gives life.
How did He breathe life (what was His way of life, routine, prayer commitment, relational mix, that allowed Him to be constant, in the flesh)? How did He speak life (what were His words, His approaches, His projection into the everyday and extraordinary events of His walk through this world)? How did He give (or how was He) life (what conduct, companionship, listening ear, clear direction, counsel, sacrifice did He embody that actually transformed lives—from Nazareth to the Cross to the Mount of Olives to the promise of His return)?
We must receive, hear, and embrace. The world is waiting for those who both inspire and reassure that life, even in this messed-up world, is hopeful and worth living. And, of course, the promise of Christ is not just for life in this world, but in the next, as well.
That is the Church of God we want to be. And that is where the Lord wants to take you. At the Regional Church of God Conventions in five locations throughout 2018. Jesus is the subject. Take back what hell has stolen. Receive life. Hear life. Embrace life.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:10 ESV