The Journey Continues
November 3, 2016
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
<![CDATA[The month of October at God Centered Life was filled with great discussion and work on our response as Christians to the current cultural challenges we are facing. In a day and age where it seems like everyone is trying to discuss and debate highly in-depth, challenging, complex situations and issues in order to fulfill the self-centered dream and destroy other people, we as followers of Christ must think about how we keep God at the center rather than ourselves and our own interests. Rather than giving in to the temptation of focusing on the issues in our world as primary, we must hold fast to our ultimate identity as people of a kingdom that is eternal and not of this world. In this election season, we are so easily driven to pessimism, when instead we should be drawn to reliance upon the sovereign, majestic rule of God over all things at all times. The real issue that we were working through in the previous month was not a discussion over who is going to win an election, but rather how we as Christians ought to live as God-centered people in a day such as this. In the month of November, we are going to continue thinking about what it means to live the God-centered life, specifically in light of the election results that come out next Tuesday. To reiterate, the goal for this coming month is not to share opinions about candidates, parties, or anything of the sort. Instead, the goal is for us as a ministry to consider together how to live a life centered upon God in light of the challenges that are present in our world today. Passages in Scripture such as Romans 13 are clear that God institutes governing authorities in the world by his sovereignty, and so we must think critically about how to live as kingdom-bearers in an obviously fallen, broken, and sinful world being led by broken and sinful people. How do we live the God-centered life as Christians in a culture with a continual trajectory of secularism and individualism? How do we live the God-centered life as leaders in our churches who will face more and more pressure from the world to conform rather than be transformed by the renewing of our minds? How do we live the God-centered life on college campuses that are becoming either completely opposed to Christianity or that are claiming the name of Christ but that are being challenged and stretched more than ever before? These questions must be asked, answered, and thought through in order for us to know how to best be a Christ-follower who is in the world but not of the world anymore. In addition to tackling the topic of post-election politics, the month of November will also be a time for us as a ministry to reflect on the topic of thanksgiving. Psalm 136 famously begins, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Biblically, it appears rather clear that giving thanks to the Lord is not an activity that should be reserved for a holiday one month before Christmas once a year. Instead, biblical thanksgiving appears to be something that ought to take place at all times and that should be a response to a recognition of God’s goodness and love. The question we need to consider as a result is how can we practically go about living as thankful, God-centered people in all days and seasons of life in the midst of a very thankless, self-centered world that uses Thanksgiving as an excuse for a nice meal with family and friends and some football in the yard rather than a means by which to set aside a whole day to celebrate the goodness and love of faithful and loving God? How can we use Thanksgiving as a day to truly kickstart a whole year of God-centered thanksgiving? As we work through the month of November, may it be a month where we as a ministry grow together in our ability to live God-centered lives that are full of thanksgiving and worship in the midst of a secular world driven by an unending addiction to pursuing the self at all times. May we declare like David in Psalm 138:2, “I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for your have exalted above all things your name and your word.”
Tate Fritz serves as the Director of Ministry Initiatives at God Centered Life Ministries. ]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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