Scripture: Hebrews 13:11-13
The author was writing within the context of a people who were born in Law and where the ‘temple’ was the central physical place of worship – the synagogue being the local place. It was time to leave the familiarities of Judaism and leave it’s place of worship. This was sure to result in rejection as lots of pride must be swallowed in making the statement that Christ has come and that He was the once and for all – fulfilling all the Law so we wouldn’t have to keep practicing the Law. It’s the plunge from one faith to another, but also it’s identity shift from on life to a new one. Now I have recognized that the opposite is plaguing Gods church. Those that once lived a public faith have seen it reduced to 90 minutes in the private security of a counterfeit temple. But we are not to live for ‘private and secure,’ for ‘if anyone wishes to follow me, let him take up His cross and follow me.’ Wow, so laying my life down as a sacrifice, is not a sacrifice worthy of Christ as long as it is still within the privacy and comfort of the church. I need to see Christ outside of the church, not drawing people inside the church – but drawing ALL out unto Himself, OUTSIDE – publicly calling His people by His goodness, covering them in His Identity in His blood. Christ bore the cross and its scorn so that we wouldn’t have to; but we can bear His cross as an expression so that those we meet will no longer be humiliated by sin. The church is a storehouse, fellowship hall, and training center, It helps in the gathering and equipping of the saints, with it comes life long and life altering relationships. BUT the epicenter of faith and true place of ministry is public, outreaching and uncomfortably outside of the four walls of the church. The church exists to facilitate the aftermath of public ministry and to rehabilitate, restore and send those touched by grace. It’s so easy to get this twisted. I need to live outside in faith and humility – trusting the King whose cross publicly displayed His promise.
Most High, I know your calling is high, I know your ways are higher than mine – so show me God how to embrace your way. Teach me not to fall in love with church culture, but to follow the soul-winning culture of public ministry. Wreck me for You and graft me in You. Holy Spirit lead and guide me into the streets as one who has been touched by grace. Give me the confidence to lay it all down for You, so that I, like You, might take a public blood bath and display Your righteousness and glory. Amen.