Guest Blog

December 7, 2016

Have you ever wondered how strong, encouraging words from others can bring such a different feeling internally when they happen in our lives?  I must say I appreciate hearing from others or reading posts about what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.  This is especially true with the multiple Facebook and social media posts I see on the theme of overcoming great struggle or ongoing conflict to gain a much greater sense of confidence, wisdom and purpose.  When we see those around us overcome great challenges in life, we give them appreciation, respect and encouragement.  And why not?  Our kind thrives on positive peer support and validation of our accomplishments.  However, I now raise a question to anyone and everyone who believes and supports the belief of what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.  I ask you and even myself this question with all sincerity:  are we really that strong?


In our recent series of Revelation 2, Pastors Dustin, Gino, and Ron, along with Jamie White and Will have given us sermons that really challenge us on a group level.  Our Radial Church is growing.  Does anyone remember during the inception of Radial Church how we started with two faith collectives and probably a third or less of the members and guests we now have?  Yet with any growing group, organization or especially a church, there is always a need to constantly re-evaluate progress and assess where the group needs to improve.  This is vital to consistent growth along with giving proper praise and recognition of all that The LORD is doing in our church.    


In Revelation Chapter 2, Jesus tells the churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum and Thyatira about what He appreciates in the churches as far as their unyielding desire to remain pure and avoid harmful practices that their communities or other individuals accept and even encourage.  However, Jesus also tells these churches of what they must avoid to remain pure as a group.  In Dustin's concluding sermon of our series of how Our LORD wants our church to be, in Revelation 3 we see what a struggling church, such as the one in Laodicea, will face if they don't improve their conduct and faith.  While it's true we seek comfort, love and reassurance from The Bible, it is vital to remember that much like a loving yet stern parent Our LORD does not want us to become complacent, deceived or overcome by sin.  This is especially a risk when the wrong information circulates in a church or when new found success and opportunity has us become our own gods.  Thus, it essential we, as Radial Church on a collective level, examine what the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 do that is pleasing to Our LORD.


I will close with perhaps something that may be much more unfortunate if actually experienced as opposed to that which is only discussed and internally accepted.  This world is now taking sides.  As it is, what will do if our faith becomes illegal?  What will we do if we must make a choice of perhaps forfeiting a stable, growing career in order to stay pure for The LORD?  I say this because there will come a time when the world will have no place for our faith or any open expression of praise to Our LORD.  Let us stand together and get to know one another more.  Because if we may be persecuted, imprisoned, beaten or even killed, we will need our faith in The LORD and each other like never before.  God bless and stay vigilant.

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