Summary: A sermon encouraging our church to step out in faith and get off the edge. A message for a church that is sitting on the fence or a church that is ready to move into the direction God has called them.
A church on the edge
God’s relationship with us seems to be one of “edginess” of a risk taking journey- at least according to Scripture.
it’s risky “to truly love” isn’t it?
It’s risky to confess.
It’s risky to forgive,
it’s risky to truly care,
it’s risky to surrender, confront,
risky to be honest with ourselves and God!
The Bible is full of edgy, risk taking stuff! Are we Christians, Jesus’ followers, made of the same DNA? We should be.
Christianity is not “a calling” to a life at ease and comfort, to marinate in safety.
I believe the Bible teaches us that Christianity is a calling out of the status quo and into the risky business of mission work
Christians, wake up! We need to live on the edge a little more often for the sake of a seeking, hurting, status quo world.
Ask yourself “Am I living on the edge of Christianity?”
I would like to ask you ten questions that may challenge you, and answer whether or not you should listen to me further. If you “pass”, then I personally will allow you to take a little snooze!
I call it your Edge Score:
1. When was the last time you verbally shared the story of Jesus and His meaning in your life with a non-believing neighbor, friend, co-worker, or family member?
2. Name the last time you spent one uninterrupted hour alone with God in prayer.
3. Name the last time you volunteered to serve in a scary place for you? i.e. Soup kitchen, hospital, nursery, trailer park ministry
4. Name the last person you invited to church worship; even picking them up and driving them…?
5. When did you last give 10% of your monthly earnings to ministry?
6. When was the last time you felt the presence of God in your life while worshipping
7. Are you currently connected to a group that is predominantly non-Christian? i.e. sports league team, book club, crafting group, car club, etc.
8. When was last time you confessed to a Christian brother or sister your shortcomings and faults ?
9. When was the last time you read your Bible in a public place so all could see you?
10. When was the last time you really applied the Sunday morning message in a way that changed you life?
The Bible teaches that we are to do every one of those “things,” those things are the vital stuff, the fun stuff of being a believer. At least that’s what God says is living a fulfilled life.
There is a guy in the Bible who got in on “the good stuff of life.” His name is Peter and I know he learned to live on the edge of his Christianity.
So let’s look at his spiritual journey and see what we can discover together.
The first thing we learn about living on the edge from the life of Peter is that we need to EMPTY ourselves of whatever is taking first place over Christ.
For Peter, he needed to drop the net he was holding. Do you hold any nets?
Fishing was Peter’s job: day in and day out. Notice, Jesus didn’t say, “bring your nets with you.” Instead, he implied there would be a new type of fishing for Peter.
Does that mean Peter never fished again for “real fish?” No, not all. Instead, he put Christ in the place he needed to be: #1.
Peter dropped his net, his work, he left his small town, he left his family, he left his daily routines, he left what up to now was his whole life, to follow Jesus.
The first step of following Jesus is a big risky one. Jesus doesn’t want or expect anything less than 100% of you.
Jesus is not one slice of a bigger pie.
Jesus is not just another appointment in our palm pilots.
Jesus is not waiting on our calls.
Jesus is not “one more” station on our satellite dishes.
Jesus is not going to be second to anything: be it your job, money, pride, time, family, friends, or even religious traditions that we create.
Empty yourselves of what is taking first place over Christ.
John Wesley said: “If I had 300 men who feared nothing but God, hated nothing but sin, and determined to know nothing among men but Christ, and Him crucified, I would set the world on fire.”
Sounds “safe,” doesn’t it?
The second step on living on the edge is found when Peter decides to now walk to Jesus. The only catch? He has to walk on water. That sounds safe too, doesn’t it?
To live on the edge of Christianity, we have to DIVE into the life of Jesus.
Keep your eyes on Jesus and not all the other stuff around you.