September 1, 2020

 

Craig's Comments 

 
For we live by believing and not by seeing. -2 Corinthians 5:7
 
So many of us read this verse and think automatically, “Ok, I’ve got that covered…what is next?” This faith reality in our relationship with Christ is not something that we check off of a list of spiritual living chores that make God smile. Rather faith must be integral to who we are in Christ and permeate all that we are.
  
Jerry Bridges’ book entitled The Discipline of Grace described it as the difference in cruise control and being a racecar driver. Too many of us have found ourselves getting in a rhythm of comfort and control to such an extent that we don’t want to exert ourselves or take any type of risk. We seek to maintain a speed that is comparable to our friends at church and cruise as long as we get all of the basic boxes checked and maintain that cultural façade of spiritual maturity. In reality when we look around at the Kingdom movements of God around the world we realize that our faith looks very different. Even in the midst of Covid we are tempted to accept the cultural norm and say that we simply can’t engage people with the Good News because of so many factors. When you consider your life and/or church which comes closer to describing your faith? Cruise control or a racecar? Life is precious and this higher calling of faith that God has graciously given us deserves nothing less than our whole hearts and devotion on a daily basis.
  
We have seen some great displays of God’s hand at work through our churches this month as many have not settled for the status quo and have sought to serve despite the challenges faced. We have heard August Missions Blast testimonies of churches serving with the Crash the Dash event in Winston by partnering with local ministries and helping them to advance the gospel. Other churches have engaged their local schools with the offer to assist with needed supplies or other acts of kindness to boost morale during this difficult time. Some have hosted blood drives which address a significant need in our community during the pandemic. Then there are others who have contributed and served at Rise Academy, prayerwalked their communities, hosted food distributions and the serving of meals, and many other tangible expressions of the love of Christ!
  
Now that we have turned the corner from Summer to a new school year our faith hasn’t changed from August to September. That same faith that mobilized us into the community to bring hope to a hurting world is active in this next chapter of life. God is calling us to rise up and walk daily making all necessary ‘pivots’ to faithfully share our faith with those who still need to hear and be discipled. What does your next step of faith look like? Don’t allow Covid or any other crisis that we may face to rob us of the joy found in walking by faith and seeing lives transformed as we are going. The next time you are tempted to live by sight rather than by faith resolve to turn off the cruise control and put that faith engine in overdrive for God’s glory!
   
Craig Clayton
Community Missions Catalyst