We work hard at things that we think are important. Of course, some of those things simply aren't—at least, not in the larger sense. Fantasy football is underway for many of us, and beating our cousin or co-worker or neighbor feels great in the moment and seems to justify the hours of research we did before making our draft picks. But this probably won't be remembered on our tombstone...even if we win ESPN's bazillion-dollar prize.
But sometimes things that really are most important go uncared for. Without attention they can weaken and fall apart. Marriages require work, but sometimes we let them languish. No one disputes whether parenting is a crucial task, but we don't always put it on the priority list where it should go.
Our next sermon series is about something that is truly one of the most important things in our lives. In fact, it's about one of the most important things in all of the world and in all of history. I'm talking about the church. That might sound like a massive exaggeration. And because we live in a world of massive exaggerations, we can't just throw this out there and expect everyone to see it. In our world everything is the best ever or the worst ever or the most historical or a "victory for the ages." Solomon seems especially pointed here: "There is nothing new under the sun" (Ecc. 1:9).
But we have to be careful here. We cannot let our cynical self blind us to something that truly is vitally important.
You would be a fool to take my word for a statement so grandiose. On my own I cannot possibly have enough perspective to make such a claim. But here's the deal: God does. And God's Word makes it very clear that to God the church is one of the most important things in all the world. And he tells us that we, too, are to see his church as a central part of our lives. So your local church must always be a high priority.
This sermon series is a chance to see a few of the ways in which the church is so critical. Phil begins this week by preaching on the church as important to God. Next week we'll see that it is important to us individually. After that we'll see that it is important to us corporately. John will preach at the end of September on the church being important to the world. Then in the first Sunday of October we'll see how the church's importance leads us to protect through the practice of church discipline (all of this is in the chart below).
We hope this series proves to inspire your heart and not just clarify your thinking. We hope it stirs you to invest into something that Jesus died for, that the Spirit is renewing and sustaining, and that will endure forever: Christ's church.
|September 6||Phil Sasser||The Importance of the Church...to God||Eph. 2:19-22|
|September 13||Daniel Baker||The Importance of the Church...to Me||Heb. 10:24-25|
|September 20||Phil Sasser||The Importance of the Church...to Us||1 Peter 2:9-10|
|September 27||John McLeod||The Importance of the Church...to the World||Matt. 28:16-20|
|October 4||Daniel Baker||The Importance of the Church...and Church Discipline||1 Cor. 5|