Losing Jesus in Church

awakeningChurch

Thousands appear to be losing Jesus in the very place they should find Him. A high percentage of churched young people leave the church after the age of 18, with only a fraction of those leaving ever returning. Sadly, older ones are also dropping out at the very time they should be more and more in!

It is ironic that the first people to lose Jesus in Church were Joseph and Mary.  When He was twelve years old, they went to Jerusalem for the feast. This was a yearly trip for them, and the Bible says when the feast was over, they traveled back to Nazareth, assuming Jesus was with them in the crowd of family and fellow travelers.  They went a full day’s journey before realizing that He wasn’t.  They had left him behind in Jerusalem.

It is ironic that the first people to lose Jesus in Church were Joseph and Mary. Click To Tweet

They immediately turned back and began the search. Although the caravan had only traveled one day away from Him, it took them twice as long to find Him. They found Him in the temple, the recognized house of worship. When they questioned Jesus with concern and perhaps a bit of aggravation (as parents are apt to do when anxious about their children,) His answer is one of gentle rebuke, “How is it that you searched for Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”  [See Luke 2:41-50] In essence, He was saying to them that they should have known where to find Him. He would be in His Father’s house and doing His Father’s work.

If Joseph and Mary can lose Jesus in church, isn’t it possible that we can also? The sad truth is that multiplied thousands have indeed lost Jesus in the very place they should find Him.  Some, like Joseph and Mary, journey through life, supposing that He is with them—when they are in reality, they choose their path and walk away from Him.  Others, like the religious leaders and learned people, stay in the Temple and marvel at His wisdom. They are curious about His ideas, but never come to know Him truly and experience His transforming grace.

We must not fall into either of these traps.  Without Jesus, our gatherings produce nothing more than the comradery of inmates on death row. Without the King, this kingdom has no power to affect the needed change and release the excellent plan of the Lord.

Here are seven keys to help avoid losing Jesus in Church:

 

Key 1: We must be careful that formulas and tradition never replace the reality of His

powerful presence. [ 2 Timothy 3:5]

 

Key 2: We must love truth! Even when it makes us miserable, it will still make us free!

[2 Thessalonians 2:10, John 8:31-32]

 

Key 3: We must seek His way of doing things and right standing with Him as the

highest priority of our lives. [Matthew 6:33]

 

Key 4: We must keep His final words before ascending into Heaven the primary focus

of all we do in ministry. [Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-18, Acts 1:4-8]

 

Key 5: We must know and believe the love He has for us. [I John 4:16]

 

Key 6: We must keep the flame of His Spirit gifts blazing in our hearts.

[2 Timothy 1:6]

 

Key 7: We must love God with all that we are and love others as we love

ourselves. [Matthew 22:36-40]

 

Key 8: We must trust enough to surrender completely to Him! Laying down our lives,

taking up our cross and following where He leads. [Mark 8:34-38]

 

Our generation desperately needs to see Jesus: the living, loving Savior-King. We must help people of every age distinguish between pseudo-Christian religious activity and the truth of the real Jesus. He is still busy doing His Father’s work, in all who believe and yield to Him.  Let’s do all we can to make Jesus famous in this generation! Let’s continue to lift Him high and do our best to get preachers, singers, musicians, organizations and ourselves out of the way so people can see Jesus and get to know Him. When they do, they will never be same!

We must help people of every age distinguish between pseudo-Christian religious activity and the truth of the real Jesus. Click To Tweet

Snooze and Lose

awakeningJosiah Generation

Is the alarm clock your enemy or your friend? If I am real, most of my life it seemed more like an enemy than a friend. What about you? Are you a “morning person?” I’m not! At least, not naturally born. I often need to set my alarms [yes, plural] an hour in advance of when I need to get up. And for some crazy reason, sleep seems sweeter after you are supposed to be up. Crazy! Whoever invented the snooze button is my friend for life!


Once I am finally up physically, it still takes me a good bit of time to wake up. My voice doesn’t sound pleasant for at least 30 minutes, and the closest I want to get to a conversation is, “Spark, please.” However, I discover that when I am looking forward to the day, it is so much easier to wake up. The alarm clock, my enemy from the day before, is my friend today because of what awaits me. Motivation is of vital importance to my perspective.


Our generation is in trouble. A brief review of the news on any given day speaks of the myriad of challenges facing us. The world is spiraling downward further and further into the chaos of wars and rumors of wars. Peace and true love appear out of reach. The truth is no longer considered a constant but a moving target that varies with the mood of the moment. There is an all out attempt to redefine borders and reassign morality.


The truth is no longer considered a constant but a moving target that varies with the mood of the moment. Click To Tweet

There is an answer! It is the Church! Jesus said, “…On this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” [Matthew 16:18] The Church is the body of Christ in the Earth: His hands, His feet, and possessing His heart and Spirit! And yet, If you look at what is happening around the world, the church appears to be falling way short of the intended goal. What’s the issue?
It isn’t an issue of authority or power. The church today is not powerless, just asleep. The problem isn’t that we don’t know the Bible. The church is not Biblically illiterate, but asleep. It isn’t that the church is not loving; but, sleepy people care more about their comfort than the needs of others. The issue is that too many in the church are asleep!


The church today is not powerless, just asleep. Click To Tweet

It is time for the church to wake up! It is past time! The alarms are sounding, and we have hit the snooze button for far too long. Look at the way Kenneth Wuest translated Paul’s admonition in Romans 13:11, “And this, knowing the strategic season, that it is an hour now for you to awake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.”


This is one of the most strategic seasons of our lives! We cannot afford to sleep through another day. If we snooze we will lose a generation! The prophetic promise of Isaiah 60: 1-3 is upon us, “Arise, shine: For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” The Church must rise up in the light of His glory! We will stop hitting the snooze button and motivated by the Glory, we rise and shine.


This is one of the most strategic seasons of our lives! If we snooze we will lose a generation! Click To Tweet

Mark writes in his gospel the account of the Synagogue leader Jairus’ daughter’s illness. {Mark 5} In numerous ways this generation of young men and women resemble Jairus’ daughter. Many voices are declaring that they are dead and saying all we can do is mourn their demise. But I believe that Jesus’ words concerning the little girl are relevant and prophetic of today, “The child is not dead, but sleeping.” [Mark 5:39] The same anointing is available now to awaken a generation. This anointing is working right now to awaken a generation that is destined to experience His greatest glory! Stop hitting the snooze button! Make the decision! Pay the price of the discomfort. Pull the covers back, throw your legs over the edge and get up! A generation is waiting!



* indicates required


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Follow me on Twitter