Many of you were at yesterday’s service and I want to clarify something I said for those who were there and those who might have only listened to the recording online.
I have nothing against Idaho, or any other state for that matter. I do not think people are less Christian for moving out of California. When I was talking about moving out of state (Idaho, Utah, etc.) or the Bay Area I did not mean to discount the fact that God calls his people to other places; there is no doubt that he does.
The problem I currently see is that Jesus followers seem to be making huge life decisions based not on following Jesus - seeking the kingdom and his righteousness first, or sacrificing temporal things for the eternal kingdom - but based on economic reasons and comfort alone. Followers of Jesus are salt and light and that is displayed not just in the decisions that we make but the reason behind those decisions. That alone is a subversive witness - we don’t make decisions the way that the world does.
As Jesus followers we don’t always make decisions that make sense in the here and now and that is exactly what the Sermon on the Mount and especially the Beatitudes have been teaching us. We make decisions based on God’s economy, based on the values of the Kingdom of Christ not on the values of other bay area residents. We, Church, are playing the long game of the Kingdom of Christ. And as I said yesterday, Jesus promises all who are loyal to him and his kingdom, who sacrifice in any way, big or small, one hundredfold return in this life and the life to come. He promises us true flourishing.
So I hope and pray, as your pastor, that you will take these things to heart and begin to integrate them into your decision making and every area of your life. Does this decision line up with God’s kingdom purposes? Is this a decision based on fear of lack or comfort? Is this decision in line with the way of Jesus?
Vaya Con Dios