I’ve noticed in my journey (as I’m sure you have as well) that some churches rally around a facet of the Kingdom of God. Some are Word churches; some are Spirit churches. Other churches may focus on salvation; while still others are discipleship churches. You get the picture. As I’ve thought about this and how churches should congregate, the whole concept of God’s eternal purpose came bubbling up. Rather than focus on our individual needs which seems commonplace, why don’t we search for what God’s purpose is in our generation (Acts 13:36)?
Rom 8:28 illustrates my point.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Usually we think about this in terms of the first caveat – He works it all together for good for those “who love God.” But there seems to be a second one as well – to those who are “called according to His purpose.”
Seems to me as if God cares about His purpose in this generation. And, for those committed to seeking and doing it, He’ll work everything out. Maybe it’s time to explore the second part of the verse?
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
God is a great father and desires to fill the earth with sons and daughters who are conformed to the image of His Son Jesus.
He is their pearl of great price, their found treasure and with joy of discovery sell all they have to become part of His plan or kingdom in the earth. No guilt manipulating here. Their hearts were moving to where their treasure was. Such describes the gatherings of the early church who knew Christ’s living presence with them. They knew Him through the gifts that various members exercised and the hearing ears that He had created within them.
And when they gathered they “made known [the manifold wisdom of God] to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” and enabled God’s light to shine in peoples’ hearts in their communities. No wonder they were called “Christians” or “little christs.” They reflected His image and changed the world in which they lived.
What does this look like today?