Ephesians 1

He chose us in him before the world was made, so as to be holy and irreproachable before him in love. He foreordained us for himself, to be adopted through Jesus the king. That’s how he wanted it, and that’s what gave him delight, so that the glory of his grace, the grace he poured on us in his beloved one, might receive its due praise.

We are chosen by God through Jesus before we were born. Actually, before the universe is born. We are his and he will never turn us away, but instead we have his pure love. We are connected to God through Jesus.

But notice we are not chosen for the sake of ourselves. We are chosen because of what God wants to do through us in his plans. That “the grace he poured on us in his beloved one, might receive its due praise.”

To be chosen is to go beyond salvation. Salvation is only part of the process. Salvation is the beginning and God moves beyond our salvation and works through us to fulfill his plan. Bringing in his Kingdom. Your actual life is the way God is bringing his Kingdom into the lives of people you influence.

And it’s the same for a community of Christians. A church community is not chosen for itself only, but that it is expanded out into the surrounding world so God can work through it.

And because God is most present where his work is being done, you are most vibrant when you are doing that work. Your church is most vibrant when it is doing God’s work in the world. Slowly American churches are discovering this.

It isn’t the size of your church that is a measure of God’s influence, it is the vibrancy of your people and how they are responding to work for God in the community.  The most effective mission work and Kingdom influence always occurs where few are gathered or one-on-one to have compassion and spread joy. This is the way large churches connect to their community. This is the way small churches connect to their community.

Kingdom influence isn’t about the stadium as much as it is the street.

ME

Americans are caught up in a celebrity culture. How does this affect the Christian Church?

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