I’m a millenial, I’m a Christian, and I’m a pastor.
I love change. I love to examine why we do the things we do, and if I can be honest, I love to question why we do the things we do.
Now, as much as I love change, there are some things that I don’t believe we should change at all. In fact, there are some things that I believe that we, the church, should reclaim.
Reclaim the importance of prayer
Prayer is something that has truly revolutionized my life and ministry, especially over the last few years. Previously, I would pray, I just didn’t have a prayer life.
Well, what do I mean?
I’d pray a short prayer when I woke up or before I’d eat a meal. I’d pray before preaching a sermon, asking God to bless my efforts. I’d pray for people and the needs that they had at the time.
And as difficult as this is to admit, my prayers were often shallow and empty. There was little to no intimacy behind them.
They lacked substance.
And if I can be completely honest, I believe many of our prayers lack substance.
In his autobiography, Nazarene Evangelist, Bud “Uncle Buddy” Robinson said the following about a prayer meeting, “While we were praying together the bottom dropped out of heaven and my soul was flooded with light and joy until literal waves of glory rolled up and down my soul.” And Phineas Bresee said, “The Lord reveals Himself only to honest, earnest, reverent, longing spirits.”
The only way we’ll ever experience “the bottom dropping out of heaven” is if we reclaim the importance of prayer and approach the Throne of Grace with a sense of humility and intimacy.
Reclaim the importance of sanctification
One of the most difficult things to see is people who continually wrestle with sin. Some may even say something along the lines of, “I’m just a sinner.” or “I’ve learned to accept this particular aspect of my life.”
It doesn’t have to be this way.
“There is a way of complete deliverance, of strength and of power, and that is the way of holiness.” Phineas Bresee, Sermons on Isaiah
Bresee is referring to the need of believers to be sanctified, to be filled with The Holy Spirit, empowering the believe to live a life of holiness and obedience. In other words, we do not have to live life bound by sin.
I believe it’s more important now than ever to reclaim the importance of sanctification because, honestly, the world needs to not only hear a message of grace, but one of purity and power as well.
Reclaim the importance of loving your neighbor
Loving people is honestly an easy thing to do, as long as they meet certain qualifications. You know, they just need to dress like us, talk like us, and act like us and then, we’ll lavish our love upon them.
Gag me with a wooden spoon.
When Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, He doesn’t give us any “out” clauses and He doesn’t give us a checklist of qualifications for people to meet in order to earn our love.
He simply expects us to love.
By reclaiming the importance of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves we point people to Jesus. And when we point people to Jesus, He’ll begin to change their lives.
Are there more things we should reclaim?
There’s no doubt in my mind.
But we need to start somewhere. And if we have to start somewhere, why not start with prayer, holiness, and love?