We are the family of Christ

When Things Look Different

Posted by Pastor Mark Moreno on

As a kid, I loved those activities where you looked at two images and had to spot the differences. Sometimes it was so tough! As the years went on, there were other challenge activities like the “Where’s Waldo?” books or even the Magic Eye series where images appeared out of patterns. Fun times!

Even now, when I get to see someone after a long absence, I can tell they look a little different. Is it the hair? A little weight? Somethings different, but I sometimes can’t quite put my finger on it.

We are in a time where it is pretty obvious that MANY things are different. The biggest one I want to focus on is your faith, in three ways: How it is fed, how it is expressed, and how it grows.

How is your faith fed?
It used to be that you would do home devotions, pray, read scripture, attend worship, attend Bible study, attend LifeGroup, receive Communion, and interact with others. These are all fine ways to feed your faith! There may be a few other ways, but these capture a pretty good swath in terms of discipleship.

These days, you can still do home devotions, pray, read scripture and receive communion. You can’t physically attend worship, Bible study or LifeGroup, but you can do so digitally. I know FOC members that meet in a parking lot or driveway, all for interaction and fellowship. They maintain the proper 6-feet of distance and stay in groups less than 10.

The truth is, you can still be fed in powerful ways! It may feel like you are stuck eating peanut butter and jelly instead of prime rib, but God is sustaining you nonetheless. Remember how the children of Israel complained about manna and bread? Well, eat up!

How is your faith expressed?
It used to be that you would be able to express your faith at church, at work, at home, and wherever life took you. You would express it by words, behaviors, activities, and priorities. You express it by glorifying God and by helping your neighbor. You express faith by sharing Jesus with everyone you meet!

These days, we are mostly at home. We may not physically see another person apart from family all day…

I still say we can express our faith! Take walks through your neighborhood, and engage with your neighbors. Demonstrate to your spouse and children by setting an example of daily time with Jesus. Reach out to family and friends, co-workers, and acquaintances to see how they are doing, ask how you can help, and encourage them.

Expressing your faith during challenging times is one of the most important ways for God to shape you and others around you. Remember Job as he suffered many losses? Well, shape up!

How does your faith grow?
This may seem like it would be the exact same answer as the “How is your faith fed?” question, but it’s not. It’s really a combination of faith fed and faith expressed. There are certain animals that grow in proportion to their environment. It is called indeterminate growth, where the limit of growth is the limitation of the habitat. Size of the habitat would not be the only factor. Available food supply and other biological needs would be considered also. I wonder if our current “stay at home/safe at home” environment is truly limiting us. I don’t think it is! Unless we LET it. This is a moment in time where we can be the church and make a difference.

If you think that our approach to church, faith, growth and expression should not change, you are in for something unpleasant. We need to use every last option we have in our “bag of tricks” so that we can we can proclaim Christ!

It is easy to see what is different these days. Just know that the differences will keep coming. But I thank God that He does NOT change: He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I pray that God would give to you the comfort and assurance that He will continue to be faithful to His promises, and He will not leave you nor forsake you.

In Christ,
Pastor Mark Moreno


to leave comment