September 30, 2008

Only Jesus Saves

Pastor Brad has been talking to his congregation about a model for growth that includes a Happy Place, a Stretch Zone, and a Panic Zone. We enjoy our Happy Places, try out new things in our Stretch Zone, and feel totally out of control in the Panic Zone.

In Matthew 14:22-33, Peter's Happy Place was the boat; when he got out of the boat to walk on the water, he entered his Stretch Zone; and when he noticed the wind and waves, he went into his Panic Zone. Jesus saved Peter from his Panic Zone by helping him back into the boat.

Pastor Brad suggests to his congregation that only Jesus can save the church. Programs, organization, budgets, taking care of the property and staff, as important as they are, cannot save the church. Only Jesus can save the church.

I believe that truth also applies to the economic situation we find ourselves in at the present time. We have been enjoying some happy places and have been moving into our stretch zones, only to quickly fall into a panic zone. When we fall into that panic zone, we are looking for someone or something to rescue us, to bail us out of the panic zone. In these weeks, we have turned first to the politicians to come up with a legislative plan to rescue us from our economic panic. To date, our politicians have failed us.

But remember what Pastor Brad suggested to his congregation - only Jesus can save us! We need to remember that God is still in control. The sun still came up this morning! Love is still freely given and received. Crops are growing and being harvested. Yes, the panic zone is very real, but like with Peter, Jesus has the power to save us from our panic and return us to the boat.