In our ministry, we talk a lot about real life. Our church, River City Community Church, is called “A Church for Real Life.” Our school, River City Believers Academy is…you guessed it, “A School for Real Life.” What is it about real life that we find so compelling? Actually...let me rephrase that. What is it about real life that people find so compelling?
I can’t tell you how many people have shared with me that they came to our fellowship simply because they heard, or saw, that little tag line; almost like weary travelers tired of the artificial, the empty…done with the pretending and posturing…fed up with the show.
Simply looking for something.
I remember that feeling. I was a youth pastor in a church at the time. It wasn’t a bad church, but it felt like, much of the time, we were just going through the motions. The power and life that I read from the pages of scripture, or that I’d heard shared from so many of the great saints of the past, was simply not what I saw and experienced. And frankly, I wanted that. I wanted the real deal!
One day I was reading in John 10, and when I came to verse 10 it struck me in a different way than it had before. Jesus was speaking and He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (ESV) That word translated “abundantly” means full, extravagant, more than normal, and it resonated with my hunger for “the real deal!” I felt like Jesus was speaking directly to my desire. It was as though He was saying, “Yep, I want you to experience full, real, abundant life, as well. In fact, I gave my life so you could find yours…what are you waiting for?”
That little encounter changed my life.
And that was God’s plan the whole time. Real life.
Jesus came, lived, and sacrificed His life on a cross so that you and I could experience the vibrant, full, real life that God designed us for. When you think about it, to settle for anything less would be to dishonor and squander the sacrifice He made on our behalf!
A word of encouragement…
That hunger and desire you have for something real is from our Heavenly Father. Stop ignoring it! If you ask Him, He will begin to show you the path to real life. It will always be the path of following Jesus and the only question is will you say “yes.”
Real life is not just a church thing; it’s a life thing.