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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Why is it important to be part of a church Pt 2

Hands placing last piece of a Puzzle

God arranged

1Co 12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

1Co 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

1Co 12:14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.

1Co 12:15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

1Co 12:16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?

1Co 12:18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

1Co 12:19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?

1Co 12:20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

1Co 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

1Co 12:22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

1Co 12:23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,

1Co 12:24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,

1Co 12:25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

1Co 12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

1Co 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

1Co 12:28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

1Co 12:30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

1Co 12:31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. (ESV)

Beautifully after these verses Paul a teaches on what love is. Which works so wonderfully with any teaching about how we as Christians should function together.

For truly the Love of God,that is his love in us is the chief motivator for every thing in his name.(Col.3:17) As Christians we also understand that it is not our Agenda we are promoting. So weather all in our local assembly catch the whole of how God would call us to live, we still have needs answer the call to walk as Christ in this world.

One of the things I like about this line of scripture is that it is written with the thought in mind that we are irrevocably one. Because God has designed the body of Christ a certain way that it is at it’s best when we recognize each other who are in Christ. The way I see this verse is that even if we don’t want to acknowledge that we are part of the body of Christ it doesn’t make us any less a part. So that people who are in fact Christian but choose not to be a committed part of a local ‘Gathering’ rob the church and themselves of a fullest of lives in Christ.

God himself has set up the DNA of how each part of the Church should function. In this way even though someone may not have a certain gifting or calling it doesn’t make that one not a part of the church.

In fact I’m finding nowadays that even if I have a gifting to preach and teach that it’s out let may not be in the church that I am committed to. Even during this season I know that God is teaching me to be a better writer so that I can share the Gospel on a blog like this one. And I have a chance to encourage others who have a strong gift to write and give them a platform to develop their gifting.

So what is your place in your local fellowship? Have you ever thought about acting as an intern in children or youth ministry committing for a month or two to get the feel of it to see if there might be a calling there. Or maybe you are good at putting together events. Maybe you could be in charge of supply’s for the church just going out and doing the monthly or weekly shopping that the Pastor of his wife may have been doing. Perhaps there is someone doing double duty in a ministry and you could take a task off his or her hands.

There are so many function even in small home churches that ‘each one’ could fill.

So what about you?

Where are you in the active member groove?

Ready to get off the bench and get in the game?

Why is it important to be apart of a church? Pt 1

 

                               The-Missing-Piece-In-The-Puzzle

For the next few post I will be featuring writers who are in my circle of friends.They will be Christians in different stages of their walk with God and they will be giving there perspective in answering this question: Why is it important to be apart of a church?:

Enjoy…….

Shianne Stilson's profile photo

Shianne Stilson

 

Human beings are created with the need to belong. We belong to our parents, we belong to our spouses, we belong to our culture. As creatures of habit we naturally gravitate to people, places and things that give us that familiar feeling of  being connected, of belonging to someone and something. As Christians we recognize this need to belong, as the longing to be reconnected with God. It is not always necessary to be in a church or be a part of one in order to have a close personal relationship with Christ but it is vital to our growth process as Christians. We are to search God’s word and pray without ceasing but we are also told that “instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain; those who accept it avoid the snares of death”Proverbs 13:14.

 

Like little sponges, we soak up the energy and information around us. Because of this we see God has given us 1 John 2:15-16 “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” When you become apart of a church, you become  apart of a family with the same goal and that is to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and to spread the Good Word! You also have people who are willing to help you get in line with God’s word because we can all get a little sidetracked. Being apart of a church allows us to belong to something and it helps us be accountable to our flesh in ways that we would not be able to in any other setting.

“Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts.” Psalms 119:2. New Christians especially, need  guidance. They need to be directed as it is a new life, far from the one they were already living.  I have tried pursuing God many times on my own and I can tell you that it is not as simple as it sounds. The devil works hard to keep us out of heaven and his greatest weapon is to use God’s word to misguide us and deceive us. This isn’t because God’s word is deceitful but because as humans, we can be easily manipulated by our own interpretations. Church is not a building! Church is a gathering of people who come together in the name of our Mighty Savior. We come to serve and to worship, to fellowship and to learn but mostly to be filled with the Holy Spirit who renews us and connects us in the very way we were designed to be connected.

The Invitation

The (1)

John 17:11 -And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

 

I read this verse and I think to myself…..”this is a powerful invitation that Christ is giving us.”That we may be one with him as he is one with the God the father. Of all the prayers Jesus prayed I’ve got a loud ‘amen!’ for this one. To be involved with the Godhead on this level is a mind-boggling thought.

Yet we read it so quickly with out considering the implications. Or the process involved.

Sanctification

Gods process to aid man in answering the invitation to fellowship with God the Father, Son and Spirit. It is the means by which God himself begins trans forming Christians into a being fit to be in this kind of fellowship with His Holy self. And it is during this process that we experience a growing intimacy with him. Because of his love and perfect knowledge…..God knows he is the best thing for us.

I’d like to share one view of what sanctification is in this post Written by Justin Taylor……

 

Here are two good answers.

First, the Westminster Shorter Catechism (question 35) answers that sanctification is: the work of God’s free grace [2 Thess. 2:13] whereby weare renewed in the whole man after the image of God [Eph. 4:23-24], andare enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness [Rom. 6:4, 6; 8:1]

Anthony A. Hoekema (1913-1988), in Saved by Grace, defines it as follows: That gracious operation of the Holy Spirit,involving our responsible participation,by which he

  • delivers us from the pollution of sin,
  • renews our entire nature according to the image of God, and
  • enables us to live lives that are pleasing to him.

And here is a helpful chart from Andy Naselli’s helpful Let Go and Let God? showing a bit of the diversity of the way the concept is understood in the NT:

Past Present Future
Initial sanctification (occurs simultaneously with justification and regeneration) Progressive sanctification Perfect, complete, or final sanctification (i.e., glorification)
“I am (or have been) sanctified.” “I am being sanctified.” “I will be sanctified.”
Sets a believer apart positionally from sin’s penalty and/or experientially from his “old man” in Adam (Rom. 6; Acts 20:32;26:18; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Heb. 10:10,14) Sets a believer apart from sin’s power and practice (John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18;7:1; Phil. 1:6) Sets a believer apart from sin’s presence and possibility (Rom. 8:29-30; Phil. 3:21;1 Thess. 3:12-13;Jude 24)

I’ve tried to post in bite sized portions to leave room for meditation.

So what do you think? Is this understanding part of the march toward  Personal Revival?

Keith

 

 

The Potter and the clay

PotterClay

Jeremiah, 18:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2. “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.”
3. So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel.
4. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
5. Then the word of the LORD came to me:
6. “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

I have trust issues. There are days or moments in a day when I act without remembering that God has a purpose for my life. There are times I try to raise my children in my own strength. I try to make ‘good’ things happen on my job.
Lead astray by my good intentions….. trying to do a God thing my way. Looking for an easy way to do a hard thing not keeping in mind that through the blood of Jesus I belong to God Himself.
I forget some days that I was bought for a price and I don’t own myself anymore. (1Co_6:20) I have a trust issues when I feel the pressure of His loving hands begin to shape me into something far away from what I thought I could be. I’ve seen times when I hear Him call and try to fulfill it in my own power. (Galatians 3:3) No wonder I am so weary. So this day I turn to Him like at the first day he broke into ‘my life’ that had me captive. I return so that I will know that I am in His hands. So that I can be subject to his will that brings times of refreshing and strengthening in Him.
So I pray afresh to be revived and empowered for his good purposes. To be his voice in the middle of struggles. To be his hands while working His work His way. So come the God who restores and causes even those things that are spoiled in his hand to have purpose and beauty again.

Are you hungry to be remade even though you are marred in his hands?

Do you desire to quietly be revived by Him?

Have you lost that first love for God while serving Him?

Let us return to the narrow path carved out by the creator of all things.

Blessings,
Keith

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