Have you ever wondered why churches meet every Sunday? Why can’t we all just sleep in and do whatever we want on a Sunday and still worship God. Well, for starters God said, “not to forsake your gathering together.” But why is it so important we get together?
This quote helped me think it through these very questions.
Why then does the church exist as a gathered community? The church is to become a mature organism through the process of edification, and this maturity is reflected, first of all by the degree of love that exists in the body of Christ, and the second, by the degree of corporate faith and hope that is manifested. – John Stott
The church is to become a mature organism through the process of edification to honor and glorify God, and in the process become a dynamic witness in the world.- John Stott
We meet together to build each other up in order so we can better proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness and into the light. (I Peter 2:9)
It is only in response to the cross of Christ that peace exists vertically between humans and God and horizontally between humans.
Here is a sneak peak for tomorrow’s sermon at Jaffrey Bible Church.
Title and Passage
Awesome WonderLuke 5:17-26
“To be filled with the Spirit means simply that the Christian voluntarily surrenders life and will to the Spirit. Through faith, the believer’s personality is permeated, mastered, and controlled by the Spirit. The meaning of “filled” is not to “pour into a passive container” but to “take possession of the mind.” That’s the meaning found in Luke 5:26: “They were filled with awe.” When we invite the Spirit to fill us, the Spirit’s power grips our lives with this kind of strength and passion. To be filled by the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit. Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
The awestruck reaction to the miraculous healing of the paralytic’s broken body in Luke 5 ought to be the same type of reaction toward God’s healing of our broken souls.
A Model of Christian Charity by John Winthrop
Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, “may the Lord make it like that of New England.“ For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.
Think about your church. Is this the model your church follows?
I want my church to be one that does justly, loves mercy, and walks humbly with God. A church that seeks to do that is one worthy of all the eyes of people to see for when they see my church they see Christ.
Micah 6:8 (ESV)
He has told you, O man, what is good’
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Modern day terms for the goal and vision in a church that wants to be a city set on a hill.
I have been studying through “Spiritual Leadership” by J. Oswald Sanders and I’ve come across some incredible challenging thoughts. I would like to simply share some of those thoughts with you and with myself as I seek to record some of these key ideas for future reminders.
Professor G. Warneck described Hudson Taylor, the missionary pioneer to China: “A man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, of entire surrender to God and His call, of great self-denial, heartfelt compassion, rare poser in prayer, marvelous organizing faculty, indefatigable perseverance, and of astounding influence with men, and withal of childlike simplicity himself.”
Vision involves foresight as well as insight.
Vision involves optimism and hope. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty. The pessimist tends to hold back people of vision from pushing ahead. Caution has its role to play. We all live in a real world of limitation and inertia. Cautious Christians draw valuable lessons from history and tradition, but are in danger of being chained to the past.
I discovered the Podcast app on my phone and for me it was like finding the Fountain of Youth. I work outside landscaping for much of the summer months and as a result I spend many hours doing mindless tasks. Mowing, multching, and raking are a few of my favorite things… NOT! But I have found a mindless job can go by much quicker when your mind isn’t mindless. Just because you are giving your body a workout doesn’t mean your mind can’t get one either. Podcasts are my cognitive and spiritual workout throughout the day. (Time flies when you are having a spiritual workout… is that how it goes?)
My latest listen has been on a past message from Josh Harris at T4G 2010. He spoke on the topics found in his book Dug Down Deep. I have read the book and I thoroughly enjoy his premise and purpose for writing it. But to hear the message of the book in his own words through the method of a powerful sermon was something else entirely. I enjoyed this and I hope you will too.
His main thrust is to take seriously your responsibility to teach others how to properly build their lives on good Christ-centered doctrine so when the winds and waves come their house will stand. He also takes a deeper look at the story of the Two Builders. It is much more than just a simple dichotomy between saved=rock and unsaved=sand.
Click link to listen to the podcast:
Here is a post I wrote for my former camper’s blog, Devoted Generation. Click the following link to read the entire article. http://devotedgeneration.com/comparison-and-complacency/
…This story illustrates many of our lives as we fall in and out of motivation. The right motivation can drive us to improve. But far too often the storehouses for motivation often seem to run out when we seem to need it the most. As a result we inevitably roll in and out of seasons of depression and devotion. I believe fluctuation can be subdued as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus. I have found that increasing the devotion for Jesus in our lives comes about by comparing yourself to him and nothing else. The key to building everlasting motivating sources for our lives is found in something that may surprise you. You see, comparison can be harmful. It can be a deadly poison seeking to numb us into submission and ultimately regress away from God. But comparison can be a life giving anecdote to rejuvenate a stagnant soul. The key is found in the target of your comparison.