The church of the future… the church that endures… the church that is standing in the end, is the church that leads from her knees. She fights the enemy outside, instead of her family inside her walls. She is quick to reconcile and restore, not exclude or ostracize. She offers healing and restoration, spirit, soul and body.
This church is not a hospital for disease research and nursing the infirmed, it is a healing source; a healing room filled with the presence of God, where the sick, the tired, the broken come and are miraculously healed renewed and restored. They are filled with strength to go and bring others to this healing source. This Church understands she is the vessel but He is the healing water; it is her hands extended, but He is the healing balm.
She walks into the darkness of evil, but never loses sight of the light of His grace. She constantly touches the unclean and dirty, but remains pure by the washing of His word.
She is always generous to the poor, yet never diminishes her wealth. Her resources are continually spent, but never run out. She daily walks in abundance and manages well the inheritance of His kingdom. Yet not, clinging to these things, she is ready to sacrifice all for His name sake.
This church operates in the power of God yet rests in the peace of God. She stand in awe of the greatness of her God yet walks in intimate friendship with Him. She knows her God in His Love and His Might.
This church travels to the ends of the earth, yet daily stays in the house of her God. She shouts boldly the good news of the Gospel, yet quietly endures rejection and persecution. This church runs with swiftness to rescue the lost and dying, yet sits patiently to hear His voice. Her arms are strong and prepared for battle yet in them she tenderly cuddles the newborn. This church is a mighty army, always marching forward, yet she is still a beautiful maid in waiting.
This church is not built with human hands but by the Spirit of God Himself, for His glory, for His purpose. He brings His building materials from the four corners of the earth. He builds her with the enduring qualities of faith, hope and love.
This church is without singleness of color, commonness of culture or unity of language, yet walks in such harmony that the whole earth will acknowledge her God as the one and only true God. There is room for all who come, none are turned away. She daily takes in the ugly, despised and rejected; the discards of the world… yet she is so beautiful that Jesus Himself will take her to be His bride.
Men’s Leadership Breakfast
with Pastor Joe
Saturday 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
(1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month)
8:00 AM – Breakfast served
8:20 AM – Study and Discussion
9:00 AM Prayer and Fellowship
Join us and bring a friend
Studying John Maxwell’s
Today’s Relationships Give Me Fulfillment
Today’s Generosity Gives Me Direction
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I love the way The Message version of the scripture brings out this truth. Read it and see if you don’t think Paul is writing as if he were alive and writing to us today.
Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.
Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:11-20 The Message
In an age of busyness and a multitude of possible pursuits we need the light of Jesus to shine in our lives to give us discernment, discretion and direction.
We can usually see the obvious frauds and the blatant scandals that try to entrap us. But these are not the traps that easily snare us. It’s the subtle indirect thoughts and actions that come creeping in through our culture. We can be taken off guard if we are not continually living in the light of Jesus and Thoughts of hate, envy, lust. The obsessions of indulgence that are promoted all around us can seem so enticing, we don’t see clearly the long-term consequences.
1.) Watch your step. Let the light of Jesus, the Word of God, illuminate your path. Read His word daily. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him
2.) Use your head. Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. Romans 12:1-2 Says to renew our thoughts by the Word of God (See passage below)
3.) Make the most of every chance you get. Keep your focus on the positive solution and direction provided by your Heavenly Father. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.
These are desperate times!
Blessings to you in all your pursuits…
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 The Message
In difficult times of life, we usually ask God to intervene – to come into our situation and “do something.” It’s certainly good to pray and talk to God. Sometimes, we feel that God is not aware of our situation until we tell Him all about it. Our problems can feel so overwhelming that we may wonder if God is listening.
God wants to do more in our lives than just answer prayers when He is called. He wants to live in us everyday. 2 Corinthians 6:16 says that His plan is to “live in us and be our God.” He is always there to hear our prayers. Romans 6:4 says we are raised up to “walk in newness of life.” A life of fellowship with God daily because He lives in us. A new life of victory and power in Jesus Christ.
We actually don’t have to ask God to be with us. He is already fellowshipping with us because He lives in us. Not only did Jesus promise that He would always be with us (Matt.28:20) but Paul says God lives inside us because we are His temple. That means God is right here, right now, living inside each one of us to accomplish His purposes and plans.
Our difficulty comes in believing that God really does live in us because we know all our personal limitations and short-comings. We know when we lost our temper, when we judged and criticized others. This is one of the reasons Paul says we must walk by faith (2 Cor.5:7). We must believe what God says about us even when we realize that we are not where He wants us to be. We are His creation, His dwelling place and He lives in us.
As you face obstacles in life and begin to pray for God to help you, remember that He is already there. He already knows about your situation. Expect Him to answer your prayers with miracles today.
My friend, Rawd Jones, asked me to help out this summer in a water park – Hawaiian Falls in The Colony, Texas. People in swimsuits everywhere – screaming down waterslides, floating in a lazy river, splashing on beaches, eating picnic lunches and laughing with friends under palm topped cabanas. The same place my 6 year old loves to go.
The owner of Hawaiian Falls wants a weekly employee meeting encouraging servant-leadership and excellence. He wants pastors to regularly walk around the park, rewarding the young life guards and other employees whenever we see them set a good example of service. So, as the Texas sun beams down and kids fly down slides and tubes that take your breath away, I will be out there with my 6 year old, handing out “Make A Difference – Mad Money” the employees can use for prizes at the end of the summer.
A lot of park owners are more interested in financial profit than anything else. But the owner of Hawaiian Falls is interested in greater profit, the profit that comes from investing in people. He wants his customers to know they are in a wonderful place when they are in this park. A place they can enjoy with their family and where employees really are interested in serving the customers.
When I started out in ministry, I had no idea that one day I would be in a water park, doing the same things I’ve done in church buildings for many years; encouraging people in their everyday life to treat others like they would want to be treated. To serve others as they would want to be served.
But isn’t this really what we should all be doing? Encouraging people to be the best they can & serve those around them. Isn’t this really how we should conduct our business; serving those around us to the best of our ability?
Jesus said, in Matthew 23:11, “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”
Jesus said we were to have an effect on the world. He even called us the “salt of the earth” in Matthew 5.13. You can’t disguise the presence or lack of salt in any food. Meat cooked without it is bland. But with a touch of salt, the flavors burst onto the palate.
Like salt on food, our words and our actions are not meant to be hidden but we are meant to bring a particular taste to the society around us. We are not to be secretly hidden but we are to be seen, heard and known by the things we say and do in this world.
The words we say, as well as the things we do are to make a difference in our neighborhoods, our cities, our states and our nation. Paul wrote that our speech is to be seasoned with the salt of grace (Colossians 4.6), telling of the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to the world around us.
As we go out into society, we should expect God to do things through us that will be seen. Jesus told us to go & preach with signs following (Mark 16) and that He would be with us.
Don’t you find it strange to call the crucifixion of Christ “Good”? Why would we call the memorial of the tragic death of anyone, good? Some Etymologists say the word good at one time meant holy, so it would mean Holy Friday. Some say because of the similarity of the two words “God” and ‘good” the words were confused.
I don’t know if the above reasoning is valid. I am not educated in such matters. What I do know is this. Jesus’ death created heartache, fear and confusion for His followers. Many of the same people who hailed him as their king only days before, now, caught up in a mob mentality, called for his death and the release of a criminal. On that day nothing appeared to be good. It was everything but good.
Three days later Jesus rose from the dead, came out of the grave and visited his followers on numerous occasions over the next 40 days. After his resurrection, when he appeared to his followers, they most often did not recognize him and doubted his appearance. I can only imagine that the “badness” of the previous Friday completely blinded them to the supernatural reality that their dead leader was now indeed their Risen Savior.
How often does the “badness” of our past blind us to the “goodness” of our present? How often are we blinded to our “ever present help in time of need“. With our finite understanding we are blinded to the purpose and plan of God . Only in hindsight did his followers understand Jesus died for their good. He took pain and punishment for their sake. Jesus’ death was not a tragedy, it was a victory for all of mankind. It was a part of God’s plan.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:11-13