Archive | October, 2018

Church Steeple Chaser’s

18 Oct

The greatest decision you ever made with eternal consequences was accepting the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Messiah Yeshua as your personal saviour. The moment you were born again and saved you also accepted Christ as your Lord of Lord’s and King of King’s, your commander and chief.
He even sent the Holy Spirit to help guide you with every step you take everywhere you go.
One of the greatest decisions of your life after this momentous experience is front and centre upon what church you join in with. We read in Hebrews 10:25,” Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

This will be where you assemble weekly to receive the teaching of God’s Holy Word, that you continually grow in the knowledge of Gospel truth in His mercy, grace and love.
A place to gather corporately that you are blessed through the family of the Lord that you and your entire family may be fully engaged by the leading of the Holy Spirit. A place where ordinary believers come together to experience a time of worship, discipleship and missions, with signs and wonders following you as you follow after Christ.
We read in Ephesians 4:11,” And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”
In other words all Christians are to be ambassadors of Christ, sharing his love with all you encounter. (2 Corinthians 5:20) and yes the Lord still provides apostles and prophets as they are listed here in the same sentence.

Joining with a church fellowship of true believers is no small decision, especially today in finding others who believe and embrace the almighty Word of God cover to cover.

As a pastor who travels periodically to minister with groups like Hear the Watchmen and Prophesy Watchers, over the years I have come across a number of people at conferences who asks the same sort of questions. Others who have seen me in some interviews have contacted us to inquire where they can find a church like ours to attend? Most all of them have told me similar tales of how they stop attending church because they basically they can’t find the perfect church.
Sometimes I tell them, “if you do find the perfect church I pray you realise as soon as you join them it will cease to be perfect.” Because there is only one who is perfect that being Christ our Lord!

Maybe this something you can relate to, maybe your unhappy with your church in your community, what should you do?
Let me begin by addressing the fact that not attending is not a viable option.
If you’re not presently attending a church and have found yourself murmuring and complaining about it, basically feeling discouraged and disgruntled with your present church community, due to the fact that things are exactly perfect, let me simply tell you that have entered into a very dangerous place.

The Lord our God calls us to travel a narrow pathway of holiness with him. Matthew 7:14,” Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” However, the Lord our God never intended His people to journey to the Celestial City of Glory alone.

Yes this journey appears somewhat long and winding, and it can actually even be treacherous at times, nevertheless God’s plan for each of us has always been about reconciliation, and that involves belonging to his church. We simply need one another for encouragement, friendship, partnership, and accountability.

Consider carefully the words in Hebrews 10:23,”Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

The day approaching is the Blessed Hope.
Titus 2:13,”Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Is it possible the Lord may have chosen you to help stir up your church to love and good works? However, if you’re not in regular attendance with the church, how can you encourage your church?
The Lord Jesus/Yeshua even tells us if your not gathering with him your doing the opposite and scattering. Matthew 12:30,”He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

If you’re not helping with the gathering together with your church family, encouraging others who are un-churched or de-churched to join you for the purpose of worship and service in ministry, what is it your doing?

The church is to come together in one accord to gather together weekly for worship and service, and to regularly participate together at the Lord’s Table remembering the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus/Yeshua.
Let us consider this because nonattendance was not an option for the early church therefore, it shouldn’t be an option for today’s modern church.

Maybe its not just about what you need as much as what the Lord needs of you.

How many times have people attended a church for a while and even made verbal commitments to help with something like singing with the praise team or being a greeter only to not show up for the task? Some will call in to work or school if they can’t make it in, and yet how many people will just not show up? Or how about those who repeatedly come late to church, would they show up late for work or school?
We read in Matthew 5:37,”But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

Where are those who are willing to work to help advance the Kingdom of God by helping to pray, interceded and help make the church a better place for all? Perhaps that’s a major reason so many people do the church steeple chase in our generation, and sadly they will stay unhappy on the chase because their searching for the perfect church, or for one they can help control.

For example, in ministry how often have pastors heard from a husband or wife who is unhappy with their spouse because it turns out they are consistently looking at other marriages and comparing them as they search for the ideal marriage. In other words perhaps if you stopped shopping around made a serious commitment where you become focused on your local church things may just suddenly improve.

When people tell me what sort of church they are looking for often its not based on biblical standards from the Holy Spirits. Instead of asking what can I do to help the church, how can I best serve the Lord my God, many people are asking what can the church do to help me?
Instead of having Christ be the centre they are focused on themselves.

If you want a church where it is relevant, what are you doing to be part of the solution?
Before leaving your church fellowship and looking for a better church, have you considered working to improve the deficiencies within your local church? Have you considered maybe the Lord has you in this church for His purposes?
Anyone can sit on the sidelines and entertain a critical spirit, but the Lord is looking for true disciples, not pew sitters.

Let’s face it, the church today needs us and the Lord deserves much more and better results from us all who are willing to be in engaged with the gifts of Holy Spirit and to enter the spiritual daily battles. We often describe the church through analogies of these human body’s our holy temples, like some of you are the hands and feet of the Lord’s body. Some of you are the neck who tries to turn the head etc. Clearly if all the members were pulling their weight in the church today we wouldn’t have many of the issues facing us in this generation as the early church had. Probably because we be operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a regular basis without a doubt.

John 13:34,” A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

The Lord means what he said and he said what he means. We are called to love and help serve each other. Philippians 2:3,”Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Maybe it is time you commit to getting along with those other church members and learn to encourage others instead of complaining about them, or they way they look, dress or act.
We are actually called to go beyond even liking one another,  and to serve with one another, to help promote unity in all the churches of the Lord. So many desire to go on a missions trip to some far away exotic place when there is a mission trip here in your own backyard.
Let us live a life that is glorifying to God at all times. If your a child of God act like one and stop your carelessly acts, and think of others more then yourself.

Of course there are times when it’s become necessary to leave a church, just as how some marriages fail, or people are relocated to another city or town.
Still pray and seek the Lord, and before making any decision consider talking things over with your church leaders.
Always evaluate your desires and motives through a biblical perspective before you make any decisions, keeping in mind your not just effecting your path but those round you. In the film Its a Wonderful Life, shown at Christmas time, the story revolves around the character George Bailey who has some terrible misfortune where he loses the rent money. At some point he is so discourage with all his many problems that come as a result of losing the money, a spirit of suicide tries to get him to end it all by jumping off a bridge. Taking a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I personally don’t care for the rather un-biblical way the film represents angels, however it is a powerful story where the angel show Mr. Bailey what his town be like had he not lived.

I have seen people simply leave a church fellowship without a word to anyone, or some who leave for the wrong reasons. How we grieve the Holy Spirit at times not understanding, perishing from lack of knowledge.
Maybe this was a reason we read and Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
I dare say one should never leave a church out of emotion, anger, or silly petty complaints.
If your church is preaching the Gospel, then be a team player. If your church is entertaining you with feel good messages and puppet shows, this would be an indicator you need to find a true remnant church body to belong to. By the way there is no seeker friendly messages to be found anywhere in all of Scripture.

Let us proceed as serious true believers. Let us hold each other accountable and stop playing church and become the church.

I once attended a church for several years where I had to drive 3 hours each way, because this is where the Lord had placed me.

Why go to church? Let me share this one last story with you?
One Sunday morning, a wife went in to wake her sleeping husband and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, “I’m not going.”
“Why not?” she asked.
I’ll give you two good reasons,” he said. “(1), I don’t feel like they like me, and (2), I’m starting to not like them.”
The wife replied, “I’ll give you two good reasons why you SHOULD go to church: (1) The Lord commanded we not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, , and (2) you’re the pastor!”

Seriously if you draw close to God he comes running to meet you.

James 4:8,”Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Our God has not given us another option in place of the local assembly of the saints, you need to be plugged in somewhere, just as you need to plug in your electric appliances to work.

If you need to get up and drive to the next town to attend church with other true believers simply do as the Lord directs you. If you can’t drive that far consider moving near the church. Yes, moving to be closer to your church may prove to be the best decision for you and your family in the long run.
God is not looking for good steeple chasers, rather he is looking for faithful and dedicated true disciples.

John 14:12,” Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Fight back overcomers, trust Papa God for every detail and stay in faith! Because “All”, things are possible with God! I pray the Lord’s supernatural peace, healing, provision and protection cover you always with oceans of agape love in the almighty name of Jesus/Yeshua!
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