Trash minded - Going to church is the place where we can put ourselves in God/Jesus and the Holy Spirit presence for worship, praise, and revelation of the Word. It is not a dumping ground for all your trials and tribulations or innuendos to be shared with others who are living in love and may not be empowered to deter these spiritual invasions. When entering the church doors leave all earthly concerns outside those doors. Don't worry, they will be there once you leave the church. Take the opportunity to prepare for a move of the Holy Spirit in your mind and Spirit, so that you become more empowered to deal with earthly concerns. Take the time and focus on what Paul says to do, "think on what is pure, lovely and good" - Phil. 4:8. The vision here is that if God was to cut open your skull and look at your brain; would He see more trash or grace.
April 6, 2016.
Some of us find it hard to gather (assemble) with other Christians and even if we do find it difficult to build relationships. God’s intent has always been one to foster family under His guidance and percepts. This starts with our personal blood relationships and extends out to Spiritual relationships. The church is not a building and it matters not to God how magnificent the trappings of the structure is outside and inside. We are the church and cannot avoid the interactions that come from the familiar as well as the unfamiliar experiences of several persons of different backgrounds, cultures, and status. Yet, compared to the amount of hours spent at work, play or other events, most Christians treat going to church no less than a drive through fast food establishment.
Going to church is not about compliance or just responsibility. Yes, some churches surely do not inspire us nor does the pastor or minister. They at times can be boring and always seem to have their hands out for more of your time, efforts and money. Let's face it, the average church, tends just to be that - average and in some ways treated more like a business rather than the citadel of God. This is because the Body of Christ has not taken ownership of the church and all its potential. Where your church is in works and spirituality depends all on you and where the leadership initiative of the pastor and board members is.
Some churches are more cautious about being aggressive with the Word of God and use the commandment of love as the scapegoat for not leading their congregation. Yet, from the early examples of Paul’s leadership, He did speak with love but always was firm on the ordinances of the Word and God. This is no different for a single person much less an entire congregation. The Word indicates our responsibility and outlook on issues are to be firm and from God’s perspective and not that of man. The church is the ground where God’s ways can be demonstrated and manifested, where pastor and congregation are actively engaged in walking and talking these things, equally pulling together for the Glory of God.
The Empowered Christian
Fill her up - You can tell the time by some who begin to check their watch or immediately as the preaching is finished bolt through the church doors to their cars. Now, that they have gotten their food; it's time now for some other satisfaction. How can we grow into a true Body of Christ, when the church is treated no different that our favorite fast-food joint. Church is not a place to get a fix or fulfill some obligation of compliance. The church is primary a place for fellowship and this can't be done if many do not take the time to do this. Fellowship only requires an appropriate amount of time and effort and ought to be utilized not only for the snacks provided but even to the point of serving each other physically, mentally and spiritually. It's a time where true Christian values are demonstrated and practiced. The vision here is that God uses individuals but more so groups of people to do greater things now and in the everlasting life afterwards.
Make a Joyful sound - Have you ever seen brothers and sisters who are singing but have emotionless expressions on their faces and their body language is as stiff as a pole. Now, I am not advocating we all jump up and roll around on the church floors; and if you are like me keep your voice down because it does not sound quite as heavenly as we would like. Yet, the Word and God is not concerned about these shortcomings but more that we are engaged with Him on a personal level. If we are, then there is no way our faces and body won't show some form of expression. Praising and worship are means of Spiritually entering into God's presence; even if you do not know the words or tune. The vision here is that even though we are in a group setting, as we sing from our heart, soul and spirit; it's like as if an individual was standing before God in His throne room and He is giving each of us personal attention as we sing. For God, all sincere singing sounds Heavenly.
Live the Word - Church at times can be mundane, especially if the Word is not given life by the preacher and I am not talking about ranting and raving with sweat pouring down their faces. Too many Christians depend on the pastor to give life to the Word when we are all capable of doing this ourselves. We must not just follow the bible but listen, wanting to hear a direct revelation of the Word. We do this by placing ourselves as if we were beside the author, not writing the Word but in the very scenario of the event that gave the inspiration to write the Word. Many times it helps to close our eyes, listen to the Word as it is being spoken and then see, hear and feel the circumstances surrounding the Word. Some believe not using the bible but a smartphone or tablet does not give life to the Word. Whereas it is easier for cross referencing with a bible, the Word in electronic form is still the Word, and unless we take them off the paper or screen into our hearts; either source will not benefit us. The vision here is that when We are before God; flesh and blood will not be seen, but the Word coursing through our Spirit.
Consider these seven things the next time you enter your church doors.
Greeting - As Christians we are to be the most open to conversations and sharing with others. Paul says to do this with love and a kiss and even a hug - 2 Corth. 13:12. For some this can be a major challenge as in their family or even culture this is not the norm. But being Christian is not about being the norm but being a “light” to others - Matt. 5:15. We do this to allow for unity, peace and set the foundation for relationships. It also opens the way for the Holy Spirit to move among the Faithful. Many see as greeting those of status, especially the pastor the only requirement, but Jesus and so must we show all our works equally when it comes to simple things as greeting each other with the love of Christ. The vision here is that we are practising for our Heavenly gathering where no bias will exist.
Seating - Many have reserved a spot in their church regardless if the usher seats them elsewhere. They move to their usual spot because it’s their comfort zone or is ideal for them, such as being near a window or even a power source. Many only sit at the back of the church or only the left or right of the main aisle. This is also related to how we have been trained as young kids having a particular seat assigned to us and being reprimanded for seating elsewhere. The thing is as Christians we are to demonstrate a constant yearning and enthusiasm for change. This change starts in our minds and is expressed by our actions. By sitting in the same spot weekly we really limit our perspective and thought process on not only our personal lives but the church, Christ, and the Word. Most preaching/sermons are similar and before you know it; the hour has passed and we did not receive any new knowledge, understanding or wisdom because our body and mind were in the twilight zone when we go through the motions of things. We ought to move around which will make us uncomfortable as we sit beside unfamiliar faces, gives a different angle not only physically but also mentally to the preaching. The main benefit is our senses are heightened which allows for Spiritual growth. The vision is that when we are before Jesus, who will not want to be close to Him physically and stand out as someone who is willing to change for all God has for them. Who would not prefer the first class seat on a plane much less in the house of God. Our attitude is what makes the difference.
No Fruit Baskets - Why we can have Faith in the Holy Trinity is because our trust foundation is knowing they are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We all have off days, but regardless of this we ought to be consistent is being individuals for the Body of Christ at church and equally at home, work or play. Trust is the very essence of our church and without it, no building can occur. More importantly, when we have different attitudes and actions from church and home; this brings into question our intents and mindsets to not only fellow church members but also family and friends. The first church is your home because if this is treated with respect, then all the efforts put into the community church will be good seeds and not be hypocritical. The opposite to this is how we treat the community church and it's members is a reflection of how we treat our family. The vision here is that God's family will be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow as He is.
These will have no long term benefit if not done from our hearts and with sincerity. Going to church, fellowshipping with the body and giving full attention to the Word and Spirit is practice for living and sharing within the presence of God. Yes, that’s what the church is there for. To give us the order of greater things to come for those who look beyond the brick and mortar facades. Order is a part of God and will be standard in Heaven. So when we treat church and the works within it trivially; not caring about quality, then this only speaks to our level of reverence and expectations of God and His Works. God is not a boss nor a pastor, but a Father who is more than willing to encourage us into the things that we fall short on. He will not do it for us the things we are more than conquers are capable of - Rom. 8:37.
Flush it Out! - The church is not brick and mortar but flesh, blood, and spirit.
ChristnMe @ 2013