Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Does your place look like His place?

When I first started my walk with Christ, one of my favorite hymns that we sang was, Have Thine Own Way, Lord. Sometime later I found someone had wrote what they called, The bankrupt version of, Have Thine Own Way.

I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord;
Real service is what I desire.
I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
But don't ask me to sing in the choir!

I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
I like to see things come to pass.
But don't ask me to teach girls and boys, dear Lord;
I'd rather just stay in my class!

I'll do what you want me to do, dear Lord;
I yearn for thy kingdom to thrive.
I'll give you my leftover change, dear Lord;
But please don't ask me to tithe!

I'll be what you want me to be, dear Lord;
I long to see the church alive.
But don't ask me to come out at night, dear Lord;
I'm always to worn out and tired!

I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord;
I'll say what you want me to say.
I'm busy just now with myself, dear Lord;
But I'll help you some other day!

God took on a body of flesh in His Son Jesus Christ, which we celebrate at Christmas. Our Lord Jesus, after His resurrection, left for all those that become children of God, what we call the Church, which is also known as the Body of Christ. As we prepare to enter the year 2016, let's take another moment to reflect on the outcome of Christmas in the creation of the Church. Does our Church look like God designed it? First, let's review what we see the Church is before we finish our thoughts on this.

1. It is an Eternal Project
·      a. A Place to find Nourishment
·      b. A Place for Corporate Worship
·      c. A Place that Naturally Reproduces!

We also pointed out a not so popular reality in this age of Consumer oriented believers, shopping for a Church. You produce what you are! So many that leave their local Body because it is not what they think it should be, need to look in the mirror to understand they were the ones responsible for what that local Body had become.

There is quite a list of what the Body of Christ should be. As I go through that list be open to the Holy Spirit to be teachable. He can guide you into being a person that impacts the local Church in a positive way for the glory of God!

d. A place for ordering our priorities
e. A place for honesty
f. A place where God's power is shown
g. A place where God is revered

When the Body of Christ is what it should be, the environment is conducive for producing very healthy individuals. The story in Acts Chapter 5 is an example of the desire of God for people to live in freedom, yet to be real and honest in their dealings with Him

Acts 5:1–11 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.  Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”  As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him.  About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.”  And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.” Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.

God has never needed our money; in fact the opposite is the truth. Everything we get is because God allows us to have it. He's given us great freedom to do what we want with it; however, He does use it as a way to grow us into individuals that understand what true value is. Sadly, today, so much of the mishandling of finances in the Body of Christ is from the leaders, not just the flock.

"The way we handle money in church today makes the (money-changers) merchants in temple look like bungling amateurs." --Os Guiness    The Gravedigger File

h. A place where Satan will focus his energy

Acts 8:1–3 Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen. A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.

It is interesting how many believers I've met that become so overwhelmed with the problems inside their local body. I realize that some of it is caused by our own carnality and fallen lives. Still, we must never forget that we have been warned consistently from Scripture that the enemy of God will attack and try to destroy what God is doing. As difficult as this may sound if your Church does not show a history where problems and trials were taking place, you should ask, is the Church really representing Jesus Christ. There will be times of peace, God makes sure of that, but any local Body that is going to stand for the truth of God is going to be attacked by Satan.

One more Devo to finish this list, but let’s stop and ask ourselves some important questions.

Meditation: Where is the corporate worship of God on my priority list? Am I the same person at Church as I am at home? Do I see Gods work in my local Church? Do we treat God Holy when we come together? Is the enemy angry at what God is doing in our local Body?