So we know that the church is the body of Christ and Christ’s kingdom here on earth.
He reigns supreme in this gathering of believers. Some might call it cultish due to the unfeigned faith each member has for the king.
Throughout the New Testament one can find many examples of how the body of Christ functions and relates to head of the body. And from here its even easier to see how the relationship with the head effects the horizontal relationships throughout the membership.
So, things like service, forgiveness, unconditional love, faithfulness, compassion, truth and longsuffering should abound in such places. There is a definite togetherness and sense of having all things in common among the believers. Judgement has no place here, only encouragement to be the best you can be and assistance when you stumble.
A placebo is a measure designed merely to calm, please or pacify another. It is more for a psychological benefit than for any spiritual effect. A placebo church only exists as a method to control. It is only a form of godliness, but it denies the power there of.
The largest problem with this type of church is there is no spiritual growth, there is no support, there is no fellowship and there is no forgiveness. When trouble comes you are on your own. When Satan attacks you are judged instead of helped.
You stay in this system because it looks right, but it is far from righteousness. So I ask you this day: Is your church a placebo and more importantly why are you still there?
We are consciously aware of the spiritual warfare going on inside of us. The physical world that we live in is a manifestation of that war.
When we see the darkness of this world, it sometimes looks like we are losing the spiritual battle. We see sin reign, hatred in abundance and ego elevated beyond the heights of selfishness.
Somehow we lost sight of God’s plan…or did we ever know it?
Here’s the plan: God wanted to show his goodness to us so he gave us grace and mercy. We were to show our gratitude through imitation of his son and obedience. The model he gave us was the burning bush. If we are doing it correctly then we would be surrounded by the fires of this world, but never consumed. We would remain in this state until he sent his son back to get us.
He would take us from the burning bush to a new tabernacle not made with hands. We would then dwell with him forever. But in the mean time we are to simply let our lights shine bright in the mist of this dark world. We were never supposed to eliminate the darkness but create as much light as we could.
The light would be in the forms of love, justice, forgiveness, service and goodness. Despite the evils of this world, our God wants to see the flourishing beauty he created. He expects for this creation to not conform to the world, but be transformed by a renewed mind. This is creation is precious to him. He called this creation Christians!
One of the greatest historical education summits is being held across our country, everytime a black man is murdered while being arrested.
From New York to South Carolina to Florida, Michigan, Missouri and Maryland, we see public opinion very prominent and it reveals the heart of America — we are still bias, prejudice and racist. This current generation will not wait for the previous two generations’ learning curve on this issue. Now what we see from them is anger: uncut, uncensored, destructive and painful.
It seems that those who know, won’t tell and those who have no clue keep talking. Bitter wounds of our racial past are re-opened with every killing and every judgment. The flesh won’t allow us to be fair.
Our superficial judgment seat needs to be torn down in favor of a new seat of love and forgiveness. That seat is nestled between the grace and mercy seats of God.
If our society could simply remember and respect what God has said on judgment, it would change the game for us. Jesus said in his sermon on the mount that the measure we use to judge each other, will be the measure he would use. Lord help us.
To my Father in heaven,
It is with love and gratitude that I write this blog in dedication of your devotion to me. You have gone far above the call of duty in being my God. I am in awe of you.
I make horrible decisions at times. Some of my infractions are purposed and I still struggle with negotiating right and wrong. There are people who I have such an issue with that they consume my thoughts. There are people I need to forgive.
And in spite of my stupidity you do amazing things in my life. You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to seek after the higher parts of me. I want to do the right thing, Father, but I am weak.
What I really want to say to you Father is thank you. Thank you for loving me when I didn’t want to love myself. Thank you for showing me the way to the light when I was lost in darkness. Thank you for forgiving me when I am weak. Father, thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for saving my soul and for being long suffering with me.
Thank you for another day to praise your name. Thank you that I’m healthy and in my right mind. Thank you most of all for Jesus who made me a partaker of his cleansing power.
I actually don’t want to ask you for anything. I just wanted to express my love for you and say thanks.
Sincerely your servant,
There are some people in this world who learn from other people’s mistakes. This is great if you are one of these people because it means you will avoid a lot of your own hardship because you could learn from the lessons of others.
It seems there are not many people with this gift. For the rest of us, we just have to learn the hard way: By using every last one of our senses to experience our struggles. Is it really important that we touch trouble? Yes! And we really have to see calamity up close? Definitely!
Well, it seems as though the prodigal son had many children because his seed is all around today. Many of us keep getting caught up in trials and temptations without having or experiencing a learning curve. And true to our heritage we go way out into foreign territory to do our “stuff” and when we get into trouble we always go to the wrong source for help. Then we stay out there until we land in the pit.
The question of the day is: Why do we stay out there so long when we know that God is looking and waiting for us to return?
I bet you know someone out there right now. You may be the one out there. It’s not cool to stay out there. Don’t you want to come home? Stop letting your senses dictate what you do and start using the intellect God gave you. His call to all of is this: It’s better back at the palace! Please, come home today!
So there is this story about I guy who could teach people how to spin grass into gold. The people could not believe that he had such a skill. The man he taught reacted pretty much like you thought he would. With dollar signs in his eye he spun all of his grass, his families grass and his neighbors grass into gold. He made tons of people rich with his new gift. And everyone was happy.
What does this story have to do with faith you ask?
We are encouraged by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:6-7 to walk in Christ. And the way Paul says to do it is remember and apply what you have been taught with all thanksgiving.
Do you think that the man in the story was joyous about what he had learned? Do you think he thought any about the person who taught him? What do you think was his attitude about doing the work?
The point is that when something is a benefit to you, no one has to make or force you to do it. You do it because it brings you joy.
Our faith in Christ Jesus is based on the gift God gave and the effects of that gift in our lives. As a result, we love and honor the work done by God and imitate it.
This means that the joy and understanding I have on the inside of me will manifest itself in what I do. And by looking at that you see my faith.
So I ask again. Are you really faithful?
So today is the first Sunday of 2015 and it wasn’t promised to any of us. What an awesome thing to be thankful for! Clearly we didn’t make it through the last year alone.
Sadly, on this day, some will not seize the opportunity this day affords by worshipping God because he is worthy. That same some will say, “oh, I believe in God but I don’t have to go to church to worship him!” I’m not sure who said this lie first, but make no mistake, it is a lie.
Now I will tell you that God does not want us to do anything that we do not want to do. He will only accept our best and everything needs to be spiritually understood and heart felt. So to know God is to worship God. God’s goodness is what spearheads my praise and honor to him. I praise (worship) him everyday of my life as I seek to live in a way that allows my light to shine so that others will see him working in me. I honor him through dwelling among his people and demonstrating my Christian virtues on them. How do you do that from home?
In other words, if we are to endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace and stir up one another to do good work (Eph. 4 and Heb. 10) am I really ready to give Jesus my standard answer for why I forsake his gatherings?
While you chew on that, I’m getting ready to worship my father in heaven and encourage my brothers and sisters. I know where all the true worshippers will be, and oh I want to be in that number!