Which Church?

On Sunday we were discussing the Church that Jesus is building and some of the history of how the Church started so well but so  quickly went off the tracks… And, we looked at some of the major changes that the Head of the Church, The Lord, would be having His people (the Church) make to bring us to the place where we are truly His Church…

In these three supplementary articles or blogs we want to look at the church that is – the pastoral model – and then compare it to the church that will be – the apostolic model. Let’s jump in… Read more

Belonging – Friendship

On Sunday we looked at the need to build good, solid spiritual friendships. These are the people who are friends for life and are always there for you. As we continue to look at spiritual friendships and belonging to the local church through relational connections, I thought it would be good to look at some of the characteristics of a true friend…

The New Testament talks about friends and friendships, and it’s mostly positive. Albeit, friendships can be unhealthy and compete with the Lord and His interests. They can be based on co-dependency and be a real burden to some. But, I want to look at friendships in a positive light, as the New Testament mostly does. Read more

A Place to Belong

On Sunday we were sharing about the three basic benefits of belonging to a local church and being connected to other believers at more than a superficial level. We saw that the benefits included: strength, support and spiritual warmth. Without being intimately connected to other disciples of the Lord we are simply church goers and cultural Christians. Jesus is looking for those who are converted Christians and thus live a different lifestyle than the culture they were born into, A lifestyle focused on helping others to enter into the Kingdom through godly sorrow and repentance of their sins. Read more

Show Proper Respect

When I speak to other people I need to be tactful not just truthful because … the primary way that we show respect is with our words.

Proverbs 15:33 (Good News Bible): “What a joy it is to find just the right word for just the right occasion”

And Proverbs 15:4 (NIV): “kind words bring life but cruel words crush your spirit.”

Now what he’s talking about here … is “tactfulness”  And tactfulness is a quality, that we don’t hear about too much today … about watching how you say, what you say Read more

Ten Reasons to Connect

The Church is a community of disciples of the Lord coming together with one purpose – the glorify and honor the Lord. However, in spite of being born again and new creatures in Christ we are still human. So, often we see conflict and issues arise in the local church that cause division and strife. These acts of humanness can hurt and wound us deeply. In fact, at times people allow these human issues to drive them from gathering with God’s family. The devil uses this to attack those who are no longer connected to the flock and thus are not under the care and protection of the shepherd of the flock – the pastor of the church.

How can we avoid this issue of divisions and strife. Many will tell you that you can’t. Afterall, we know that where you have people you will have a diversity of opinions and vantage points and this often leads to disagreements, strife and division – the forming of camps within the Christian family. People see this as inevitable. I don’t believe it is. Read more

Things Found in Hell, Which Belong in the Church

The Church is meant to function in “unity” according to Ephesians 4:11-15. This unity can never be found nor experienced if each member of the Body of Christ, the local church, is self-focused and involved in the church for what they can get or receive from it. The only way that this unity or “one-ness” can be achieved is if each member of the Body is focused on the same purpose or goal.

This purpose is not something that we need to discover – it is already stated in Scripture. The unity of the Church can be found when each and every member of the Body is focused on “seeking and saving the lost.” (Luke 19:10) This is the purpose of God for having planned and birthed the Church that Jesus is building. This has been and still is its only task here on planet Earth. This is why we were left here after encountering God and becoming born again.  Read more

Disciples Hear God’s Voice

Everyone who claims to be a disciple must hear God’s voice for themselves. They must hear His voice regularly. Dare we say daily? They must hear His voice accurately. They must not just hear His voice – they must heed what they hear. Hearing is what we do with our physical ears; heeding is what we do with our heart ears – our spiritual ears. Hearing and heeding leads to obedience – instantly obeying what the Lord has spoken to you.

The initial door to hearing the voice of God regularly is to listen to what He has already said. You do this by reading your Bible. In the Bible you will find recorded many of the things God has already spoken and that we are wise to listen to – the hear and to heed and thus obey. These words form a tremendous foundation upon which we can then build our life today – hearing God speak regularly into the decisions and activities of everyday, regular life.  Read more

The Journey With Jesus

The Christian life, living life as a disciple of Jesus, requires that we walk with others as we walk with Jesus. Jesus did not call just one disciple – He called twelve. They journeyed together for three years as they obeyed His command to “follow Me.”

When Jesus said “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” the ‘you’ is plural or, as we might say in Saskatchewan, ‘youse.’ When fishing for fish to make a living they did not a pole and a hook; they used a net that was large enough that it required anywhere from two to four men to toss it overboard into the water and then haul it back in after it had sunk in the water and “fallen” over the fish living near the bottom. So, the call to fish is a call to living in community – joining with others on the journey Read more

Living In Love

As a disciple of the Lord Jesus we are called to follow Him and become like Him – sharing His character and His nature. As we follow Him He promises to make us tremendously good at fishing for human beings – influencing others in such a way that they enter into the Kingdom of God and become born again. He will equip us to do the work He has called us to do – to go into all the world and make more disciples.

This is not an option – it is a command. So focused is Jesus on this task of making disciples that the Bible was written to enable us to be complete (just like Him) and equipped (able to do what He did). 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states that these are the two purposes of the Scriptures. Too often we have missed this point and thus read the Bible for numerous other reasons. Read more

Breaking The Silence

As we noted on Sunday the issue between the prophet Elijah and the northern Kingdom of Israel (the nation before this time had become two separate kingdoms with two separate ruling families and separate kings) was not that they had totally rejected Yahweh, the LORD God but that they were limping along between two options or dancing with two lovers. God saw this as spiritual adultery; the people saw this as normal and acceptable. In many cases, nothing has really changed.

The Northern Kingdom where Elijah served as the only remaining prophet of the One True God had been without rain for over three years. They blamed Elijah because he was the one who had come to them and declared that it would not rain in the nation until he said it would. Of course, he would do that as soon as God told him to do so. However, the people did not blame God, they blamed him. They could see and hear him; they could not see God and had not heard from Him in a very long time due to their disobedience and idolatry.  Read more