Your Church

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4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— 6even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

Are you thanking God for your church today? The Communion of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is seen there. You are in this life together with them. How have you seen God working among them? Are you waiting on Jesus with them? Are you celebrating Jesus with them?

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

The Lord of Heaven at Your Feet

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1Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,but is completely clean. And youare clean, but not every one of you.” 11For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?13You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.15For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.16Truly, truly, I say to you, a servantis not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.17If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

 

How could the servant’s task become so majestic?

 

Such honour in servanthood was indelibly imprinted on the minds of the disciples only when the Lord of Heaven and Earth disrobed and knelt to serve them.

 

This was more than a “before we eat lets deal with your feet” crisis.

 

This was a crisis of the heart. The disciples’ hearts where still unyielding to each other and to the common needs of their daily lives.

 

Peter would have preferred that Jesus pass over his feet.

 

But Jesus would not. And like Peter, if we refuse the service of Jesus for not only the regeneration of our heart but also the cleansing of souls we will miss out.

 

We will miss love.

 

And we will not love.

 

Love in motion dignifies and refreshes.

Wait in front of Jesus dear Church. Let’s receive Him for He “loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

(Ephesians 5:25-27)

 

He is the Lord of Heaven at your feet.

 

 

 

You are not dispensable.

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14For the body does not consist of one member but of many.

21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
I Corinthians 12:12-14, 21-27

 

You are not dispensable. Jesus poured out His life at the cross that you might be joined with Him in His body, the Church. He does see you, the individual. He has declared His love to you and brought you into His body. You have joined Him in mission. You are not “throw-away” material.

 

We enter into our part to play, our contribution, through the same means that Christ Jesus did, through service. As we serve with our eyes open to Him, God will lead us into the good work created in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10).

 

There is an oft maligned context for our service too, the church. In the context of the church’s life (hear relationships to each other), testimony, worship and work we each have a contribution to make. And we are indispensable. The blessings that God would pour out on others through the church exponentially increased as each member, no matter how “great” or “small,” mature in Him, realize their need for the other, and serve.

 

You are not dispensable. Sometimes we might be tempted into thinking, “Oh the Church doesn’t really need me.” That would be a misappropriation of the idea that “we are not indispensable.” Today we can enter into what God is doing in the world by consciously serving with His church scattered across our communities and cities.

No Customers in Church.

No customers in church.

4As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5

When Peter considered the church under pressure he knew there were no customers in church. The followers of Jesus might experience the rejection of people, but they could also expect in the fellowship of the church to experience the delight and value of God. Peter sees God as a master builder, fitting the fellowship of Jesus’ followers into a healing community, “a holy priesthood.” In this kind of community lives are shaped by the Gospel and enlivened by the Holy Spirit to live sacrificially and responsively in all their occupations in the pleasure of Jesus Christ.

Churches come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and cultures. Churches create their own weather patterns. But here’s the deal, wherever you are as a follower of Jesus it is the Lord’s will that you would be fitted and built into the lives of other followers of Jesus for the mutual benefit of this “house” and its community.

The customer mindset makes church about me. That’s really anti-church. Church is not about what I can take from the “church.” But its easy to settle for spiritual consumption and suck the life out of church as Jesus envisioned us.

Continually we must ask the Lord to renew our vision of what we can be as His church together.

Some things you might want to be true about your church

Some things you might want to be true of your church.

“Ever since I heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you.  I pray for you constantly…”  Ephesians 1:15-16

I want this to be true of the church I serve:

We have a strong faith in the Lord Jesus.

We have a love for God’s people everywhere.

There are people who are thankful for us.

There are people who are praying for us.