Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PERHAPS-  How We Will Build A Flourishing Church

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This weekend I talked about how what our church is all about, here are some of the thoughts that I shared...
The reason exist to help people experience the freedom & life that only God can offer. We’re all about loving God, loving people & loving life! Our church is all about Jesus & for Jesus! The Bible says in Colossians 1:16, "JESUS is the one through whom God created everything... EVERYTHING was created THROUGH him & FOR him." We're about Jesus & Jesus is all about us (His Church). "... I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."  Matthew 16:18
"The righteous will flourish... planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God." Psalm 92:12-13 Here are 3 things that we will do as a church to make Jesus famous again in our generation!

"One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father."  1 Samuel 14:1
Jonathan was willing to walk away from the safety of the “inner circle” to get things done.  God never called us to play it safe.
Jonathan’s heart was set on fire and he had to move.  He was consumed by a vision.  As a church, we'll always be consumed by the Lord's vision for our church. We will do what God calls us to do. (see Hebrews 11:6)

PERHAPS- 1. Used to express uncertainty or possibility:
"Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”  1 Samuel 14:6
-why not ask the sun to stand still (healing, restoration, finances, miracles...)
The Bible is full of people who have the guts to say “perhaps”.  We will always ask "perhaps" & believe God for "sun stand still" moments. (see Matthew 7:7-8)

 “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”  1 Samuel 14:7
We will have a church that carries the vision & stays in unity around the vision that God has given us.
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."  Romans 12:1

This Week's APP-  The Partnership Process
In his first letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul revealed four distinct attitudes of maturity or levels of involvement among Christians that contribute to and build a flourishing Church. They are found in 1 Timothy 6:17-19.

1.  ENJOY. 
 "(Put) hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." 1 Timothy 6:17
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalm 34:8
The first level of Christianity is enjoyment. We should enjoy the abundant life that Jesus has provided for us. That's the beginning.
2.  SERVE. 
"Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds... " 1 Timothy 6:18 
Christians who rise to this second level are those who have added to their enjoyment by committing to serve in God’s House. The key is to still keep enjoying God’s House (first level), and apply yourself to serve Him with good works (second level).
3.  GIVE. 
"... ready to give..." 1 Timothy 6:18 
 ‘I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing’ (Genesis 12:2). 
‘Freely you have received, freely give’ (Matthew 10:8). 
The third level of Christianity involves a revelation of giving. Some people are happy to volunteer or serve in a role, but they never discover that it is more blessed to give than to receive. If you want to move to a deeper level of involvement in God’s House, you will need to expand in the area of giving.
"... willing to share..." 1 Timothy 6:18
"for each one should carry their own load."  Galatians 6:5
The fourth level of Christianity is about carrying the load, or as Paul put it, ‘willing to share’ (1 Timothy 6:18). Christians who share the load are the ones who will do whatever it takes to fulfil the vision.