This is a weird generation that we live in, that we say things like hey, did you go to church today? How was the church? Because in our mind this so normal to us, because we think of the church as a building or we think of the church as a service you attend, but that’s not biblical.
When you think of church don’t think a movie, think a gang.
Think of church like a gang, like joining a gang, you don’t say what time is gang today, how was gang today? No, you jump into a group of people 27/7 you change your identity, have a sense of belonging, you commit your life to it, to the others in it.
You go to a movie, you have no attachment to it, you go to it, you set there for two hours and watch it happen, you have no part in what goes on, then you go out and critique it, whether you liked it or not.
Family, that’s what God wanted. that’s what he wanted of the family, just look at the Bible, look at these people. There was a deep, deep commitment to one another, it was not something they just attended.
In Acts 2:42 it says they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching in the Fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers. It says They devoted themselves, in John 17, Jesus prayer was not just that we put up with one another, He says Father wants them to be one, I want them to be one just like you and me are, your in Me and I’m in you, that they may be in Us.
Jesus wanted our unity to get to that level that would parallel the father and son in their unity, so he wanted tremendous love in his church.
This is what happened in the first church, they devoted themselves to each other, they devoted themselves to fellowship, this is what matters, this is what needs to happen in the church. this and what God wants of the church.
God says don’t come like you are going to the movies, He said devoted your selves to Fellowship, be one just as Jesus and I are.
Devoted to one another, devoted to this fellowship devoted to these relationships, that is supposed to describe the church, be how it functions.
That’s what church was supposed to be, devoted to this, walking together, your a gang now, your a family now, your body now, one part hurts the whole part hearts. Let’s get back to that.
The church is not something you attend, it changes your whole identity, you have a common purpose now.
You’ve got this sworn allegiance to one another, you say let’s go let’s go, we see something much bigger than ourselves to devote ourselves to.
In John 13:35 Jesus said: “By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”
Do you get that, Jesus said everyone will know your my disciples because of your love for the body. Not because you go to church, not because you say you are, not because you can quote some bible verse. But because you love the body of Christ. And we learn in Act’s 2 he means in actions, proven in daily deeds.
It was that type of love that the world was supposed to look on and go, I want to part of that.
If we can’t get this figured out, does God really want a church that isn’t known for its love, it’s just known for a good speaker, a good worship band or good programs, a good juggler to entertain them. Is that really what he asked for? No it’s not.
What does the Bible emphasize?
I’m saying what does the Bible emphasize?
If a ten-year-old red read this, what would be obvious to him or her, of what this book emphasizes?
Let’s look at what God prioritizes and let’s make those our priorities. Not programs, strategies, marketing plans, or charismatic speakers, juggler or a rock show. But love for one another, being devoted to one another, being devoted to the blood and body of Christ.
I’m at an age where I’m going, man, all I want is this, I want to emphasize what God emphasizes, prioritize what God said we are to.
He said this is how the world to believe that you are my disciples. They walk in and go Look at how they love each other, look how they are devoted to each other. They are so different yet look at the bond, look at the way they sacrifice for each other. I’ve seen glimpses of this when I was at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa back in the day.
It was that type of love that the world was supposed to look on and go, I want to part of that, part of what Jesus prayed for.
I’ve just started looking at Scripture and thinking if we can’t build a loving church, should we have a church at all? Malachi 2:3 says “Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it.” God’s people where bringing Him lame offerings, not what He asked for, and God said He was going to rub dung in their faces and reject them for it. Think about that, God said He was going to rub crap in their faces. God is never happy when we offer Him whatever we want, only when we bring Him what He wants.
I want that one day, where wherever were so connected, we’re not just a bunch of people attending a sermon. But that there’s a deep, deep love like in the early church, where they are giving the shirt off their backs to one another. There wasn’t a single needy person in the place. Where the people are one just like Jesus and the Father are, that devoted to, that in love with each other, that type of church that I want to be a part of.
I want to gather with People who love God and have a daily deep abiding intimate relationship with God, with Jesus, with His word. Who wants a love relationship with the body of Christ so deep so intimate that is an answer to Jesus prayer in John 17:21. Who is devoted to the blood and body of Christ? Who’s life purpose is to Go and make disciples. I am seeking others who want that, who are seeking that, above all else. What I am looking for is what the bible describes as a real follower of Jesus, what the real body of Christ, the church looks like, acts like and is.
We can’t just be a bunch of people that come in the room and face forward and hear a sermon, that’s not what God asked for. You can justify all you want, but that’s not what I see in Scripture. okay where going to be a body.
We’ve got to be a body, be a family, so, so that our neighbors look on they are in awe.
I’m not looking for a place to show up, a place to attend. I’m not interested in helping someone filling up the room with people.
I’m not looking for the right worship team, right kids ministry, best juggler or whatever.
I want a body, I want to be a part of this, what I read about in Act’s, what Jesus said would be known for its love for one another.
Did you ever walk in to or join any type of church thinking, here’s my goal to get as close to these people at the father is to the Son.
This is the way he ordained it, this is Jesus prayer, we are totally ignoring his prayer. This is the prayer of Christ, is this type of unity
This is God desire, this is what church was supposed to be. We’ve turned it into something else.
This is how they’re going to know you are my disciples, love, I don’t care how good the guy up there speaking. I don’t care how good your music is. I care if you have the best childcare workers, best building. it doesn’t matter, love, that’s what matters. This is how you can tell whose of God, whose of Satan.
If we want to impact the world, it’s not going to be through preachers and programs and great bands. It’s going to be through our unity and our love.