Christianity

I am Looking in 2009 for a Unstoppable church to be part of, the church seen in the book of Acts. I am looking for a church filled with passionate people, a people who are passionate about God. Passionately in love with Jesus, who’s love can not be contained.

A people, a church that says and lives like you can reticule me, imprison me, stone me, torture me, kill me, nail me to a cross, do what ever you want, I will hot stop. Even in the mist of doing these things to me I will praise and worship the Lord, I will still proclaim His word to you, announcing the Kingdom of God, we will not be stopped. Because we found a love greater than life its self and we will not be stopped, for us to live is to live for Christ alone.

I want to be part of a people who are striving side by side to proclaim the gospel. Nothing can cause them to shut up, keep them from talking about Jesus, they do not care if they get beat up, thrown in prison, fired, or killed. Like Paul they are unstoppable, like the first church they are a unstoppable force. A people who are striving together for the gospel, for the kingdom of God, for Jesus. A people that says I would rather be tortured and put to death for the cause of Christ, spreading the gospel than retire at an old age with a fat 401K.

A people who says I must be like, live like Jesus. I must be in a church like the one in the book of Acts, have church like they did, live like they did, turn the world upside down like they did.

A people who believe Jesus when He said unless you are willing to pick up a cross and be crucified together, if you can do that then you can follow me. If you are not willing to do that you are not worthy to be my disciples.( Mat 10:38, Mat 16:24, Luke 14:27 )

I burn to be part of a unstoppable church like the first century church, the underground china church today. I want to be part of something like that, a people like that.

A church that knows what Paul said is true that it has been granted, given to us that we are to suffer just as Jesus did, live with the same conflict Paul did. (Php 1:29-30)

Frances Chan has the same passion for this kind of church, life, he explains it very well, listen to his message, download it here .

I so desire to find such a church this year, be part of a people like that.

1951-xmas-ignorance-wantWhen watching A Christmas Carol, the 1984 version with Gorge C. Scott, one of the scene that really grabbed me was Scrooge’s dead business partner Jacob Marley said to him about His life.

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

How true this statement is and should be at the heart of everyone who claims to be a Christian. That is according to Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46 when He tells us

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?…………..And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

And Jesus says of those who do not do such things, take mankind as their business as Marley said;

“Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

A plight much worse than Jacob’s Marley’s eternity dragging a chain with weights on it.

As well I like the scene with the ghost of Christmas present under the bridge when he opens his robe and reviles the two starting children and says to Scrooge:

“They are Man’s,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”

Christian take note of the words of Jacob Marley, they are Charles Dickens rendering, life application of the words of Jesus, His warning just as the ghost of Jacob and Christmas present, take head before it is too late.

Read my Post on Another Day, it very much relates to business of mankind what Jacob Marley referring to and who the boy of Ignorance and the girl of want are the ghost wae referring to, read it here.

Because the population is growing and church attendance isn’t, even the number of church in America is declining at an accelerated rate. It Seems like We are in a significant trend towards POST-CHRISTENDOM (some would say DUH, others resist the notion) — YET, mega churches are everywhere.

This is a interesting read about mega Churches.

Read the full article at Out of Ur…

A friend made a comment on a recent post saying “Are you sure you didn’t miss your calling!!” but the fact is we cannot miss our calling from God. This is why God gave us the story of Jonah to show us that we cannot escape God’s calling on our lives, even if you run and try to hide, He will accomplish what He has willed for each of our lives. And you can add in God’s statement in Isa 55:11 “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” That is to say God’s words over someone when they are born (actual before you are born), what God specks over you, His purpose for you will be done, accomplished, no matter what you do or try to do in life, He will accomplish, use you for His preordained purpose for you, your life. And of course there is Rom 11:29 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” these verses He is even telling us God Himself will not remove, detour from His calling on your life, change His mind about what calling He has placed on your life from the beginning. What He has called you to, will be done. We cannot escape it, and He will not resend it.

So I do not believe according to scripture and the attributes of God that it is possible for someone to “miss” their calling. It has been preordained by God for your life, it is inescapable, just ask Jonah or even Peter, when Peter even messed up and denied knowing Jesus and being a disciple, but God still completed His will despite Paul’s actions, His purpose for Peter was carried out, just as Jesus said it would be accomplished.

So we never have to live a life of regret as to having missed God’s calling on us, for our life, if He has one for us, we will fulfill it, accomplish it. We may try to run and hide from it but like Jonah we will find that is impossible to do.

I find myself having to remind myself continually that I was not the one who signed up for this adventure with God, He chose me, came to me in my youth with a vision reveling Himself. Not only did He choose me, He appointed / assigned / expects me to fulfill a job for Him. This life in Christ, my job description, and duties where not a union negotiate contract where I got to say what is in it for me, my job title, duties, job task, pay benefits or rewards where not set by me. The only choices I have is death and surrender. And the way He puts it, this doesn’t sound optional. He expects me to bear not just fruit but everlasting fruit, and even not fruit of my choosing, but Christ fruit. How often in life I am side-tracked with the most foolish of pursuits, self satisfying things, acquiring stuff, looking good, happiness, keeping busy with good activities. I so need to be reminded daily of my real purpose: to bear lasting fruit that will bring glory to God’s name, glorify Jesus. See my prior blog on a fruitful life.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Joh 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

Joh 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

Just heard Brian Houston statement of his vision of what church is. And it inspired and motivate me, it fired me up because this is the is the church I long for, burn with passion for. (I added two personal additions in parentheses.)

“The church that I see is a church of influence. A church so large in size that the city and nation cannot ignore it.

A church growing so quickly that buildings struggle to contain the increase, (so it multiplies and spreads across the city, nation, and world).

I see a church whose heartfelt praise and worship touches heaven and changes earth. Worship which influences the praises of people throughout the earth exalting Christ with powerful songs of faith and hope.

I see a church whose alters are constantly filled with repentant sinners responding to Christ’s call to salvation.

The church that I see is so dependent on the Holy Spirit that it moves only in unison with it, that nothing will stop it not stand against it.

A church whose people are unified, praying and full of God’s Spirit.

The church that I see has a message so clear that lives are being changed forever and potential is fulfilled though the power of His Word. A message beamed to the peoples of the earth through their television screens.

I see a church so compassionate that people are drawn from impossible situations into a loving and friendly circle of hope, where answers are found and acceptance is given.

I see a people so kingdom-minded that they will count whatever the cost and pay whatever the price to see revival sweep this land.

The church that I see is a church to committed to raising, training and empowering a leadership generation to reap the end-time harvest that all its ministries are consumed with this goal.

I see a church whose head is Jesus, whose help is the Holy Spirit, (foundation is the word of God) and whose focus is the Great Commission.”

This is the church the disciples started and built, the one Jesus ordained and spoke of, that we see in scripture. Every pastor, church planter, every Christian should take note, take this to heart, be their blueprint for church.

I was reminded today in a sermon as I have been many time in the past few weeks, that we really are in end times, and that we are to both live as if Jesus was coming back today, warned to live ready for His return at any moment as for it not to take us by surprise, as a thief. But also to to live wanting His return, desiring to be with Him, for His Kingdom to come. wanting to be with Jesus more than in this world.

The signs are all around us, so much of the prophesies of His return have been and are and the verge of being fulfilled. All the prophesies of Jesus’ first coming where literal and true, as it is also true about the prophesies of his 2nd coming. And at the time of Noah if you did not head the warnings of Noah it did not matter what you believed about God, if you did not obey and get in the ark, you died, as so it is true of today. Thus the story of the Ten Virgins Jesus told, those who are ready, prepared, anticipating will go in, those not, well, as He said it shall be as the times of Noah.

So I’m asking myself suppose we all got up tomorrow morning and prayed like Jesus was coming back that day, chose to live like Jesus was coming back that day, what would our day be like. That would change my priorities in life, the order of importance of everything in life, like the importance of Mat 28:18-20, preaching the gospel, wanting to living in a state of readiness, keeping my lamp full of oil.

And if I lived each day as if, ready for Jesus to return, I would not care about tomorrow, worry about the things of tomorrow would I really, because there might not be one. But isn’t that how Jesus said to live life anyway. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  – Matthew 6:34

My end of the month summery:

1. The last month God has been speaking to me about the importance of being an overcomer“.

Several times this month He has brought up the scriptures on it several times from many sources, through my daily study of the word as well as message I heard though out the month. He has been hammering “being an overcomer” I do not know the why, only the take note and learn what He means by being an overcomer and that it is key, important for me.

2. God has also been speaking to me all month about being a man who walks with God

“Enoch walked with God. Noah walked with God” This was the main theme of the month, learning what it means to be a man who walks with God as did Enoch and Noah. This has been at the core of my prayer the last month. To become a man who walks with God, what ever that means, what God wants it to be for me.

Bottom line, Be a man who walks with God as His friend in the same faith that Abraham had.

3. God reformatted my prayer life, gave me a new format to use as to how and what to pray. And it has revolutionized my prayer life the last two weeks. Thus effecting both my walk with God and my attitude in life.  It started by listening to Pastor Perry Noble podcast and a teaching on prayer, it was very challenge, caused me to change my prayer life that week. The Revelation from the Spirit about my prayer life and the need for change was continued, emphazised when I was introduce to Pastor Niles McPherson and started listening to his podcast and listened to his teaching on prayer also. Through those two teachings the Lord caused me to change my prayer life complete, it is on a whole new path now, and that has had a dramatic effect on my attitude and spiritual life, put me on a new course.

4. That I’m still trying to find my place in this world. And I thinking Shouldn’t I know by now what I want to be when I grow up? But it’s bigger than simply what I want to do in the future, It’s also about the right now, today, tomorrow, next week as well as ten years from now. I want to be relevant to God, to impact the world everywhere I intersect with it and maybe even transform it. But I have no clue, not even an inclination of what my place is in life, the world, the church, what my career is to be, or even reason for being here on this planet.

On a lighter note, I started Twittering two weeks ago, and it has been fun and has changed my world in some ways. No really! (I am still trying to get the hang of it) I am linked up with some awsome people and have enjoyed getting into their life and mind, and sharing some of mine with them.

The last 4 months I have gone with a radio in my car (yes on purpose), have been focusing on prayer, meditation on scripture and the Lord instead of the usual mind numbing radio broadcast, keeping my thoughts focused on God that is.  Sometimes using my MP3 player to listen to good bible teaching podcast. And what a difference it has made in transforming my mind, giving me the mind of Christ. I find my thought life taking on a new way of being. Not where I want it to be, totally Christ like, renewed as I want it to be, but it’s well on the way there.

I challenge everyone to do the same thing. Turn off the car radio and spend the time with God, in prayer, worship and meditaion on the word and person of Christ.

I recently read about a book called Purple Cow by Seth Godin. The book revolves around this metaphor: if you’ve seen one brown cow you’ve seen them all. But a purple cow, now that would catch your attention. One statement in the book has profound implications: “If you aren’t remarkable you’re invisible.”

While this truth could be applied to a persons life in so many ways, it also applies to churches in every way. Every church needs to paint itself purple. I’m not talking about gimmicks or being weird or braking from the truths of God and what church is suppose to be, like the ones that are leaving out the gospel and Jesus like the emergent movement has done. I’m not talking about braking from the biblical church the one we see in scripture.

Brown churches sit on the sideline and invite the community to come to them. Do every thing they can to look like, sound like, be like the world around them. Purple churches are always going, compelling, and are an agent of transformation in the world. They seek to not look anything like the world, but to look like Jesus and the Kingdom of God. To stand out as something different, be an alternative to the world and its ways. And they are making such a big difference that they become a highly visible part of their community, everyone takes notice in a good way.  People drive by the brown churches, the churches that are invisible on their way to go to the purple church the ones that stand out from the world and its ways.

Purple churches are not a mirror of the world, but rather a window into the Kingdom of God. A refection of Jesus high and lifted up in a community of Christ like followers who live in community that is a glimpse of the Kingdom of God. When a church looks like Jesus, it stands out from the rest of the churches and the world because it is a purple cow in a brown herd.

A brown church look like the world, it’s a church that looks just like the society that surrounds it, it blends in with the same music, teachings, way of life, so no one notices the brown cow in a heard of brown cows.

After all isn’t the purpose of camouflaging something to make it fit in, go unnoticed, so that it will not stand out as different from the world around it. Well pastors have done a good job, they have made the church look, sound and function just like the world, made them brown cows, and well it worked no one notices them, sees church as different from the world.

So how do we paint ourselves purple? For starters, dare to be different from the world and look like Jesus and the Kingdom of God, make the good news, the Gospel the news.

Purple churches are where people can go to see God, get a glimpse of the Kingdom of God, see the transforming effect of the gospel in the lives of real people, changed lives. See that God is alive and His power at work in the lives of people, see it demonstrated in the lives of God’s people. See a people of faith living in oneness with God. See Gods love in action, in the love God’s people have for Him, and each other. It’s a church of a different color, it stand out from the rest of the churches today, and from the world around it.

What color is your church.