Great Gifts

God has blessed me throughout my life; a good family, a wonderful wife, great friends, and so may experiences and blessings that give me joy in my heart.  I am sure all of us have something to be grateful for in our lives.  God also gives us special gifts through the Holy Spirit to help others and strengthen the church, giving glory to God.  Using our gifts is a part of worship.  You may not know what your spiritual gift is.  My suggestion is to get involved in your church and serve.  If one thing doesn’t work or doesn’t seem to fit, try another.  God will lead you to the gifts He wants you to use when the time is right.  I believe He may give us different gifts at different times to fulfill a need of a ministry He has for you.  I have seen that in my life.  When I was young, I tried helping with the youth group, then became a youth leader.  That didn’t work out too well.  Later on several other ministries came up and God gave me the gifts needed for my particular ministries.  No matter what your gift is or if you know what it is, get involved with your church and serve. Let’s not be just a  pew sitter but be active for God’s Kingdom. Continue reading “Great Gifts”

What Should the Church look like?

When you hear the word, “church,” what do you think of?  How do you picture it?  We don’t “go to church.”  We are the church.  Why do we often associate the word “church” with a place and time…or a building?  Even though it is symbolized as a building, that is not what the church, eklesia, is.  In a study we did this week, we found that eklesia, the word Jesus uses when he talked about building His church, actually means “gathering.”  But it is more than that.  It is the body of Christ.  It is a group of believers gathered together in unity, to worship God, to lift each other up, to pray together, to meet each other’s need, to live life together, to go out and share the love of Christ to others.  One of the churches I was a part of had a simple mission statement:  To love God and to love others, pursue Christ’s character, serve the world.  To follow Christ and invite others to follow Him.  That is what church is all about.

So what should it look like?  What do you look for in a church?

These are my personal desires in a church.  First, small groups (not necessarily in a particular order).  Having a small group Bible study in a home each week is the most important to me.  That is where you get to really know others, where you can dig deep into the scriptures, where you can grow together.  Along with that, and most importantly is Biblical teaching.  Does the church follow the Bible and teach the truth without sugar-coating or avoiding certain scriptural truths?  Does it have sound Biblical teaching?  What is most important to a church, God’s truth or attendance or something else? Christ should be the foundation.  Then, is the church welcoming?  Are the people loving and friendly?  Of course, we must remember that they are human.  Expect flaws and imperfections.  People are people.  We all have issues.  What kind of ministries do they have and how can I get involved and serve?  Church is not just a service to attend.  We all have a part.  Then, it is a matter of personal preference.  music, style of preaching, etc.  I like contemporary Christian music.  I love to see musical talent (of which I have none), I love a good dynamic speaker.  But we shouldn’t get bogged down on some of these things.  We are there to worship God, not be entertained.

What do the scriptures say about what a church should be?  What is God’s desire in a church? Continue reading “What Should the Church look like?”

Our Cornerstone

In the last post we talked about the foundation of the church.  Christ is and always will be that foundation.  If a church does not center on Christ, if it does not teach scripture, it is a false church.  Jesus should be the center of the church and the center of our lives.  Our strength is in Him.  Our salvation is through Him. Continue reading “Our Cornerstone”

What is Your Foundation?

Sorry for no posts for a while, but I was on a mission trip in Haiti and we had no internet.  What a blessing!  One of the  things we did was lay the foundation for a new church building.  While I was out there pouring cement, a five gallon bucket at a time, so many parallels came to mind about laying a foundation for the church, on stony ground, with thorn bushes here and there, the hot sun beating on us, but God is in control and Christ is our true foundation, the chief cornerstone.  The church service we had was wonderful, 41 people and 25 of them children.  Although it was in Creole, we had one universal language and that was our love and faith in Jesus Christ.  The people here were very passionate in their worship and with things like voodoo in this land, their faith (as well as spiritual battles) is very real. Continue reading “What is Your Foundation?”

Pray for Others

Ezekiel 22:30

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

wall gapGod wants us to be intercessors.  To stand in the gap.  A city fortified by a wall has a sense of security and protection.  But, if there is a breach, a gap, it becomes vulnerable.  We too have vulnerabilities.  The devil looks for these gaps to attack us.  It may be a weakness, a relationship (a bad one, tension within one, heartache), struggles at work, home, church, health, finances, decisions, feeling guilty or pride, lack of confidence, being complacent or rebellious, sin in your life, and the list goes on.  Do not be afraid to share that vulnerability with someone.  You don’t have to go through it alone.  Also, seek those who are struggling and pray for them.

Continue reading “Pray for Others”