One thing I notice lacking in churches is togetherness and prayer. Sure, there may be some fellowship, “meet and greet” time, potlucks and things like that, but do we get together and really get to know each other? Do we get together and pray? Do we pray for each other? Do we know each other enough to know what to pray for? Not just the superficial stuff like health and “travel mercies,” but also the intimate stuff, the spiritual needs, the struggles, the battles we go through in life. I’ve always been an advocate of small groups, where we can gather together in homes and get to know one another, studying God’s word and praying for one another. It is also a time to seek and give godly advice and encouraging one another. We as a church need to be more than just a gathering on Sundays (or Saturdays), but we need to be more like a family, with unity, really, truly caring for one another and loving one another and not just one or two days a week but throughout the week. We as a church need to intercede for those outside of the church, that they would receive knowledge of Jesus Christ and believe the truth. We need to pray for the leaders and people of this country, especially with all the division, hatred, name pointing, biased accusations and covering up truth and all that we see and hear. We need to gather and pray. Together. Continue reading “Praying Together”
Pauls’ epistles, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians are some of my favorite books in the Bible. There is so much here to learn from, about life and about Jesus Christ our Lord. Within them, he shares His love for the church and other believers, as we all ought to. He encourages them by telling them the that He prays for them and what He prays for. I try to pray for my family and my church for these as well, though not as often as I should. Of course, I try to stay away from ‘recited’ prayer, but I think using scripture within your prayer is good. As believers, we need to be intercessors for others. That is what Paul is doing in His letters. These intercessory prayers encourage and guide us in our prayer life and in our life. When I read them, I also feel He was praying these prayers for all of us.
Last week, we talked about the model prayer from Matthew 6, that many call “The Lord’s Prayer.” I think it is more fitting to call Jesus’ prayer in the garden “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is His prayer. As He prepares Himself to give His life and take on the sins of the world onto the cross, He prays a heartfelt prayer for His mission, for His disciples and for all believers.
Continue reading “The Lord’s Prayer; no, not that one”
One role the church often seems to neglect is discipling its members. When a person makes a decision to believe in Jesus Christ, we need to be there for them and guide them to grow and learn about their faith. A new believer should also seek godly counsel with those who are more mature believers. We all need to learn and to teach. As a church family, we need to grow together with our brothers and sisters. Continue reading “Students and Teachers of the Word”
As we go through our series on “I am Saved…Now what to do?”, we will discuss the importance of being involved in your local church. Probably one of the first things to do after you accept Jesus Christ as Lord of your life is to find a good church, one that teaches the Bible with no compromise, one that disciples new believers, one who has a community of believers to help each other grow and encourage one another, one who is a praying church. Check out their mission statement, tenets of faith and what they offer. I am a strong believer in small groups. This is where people really get to know each other as they study God’s word. I also am a strong believer that everyone has a ministry that God has appointed them to do. We all need to be an active member of our church, participating in Bible studies, small groups, Sunday school, and ministries. Seek what the Lord has called you to do. Help where help is needed. That is a good way to discover your gifts and your calling. Don’t wait for it to come to you…but also know when to say no. God will lead you. Too many people come to Sunday services and think that is enough. I call them “pew-sitters.” Getting fed through the music and sermons is great, but there is more to it than that. How do you help to “feed” others? I believe this is what God meant when He says, “I know the plans that I have for you…to give you a future and a hope.” (See Jeremiah 29:11) Continue reading “Don’t Be a “Pew-sitter””