Many of Jesus’ parables relate to Israel’s way of life. Many people understood about sheepherding, vineyards and olive groves. That was their lifestyle. Jesus would teach with relatable stories. In this parable He teaches that our relationship with Him is much like a grape vine and its branches.Continue reading “Vine and Branches”
Of all the things that was on Jesus’ mind as He was suffering on the cross, He wanted to make sure His mother was taken care of. This was the woman who raised Jesus as a child. This was the woman who was obedient to God and made great sacrifice. She followed Him to the end.
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?”
Jesus uses much about the pastoral and agricultural lifestyle of Israel in His parables and analogies. Much of their wealth and well-being is based on their vineyards and olive gardens. Here, Jesus says, “I am the vine.” The vine is the sustainer; without the vine there is no fruit. The vine is the livelihood of the family business. Jesus is described as the cornerstone. It is the same principle. He is the foundation of our faith, of our life. Continue reading “I AM’s…The Vine”
In this world, there is so much that opposes us. As believers, we need to surround ourselves with other godly people and lift each other up. Of course, we need to spend time with those that do not believe and share our faith, but we must be united as a church and strengthen one another and love one another.