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Tag: church (page 1 of 5)

Jesus’ Prayer for His Church

When Jesus spoke of His Church, He spoke of a people and not a building (Matt. 16:18).  We are not called to come to church but to be the Church.

In John 17, we get insight into how Jesus prayed for the universal Church and how that applies to each expression of a local church.  Our hearts should be comforted by the fact that – of all people – Jesus Christ has prayed for us as a church.  The better we understand how Jesus prayed for us, the more we will comprehend how we are to live for Him.

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God’s Favorite Style of Church

Every Christian has their favorite style of church.  We all tend to gravitate towards a type of church that meets our desired preferences.  Have you ever thought about God’s favorite style of church?

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Be a Disciple – Not a Consumer

Church isn’t about you.

Christianity began with a sinless Savior sacrificing himself on a rebel’s cross, and yet we are still trying to divide his garments among us.

It’s all about what we can get rather than what we can give.

We treat Jesus like a lottery ticket expecting to cash in big on worldly treasures.

We treat Jesus  like a personal butler expecting him to clean up all our messes.

We treat Jesus like a genie in the bottle expecting him to grant all our wishes.

We treat church like an amusement park anticipating a great day of entertainment and when it fails to deliver, we refuse to return and select another one that better meets our expectations.

We treat worship like American Idol judging every musical selection and presentation as if it was a performance for our subjective approval.

We treat preaching like listening to a stand-up comedian whom we cheer for if the routine is enjoyable and yet internally heckle if the routine isn’t our taste.

Instead of Jesus being the center of Christianity, we have repositioned ourselves there and the entire thing is imploding upon us.

Instead of committed disciples obeying the Great Commission, we can revert to becoming consumers who succumb to the great omission.

You Can’t Make It On Your Own [Spoken Word]

You can gather with other believers
Every single chance you find
You can walk through religious doors
Every time they’re open wide
You can slip in and slip back out
And yet still be barely known
For all the good you think you’ve found
You can’t make it on your own

You can read your Bible daily
And think how it applies to YOU
While neglecting all it’s “one another’s”
And miss the plural side of truth
Give US this day OUR daily bread
Don’t settle for crumbs alone
A table for one you might reserve
But you can’t make it on your own

The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit
The Blessed Trinity
The Godhead displaying for us now
The aim of community
Focus on others – not just me
Don’t settle to remain unknown
For all that you want to build in life
You can’t make it on your own

Jesus would often leave the masses
To focus upon the few
And yet being a number in the crowd
Is the isolation you pursue
There’s no exception to God’s Words
It’s not good when Man’s alone
If you love this Christ, than love His bride
For you can’t make it on your own

You can say you don’t need others
But what if they need you?
If you really are that put together
Why don’t you help us through?
If you keep us at a distance
Christian fellowship you disown
Hard times are promised to come our way
And you can’t make it on your own

When we speak of church as a building
Or a service that we attend
We miss the very nature
Of what God would recommend
Only iron can sharpen iron
Only through relationships can it be shown
That you’re at your best when you believe
You can’t make it on your own

[I wrote this for the end of a sermon on Colossians 4:7-18 entitled, “You Can’t Make It On Your Own.]

You Can’t Make It On Your Own

Colossians 4:7-18

You Can’t Make It On Your Own

In Paul’s concluding remarks to the Colossians, he provides personal comments regarding specific ministry partners.  Within these comments, Paul models the type of friends that a disciple will need to continue towards maturity.

Why Mention These People?

  • A commitment to Jesus is a commitment to His people.
  • Our beliefs and our behaviors were never intended to be lived out in isolation.
  • You are deceiving yourself if you think you can live for Jesus on your own.

Who Are These People?

  1. Tychichus (Col. 4:7-8) – Consistent Servant – The Kingdom of God is advanced through ordinary people doing ordinary things consistently.
  2. Onesimus (Col. 4:9) – Returned Runaway – God’s ability to use us is not determined by the degree of our sinful past.
  3. Aristarchus (Col. 4:10) – Empathetic Companion – We all need people who will do more than hurt for us but those who will hurt with us.
  4. Mark (Col. 4:10) – Restored Partner – If God isn’t finished with us, then we shouldn’t be finished with each other either.
  5. Justus (Col. 4:11) – Faithful Comforter – Regardless of your situation, you can experience great comfort if the people closest to you are closest to Jesus.
  6. Epaphras (Col. 4:12-13) – Prayer Warrior – Those who agonize in prayer are those who succeed in ministry.
  7. Luke (Col. 4:14) – Available Helper – God’s call might not be for you to leave your job for the ministry but to use your job for the ministry.
  8. Demas (Col. 4:14) – Worldly Wanderer – Starting well in ministry does not guarantee finishing well.
  9. Nympha (Col. 4:15-16) – Hospitable Disciple-Maker – The church grows by those who open up their homes and open up their lives to others.
  10. Archippus (Col. 4:17) – Incomplete Minister – Be diligent to fulfill the ministry that God has entrusted to you.

Next Step

  1. Invite a friend
  2. Join a group
  3. Commit to the church

Read the spoken word at the end of the sermon here or listen to it above.