Saturday, September 10, 2005

What is the Body of Christ? What is a Church?

Far too long we Adventists have placed our confidence in a knowledge of distinct doctrines and have lost sight of Jesus' great merit as a result. Many feel they are rich in spiritual knowledge/heritage and little they know that before the eyes of God they are poor, blind, naked and wretched, with righteousness as becoming as filthy rags. Precious few see a need for repentance. How then, do we differ from the Pharisee?A church is not a building or denomination, nor is the temple of God a structure built by the hands of man. Each of us individually are ministers of the Gospel and temples of the Living God. Jehovah wants to dwell in us and work FOR US! The Body of Christ is made up of believers who possess the love of God in their hearts & an earnest desire to be like Jesus. Christ's truest followers love their neighbor as themselves. Have you reached out to your neighbors lately? Not to merely pass a religious tract over the fence and go about your daily business... have you invested in them emotionally? Do you truly love him/her?? We are not to be known as the followers of God- merely by evangelistic zeal or external differences. It is not in the style of worship, dress & diet that the Bible says we should be identified, but by our LOVE for one another. Why do we not focus more on this element? Are we too consumed with keeping the rules, earning the approval of other church members and ambitiously working our way up the ranks? How then can we develop the intimate spiritual relationship with Christ that is so lacking? Can a house divided stand? How long will there be petty squabbles over music, cheese & broaches? Is enforcing personal preferences/opinions going to bring anyone salvation? At times, we are like quarreling children. How much longer will God bear with us as we hide securely behind walls of bias and segregation pointing fingers at each other? How long will we live proudly under banners of "Liberal" or "Conservative"? Can't we live by conviction of the Holy Spirit and give others the freedom of conscience to do the same! There will be NO division in Heaven, no denominational social clubs. We will be ONE family and ONE church. Before Jesus died, His greatest desire was that believers be unified- that we be one as He is one with the Father. (John 17) Trouble is coming upon this world as we have never seen before. Our hearts need to be softened and humbled by the intense, unfathomable love of God. Knowing what Heaven has done on our behalf should bring us such great HOPE that our joy is contagious! Because of Jesus righteous Blood, we can stand assured that our sins are covered. Can we cease all boasting and floundering- claiming Salvation through Christ alone. HE is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

To Believe or Not to Believe...

At one point in my life, I thought I had God all figured out. I tried to put Him in a nice, neat little box based on my beliefs. I thought I knew who He was and what He wanted from all of us. Unfortunately, the picture I had of Him at that time was pretty distorted. I thought He was a distant, angry tyrant who wanted to burn me in Hell for even a small mistake. Now I am learning to see Him as a loving Father and friend. They say a lot of the way we view God is based on how our parents treated us. Do you believe in God? What do you think God is like??