As many may know, I have been a part of Brother Night and the BOB (band of brothers) groups for a while now and the question I am constantly confronted with, what is a brother? Until I joined these groups, I thought I knew the answer, yet I was never quite satisfied with my explanation. I’ve seen spiritual brotherly love in action, as well, I’ve seen those exact same actions in the secular population. I think my biggest and saddest discovery is I see a lot more brotherly love in the world than in today’s church.
Today (Tuesday, 8-20-19) was a wakeup call for me as I witnessed one of the finest examples of Christian brotherly love that I’ve ever seen at our BOB meeting. “Voila!” It hit me like a brick! Most Christian’s don’t have a clear understanding of the brotherly love that Jesus speaks of! Then I realized that the answer to my dilemma has been in front of me this whole time. We’re living in the day when Satan has turned our church buildings into his own personal Christian corrals. He has managed over ages to divide believers through denominational titles and beliefs, which was never meant to be. 1 Corinthians 1:12-13 (NLT), 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter, or “I follow only Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! But this split is accompanied by the false sense of security in as much as, believing that what the church mission statement reads, and the church by-laws state will get them a free pass into heaven. However, I heard Brother Zac Poonen describe the difference in a church congregation and the body of Christ this week. Hear this; a congregation is an external group of disconnected people with the same common interest and goals, whereas each member of the body has an internal connection with the head. Most of us don’t or refuse to understand what this means.
What is sad, and even ludicrous, is we continue to act as a congregation, fulfilling the desire of Satan to feel secure and satisfied inside his corral. Oh yes! I know it’s called the house of God by many who attend, and they believe that God would never allow this to happen. But we’ve been warned in, Colossians 2:8 (NLT), Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. It happens! I’ve attended a lot of churches in my years and it breaks my heart when I hear someone in authority invite Jesus or the Holy Spirit to come into this place, “which is an oxymoron to me, as I live in my house!” Fact is God should have entered with each believer as the Holy Spirit dwells in those who believe. 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT), Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? Should you not realize this as true, now may be a good time to hit your knees! Back on task; comfort seems to mean more than following Jesus to most people of the church. You’ll hear such things as; I know my church family and they know me; I know the needs of most in our church and I feel comfortable talking with them. These have become ingrown (to quote myself). They rest in a phew, pay tithes and offerings, heck; some even stand on a street corner handing out tracks from time to time, to ease their guilt. My opinion on handing out tracks is; it is usually a meaningless, futile gesture to appease those in the church because it commonly lacks the follow up of, one on one interactive communication and care. We are sent to preach (communicate) the good news of Christ by word and example. (Just think of how you viewed a spiritual tract, before you accepted Jesus.) How’d that work out?
The bible tells us in, 1 Corinthians 1:17 (NLT), For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power. Our best preaching comes from our ordinary everyday living example! I heard and believe this; we will inevitably live what we truly believe. What exactly are we preaching? Some of my saddest memories are of me being so corralled by church that I preached only to that church where there was little to no confrontation as we all had the same thought pattern. I seldom varied outside the boundaries of my church due to fear, loyalty and comfort, ergo my spiritual maturity was severely limited (capped being a better description). The belief system that I had bought into was greatly flawed with generations of insinuations, doctrinal misinterpretation, warnings of spiritual corruption and biblical falsehoods. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 explains this very clearly and verse 27 nails it down for me; 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NLT), All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. It’s like my pastor says about meeting new people, “everyone you meet knows something or someone that you don’t know.” Now imagine if a room full of believers (from all walks of life and denominations), really started to do life together, sharing thoughts, ideas, desires and spiritual concerns. Do you think our understanding of them, and God’s desire would expand? I can’t start to explain, how my meeting one man 22 years ago has grown into me meeting hundreds of new people and in some cases even doing life with them.
I feel that it is very important for each of us to remove the blinders that church sometimes saddles us with and live outside the corral. We need to enter the world to be a difference, mixing and mingling with the body, encouraging non-believers while strengthening believers and all the while adding to our storehouse of Godly wisdom. We are instructed in, Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT), 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Think of it as, we attend church to be encouraged, challenged, recharged (if you will) and exit church to live like Jesus, doing life in this world.
My prayer for all, Ephesians 3:14-21 (NLT), 14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[a] 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[b] 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Should you have an interest in broadening your understanding more of Doing Life Together I urge you to check these sites.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKlQvsoPTNI = Brother Zac Poonen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffGIHL1EsOU = Brother John K. Jenkins Sr.
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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