Where To Find The Church

Some biblical scholars have calculated that Jesus walked over 3,000 miles during his 3-year ministry. Immediately, one can get the idea that our Lord didn’t sit around the house, in the comforts of some corporate office administering to others about what they should do. The opposite is true.
And while it is also true enough that many sought after Jesus, the major aspect is that Jesus went around where people were: where they worked, ate, lived and played. In other words, we see where Jesus’s ministry was an active ministry and one where he went to them.
More often than not, preachers refer to the Old Testament, citing examples whereas God is buy making promises and zapping those who are either against Him or who disobey.
I think preachers preach on the Old Testament as there, events were specific, concrete and highly visible.
The shame in this type of preaching is that more often than not, preachers fail to preach on what Jesus had to say. If they stumble into the New Testament, it is straight into either Act or the Book of Revelation. Once again, we highly visible works enjoyed by the Apostles and early Church.
I suggest Jesus isn’t quoted often is because of his commandments are of the impossibility.
Unlike the Old Testament, with Jesus, we don’t ‘fight’ our enemies, we are to love and to pray for them. This is the exact opposite approach of the old way of doing things. With Jesus we were to resist evil, to do well and love our neighbor as servants. Who in the world wants to do that? Not, many obviously.
However, I also suggest it is not people who should go to church—No, it is the church that should be going to the people.
Today, the visibility of Christ and His work is through the people of his Church. And although this is against the nature of ‘man’ we are to go out and love others. This is in fact, our testimony. God is alive and God is expressed through Jesus visavie His Church. This means the spirit of Christ is to be spread through us as individuals, one-to-one and by this engagement the world comes to know God. It is that simple. We are to go to them, not the other way around. Amen


Christ’s Ministry

One of the key features of Christ’s ministry is that he was outside, not inside. No, we don’t generally see Jesus behind a lectern, no microphone, speakers, choir or any other prop. In fact, there isn’t even mention of a scroll in his hand except on one occasion while at the synagogue as a youth.
His church then could also be easily seen: aside from his misfit disciples, his church consisted of tax collectors, wine drinkers, sinners, the hurt, the maim, the lame and those grieving with a broken heart.
On occasion we see him with those who were high level church goers. Mostly on these circumstances, he was condemning them: on others, he amazed them, but truly he was always apart from them and down with the ‘normal’ down trodden folks who were hurting from a cruel life.
If Jesus were here today in the flesh I don’t think I’d see him at a megachurch. I believe I’d see him walking on Main Street USA and elsewhere speaking and comforting those who are broken, those who are the drug addicts and afflicted. I believe I would witness him ministering at our jails and prisons and hospitals and those who are outside the normal realm, those without hope and dejected from society. I’d see him walk with the homeless, the infirmed and those rejected by a society that puts esteem on those who are successful.
In our walk with Jesus in today’s world I wonder how much we are outside doing God’s work? I wonder how afraid we are of His people, his church, those of whom would inherit His Kingdom of Heaven.
How many of us remain in our comfort zone of our homes, our a/c-ed churches, away from those who are despised?
In short, it would seem we also should possess a key feature just as our Lord had and that is to be seen available on the outside reaching out to the world, inviting them into the fold of God’s Kingdom. I believe anything outside of that is a journey away from God and not WITH God. Our true path should be to walk with the Lord and the only way to do that is with The Least of Them. And with Them we walk with God.

Theology vs. The Heart

1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart
Jeremiah 17:10
“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.
Psalm 44:21
Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
As people our first inclination to search for God is with our intellect. Perhaps, it is natural to do so and we are all hungry to know and to understand the intricacies of God. For the Bible scholars, some take great comfort in their knowledge and understanding of scripture. Consequently, when it comes right down to it, how then do we evaluate the results when examining an individual?
At the end of the day, we may conclude if knowledge of God was a matter of intellect, then most of us would be left out in the cold, unable to grasp the simple concept of God as a proverbial form of love.
Love, in this manner is obtained and responded to, not so much as a matter of intellect, but as a matter of the heart. In this way, we respond in accordance to our desires. Let’s face it: often times, our desires are horrible and wrong, and so goes our thinking for it is dictated by our desires.
Luke 6:44-45
Sanctification will be seen and heard “for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies
The bible makes this clear to me, for I desire not all of the debatable scripture that flows from theologies, but a pure heart and pure mind.
The religious leaders of Christ’s day were fluent in theology, yet possessed contaminated and corrupt hearts. Too, words are cheap. A pure heart and mind is expressed by direct actions of service to others. In short, reject the tenets of perfect religious speech and embrace the cleanliness of the heart as it is purified by the saving blood of Jesus.

Not so Fast!

Isaiah 42:6
“I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you …”

Consider the idea that we trust God just as we should. Obeying in this narrative, we discover while impatiently waiting for a colleague, that still another colleague refuses to wait and goes on ahead.
We discover sometime later that the colleague that grew impatient and left was indeed hit by a semi-truck and killed.
Immediately you could ponder the fact that really, our other colleague was not late, it was God pulling us back to save us.
I am certain this has happened many, many times and simply we not credit God for stepping into our path and intercepting us just at the right moment.
In the future: don’t be so fast. Calm down and realize we are to permit God to guide our lives and we are to trust by faith just how he does it.

Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3:5
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.…
Consider the idea that if we were as loyal to the Lord as we are to our desires, our vices, then we would sit among angels.
Let’s examine some of the items we are most committed:
Sports such as football, baseball, etc.
Movies and video games
In short, if we were as loyal in our beliefs to our God as we are to our fleshly preoccupations, we’d be so much further ahead in realizing the type of Christianity we actually say we pursue. In this sense, our values become more or less binary. Either we do it, or we don’t.
Can you imagine rushing to pray or read the scriptures or to serve others the way Christ commanded us to serve? Could cheer leaders on the sidelines root for us as we participated in proclaiming the gospel?
Could we ‘dive’ into the scriptures, hungry to ingest the Word as much as we do a Porterhouse Steak?
Naturally, we all fall short in this area. We possess many, many passions outside the high calling of Jesus Christ. And insomuch that we are all guilty of this, perhaps reflecting on our desires will assist us in achieving balance in our spirit life. No, we are not perfect, but we should strive unto perfection while we dwell on this earth.