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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Transparent Growth In Action

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

It's very rare that I get on a soapbox unless it has to deal with me or my issues. This is one of those times when I must extend that scepter to the Body again.... 

We as the Body of Christ have been off course. We have been distracted and duped into believing certain things matter when they actually don't and so the alarm must be sounded. Let me explain.

On Sunday after a frustrating morning, I was able to push through and worship at church and hear from God on some personal things, to which I'm sure I will blog about later. When I got home, while looking through emails, one caught my eye but I didn't read it. The subject line was about Jesus not commanding us to make churches full... or something like that. I instantly wondered why we are so bent on churches growing, sometimes into these mega, super packed, never personal followings. That's when God "got in my window" and schooled me on some things. First and foremost, He let me know how out of line and off course we are. He directed me to Acts 2 where the first gathering (church) was formed and how fast they grew, not because of all of the posters, commercials, "be a bringer" messages, coaxing members to get out there and find people or any other fantastic way to get people to join "our church" instead of the next pastor's church. No, they grew because they did Kingdom work... they were about their Father's business. They sold possessions, something we as believers today do not believe in (maybe we feel our items are more priceless than PURE gold decanters or SOLID silver plates, etc). They distributed among ALL (this includes those around them but maybe not in their actually "congregation"), they ate together, worshiped together and because of THIS, they had the favor with ALL people... and because of this, the Lord added to them. 

How simple it is and how easy we have moved away from this simple task which is also a Scripture itself! Matthew 6:33 states to seek first the Kingdom of God and ALL its righteousness AND as a promise, He will add all else to us... the all else? That's in the passages above verse 33 if you wanna know what's included! And then to boot, He reminds us NOT to worry about tomorrow because that is a whole other day! Focus on Him for THIS DAY... hmmm.... isn't that in a prayer that Jesus taught us to pray? "Give us THIS DAY our DAILY bread"???? 

Let's get back to focus and do the will of our Father as HE states it. Not as we declare it, explain it, water it down, or interpret it. 

Father, we repent as your children for what we have fashioned after our own desires and lusts instead of what You have for us. We have allowed ourselves to be conformed to the trappings of this world and claimed to be renewed all at the same time. We bring this disease of self to you God and ask you to forgive our sin of forgetting Your Kingdom and all its righteousness. We repent of making our church services into something that glorifies us more so than You and does our egos good more than Your Kingdom. Your Word says that if we Your people, who are called by Your name,would humble ourselves and pray, and seek Your face, and turn from our wickedways only then will You hear from heaven and forgive our sin and heal our land. I speak to every dry bone in Your family who lays defeated in the valley to arise and live. We will humble ourselves Lord, we will pray and seek Your face, and we will turn from our wicked, worldly ways and will wait for Your promise to hear our cry, forgive our sin and heal our land. Thank You God for Your faithfulness and lovingkindness while Your children run amuck in this dark world! Thank You for meeting us in the road with arms wide open as we realize we need You and come back to You after our journeys in this place! In Jesus name! Amen!