Jesus the Christ picked up the tab so we wouldn't have to spend the rest of our lives paying on a debt that we can never pay off.
Could it be that sometimes God allows us to be separated from things, as they are neither essential or beneficial to the advancement of His highest in our lives? Not everything that we lament losing is worthy of such lamentation. Sometimes it is good to lose certain things in order that we may discover the better things! The things that we cannot do without (to our thinking) are the things which often hinder our pursuit of the one and only Christ.
- Wednesday Bible Study at Bethel (Life Challenges - When Loss Prevention fails - 7 P.M. Atrium)
Holy Spirit, lead Your church into a greater understanding of the Heavenly Father's will each day, discerning His Divine purpose, placement, and timing in this crucial hour. Lord God, enable Your church to discern the world around it, that we may see it as You do, that our faith and conduct may be in alignment with Your heart and Your purpose, that the service of our hands and the words that we speak may be extensions of Your heart. Transform us that we may love and minister to others as You advance Your purposes on earth in this hour, in Jesus' name.
“......Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. ..."
The greatest resource that the church has is not its money or it's things. It's the people. Jesus in His church is relational! Jesus in His church is love! People reach people and the church is and always will be people. The other things are added blessings provided by the Father's hand, to serve His purposes.
Some might be tempted to stay away from church due to the "perceived" epidemic of "hypocrisy" found in these gathering places.. Staying away from church because of the perceived hypocrisy of others seems to promote the false idea that you might catch it by being exposed to those "hypocrites" and to ensure that you won't get it, it is better to stay away from church.
The biggest concern might not be the face that we put on at church, but the one that we wear at home.
To stay away from church because of the perceived flaws and deficiencies of others is just flat out...well -- Hypocritical! To encourage others to stay away from church because of their unworthiness and flaws implies that those who do go to church have it all together. Would someone introduce me to that person? Of course there is only one trophy in the case of perfection and it is the life of Christ.
I am glad that God loves hypocrites, because at times I am one of them. I can say one thing and do another, I can profess my Love for God and hold others made in His likeness in contempt. My words can be harsh when people get in the way of my pursuit of being God's favorite Christian. There is nothing infallible in any part of my humanity and that's why I must allow the Holy Spirit to knock off the rough edges. Until then thank you God for loving and transforming hypocrites like me.
Hypocrisy is endangered anywhere there is a move of the Holy Spirit and redemptive love abounds. The presence of the Holy Spirit can transform "the worst of hypocrites" and in addition to that, there is always room for another flawed soul - so we are all more than welcome!
James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Pastor Rick Ritenour