Friday, February 19, 2016
Are You Just Going To Stand There?
Some will shout for joy that the weekend is here. Others will view it as just another day. Me? It's time to suit up, because VRC meets tomorrow night. I will spend the day fleshing out the message for tomorrow night. Actually this has been a really good week, as I have 3 potential messages. Just have to get still and ask God which one does He want me to speak.
Big shout out to Jim Bentley and Ben Catoe for assembling a computer desk for my office. I have moved to higher ground at the church by taking an office on the top floor of the building. Really biggggg room. So now I have a "work bench" on which to study and write. Thanks guys, for all the work you did. May your backs not be stiff and your gait be free from pain. As Casey Casum use to tell us each week..."Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars." I don't know what that has to do with anything, it just kind of floated through this old brain as I was typing. Disregard that part.
Found myself in a strange verse this morning.
Mark 1:33 - The whole town gathered at the door to watch.
My first impression of this verse caused me to think of the mindset that some people have about Jesus and the kingdom of God. Somehow the American mindset is that Christianity/ relationship w/ Jesus is a spectator sport. Our biggest obligation in life is to go to church. To show up and watch what happens, and be encouraged to slug through the week so we can come back next Sunday.
In the verse from Mark 1, Jesus is doing what He was sent to do.....Destroy the works of the devil. He is healing. He is casting out demons. He is taking care of those who were sick. I understand why people were there. I understand why they were watching. They'd never seen anything like this in their neighborhood. Any religious action had to be seen at the Temple, but here the Kingdom of God had suddenly appeared on their doorstep. I get that part. But in some ways, we are like the crowd who'd gathered to watch. Church has become a place where we go to be dazzled and entertained. No...church is the place of corporate worship and instruction so we can go back into our neighborhoods and communities and effect change through the leading of God's Holy Spirit at work in each of us.
What I am about to say is going to sound crazy, but believe me when I say that I it is the heart of the Kingdom work of God. My own personal life has to take a back seat to what God wants to do in me and through me. Have you ever prayed the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)? Well, do you remember the part that goes, "May Your Kingdom come soon....May Your kingdom-will be done on earth as it is being done in heaven."? How does the Kingdom-will of God get accomplished here on earth? How are the things of heaven manifested here on earth? By God working through us, that's how. My life is in His hands. He is and can never be an after thought. God's salvation is not a get-out-hell-free card that we can bandy about whenever we want. God's salvation to us gives us the justified right to chase Him and be taught how to live in this old dark world. I Peter 1:9 - ,,,,,For He has called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light." Called out for a purpose...His purpose so that what is being done in heaven, is brought down to this planet and made available to those who haven't heard about this good news of life and freedom from sin/addiction. In other words, we participate with Jesus in His ministry to heal and save those who stand outside the Kingdom relationship God desires to have with everyone.
That is what Saturday night is all about when we gather as Vineyard ReCovery Church. It is a place of introduction to Jesus. A chance to learn how to worship. A time of sharing and of getting our spiritual batteries recharged for the coming week. VRC is about "US" not "me". It's the opportunity to learn and experience what it means to be a part of a church. A time to receive prayer for whatever ails us. It is a place where confession / repentance / healing take place. To me, it's a very special time when we meet together. A bunch of broken, messed up people can all gather together to see and experience God. We leave the meeting a little more put together than we entered. Such is why we gather on Saturday night.......to be changed, and to take that change back into our homes and work place to give it away to others. That is the Kingdom at work. Like I said, we aren't called to be spectators.......we are participants in the Kingdom of God.
God on you.....
(Taken From The Intro To The Book Of Ezekiel In The Message Bible) Denial refuses to acknowledge the destruction we have brought on ...