Thursday, September 22, 2011

stop playing church

Matthew 16:18 NLT
... upon this rock I will build mychurch, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

Jesus started the church.  Way back in the Old Testament God told His people to gather, to worship, to repent and seek God together.  That continued in the New Testament.  And for the record, I love Jesus and I love His church.

Jesus not only started the church, but Jesus died for the church.  Be careful what you are thinking right now because God didn't start a building project and didn't die for buildings.  The church is people, His people.  When Jesus talked to Peter and the other apostles about the church He founded, it was going to be built on what would out last everything else.  The church is built on Jesus.

When anything else, anything other than Jesus, is the most important thing in church life, we have a problem.  That is when we begin to play church.  Are you playing church?  Stop playing church!

Start living like the church.  Jesus calls us, the church, His bride and says that He is returning for His church one day soon.  No one knows when that day will be, but we have a great promise to hold tightly on to.  Church is meant to be solely about God and led by God.  Thus, when we call the traditions of men church, we really are knocking something God made and something He loves.

'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.'"

Playing church gets us no where.  Being the church will lead us to success and to being all God made us to be.  I don't know about you, but I'd like to see the church stand up to be counted against the foes that are against us today.

And we have some enemies.  Listen up.  One enemy of the church is compromise.  Stand on what God says and not on what men say because compromise is deluding or negating or omitting what God says (we have all been guilty).  Another enemy of the church is legalism.  Some people say you have to dress like this or like that, you have to have music like this or that, or that you have to meet on this or that day.  The fact is this: church is about JESUS.  It is Jesus getting first place in our lives.  All or nothing. 

Far too many people who we go to church with are playing church.  It is comfortable to go on Sunday and live like we want the rest of the time.  It is easy to keep our money and give a little here and there.  It saves us time when we don't talk to friends about our faith.  But all of those things are simply playing church.

Am I on my soapbox today?  Yep.  You know it.

I believe that Jesus is calling His Church (that is with a big "C" Church) to stand up, share the truth and be a catalyst of change in our communities.  God made us for greatness, not pettiness.  God gave us the best and greatest gift of all, His son Jesus.  Now is time to stop playing church and start being the church.

They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.

When we see our churches as separate organizations and don't work together, we again are just playing church.  Honestly, I believe that this next year may be the single greatest year in my life as my heart is heavy to see and help churches lock arms and hearts to be the Church in our community and to help hurting people by giving them real and lasting hope.  

People know what the church is against, but do they know what we stand for?  Stop playing church.  Be the church!

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

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