Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the church that God built

(NOTE: much of this post first appeared on my blog and through e-devotions in May of 2009.  It is still relevant today)

(Jesus said) upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

I am more excited about the vision that God has given The Community Fellowship than I have ever been (that’s a fact that grows all the time).  God continues to renew and even rebuilt some of the passion inside me for the work He is doing here.  That also means that Satan isn't happy and is working overtime.  Yet that doesn't take away from the vision God has given us.

We are in a series about the vision and mission of The Community, and the series is called I LOVE COMMUNITY.  It is not only about our church.  It talks about what the church is called to do in any community.  One of the stories from Acts continues to hit me, and I’d like to share it with you.  Honestly, this is what I am expecting God to do (similar things) in the coming days.  Read on:

Acts 3:4-11 (nlt)
Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 6 But Peter said, "I don't have any silver or gold for you. But I'll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!"  7 Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man's feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. 8 He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.  9 All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon's Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.

That's not where the story ends.  How sweet it is when people begin to see through situations to what God is doing!

Acts 4:8-12 (nlt)
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of our people, 9 are we being questioned today because we've done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? 10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, 'The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.' 12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved."

That story talks to us at the heart of what the church is to be about.  It is not about pleasing people or doing things the way people expect them to be done.  Life is about Jesus, and being the church is about being free to be who God made you to be.  

One of the things that happened in that story I see almost every day.  Some people will disbelieve what happens by faith and by God because they cannot rationally explain it.  People thought the lame man couldn't be healed.  So that had to be another dude.  How wrong they were!

I believe it is time to let God be God and for our churches be the church that God built.  Lets get out of the way and begin to let God work.

Francis Chan said, "when you finish reading the book of Acts do you say, 'Yep, that’s my church' OR 'where did we go wrong?'"  It is time to be what God wants us to be.  Simply put, the church that God built.

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