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Devotionals    H3'ed 5/18/12

The Biblical Model for the Church

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So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. -- 1Thessalonians 5: 11 (NLT)

Too much of modern church experiences consist of an hour and a half on Sunday and then living like hell the rest of the week. Maybe there is a prayer service on another night that is often heavy on service and light on prayer. The modern church has created believers who try to fit Christ into their lives instead of making their life about Christ. Listen, the devil does not give up without a serious fight. He is always working to lure us back into worldliness because he knows it is what separates us from God. Sure we should be safe for that hour and a half on Sunday but shouldn't we walk in power the rest of the week? What does the Bible say?

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. -- Colossians 3: 1-4 (NLT)

Our real life should be hidden in Christ -- that is how God designed the church. It is supposed to be a living breathing organism, not an organization. Organisms do not live part time. I saw a congregant from a mega church once say, "Pastor gives me just what I need to get back to him next Sunday." What a sad and pitiful existence that is! We are supposed to have the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead inside of us! But we can only take advantage of the power we have been given if we leverage it in our lives. We do not do that by allowing it to lay dormant during the week. We do that through true fellowship with other true believers. People who are also about the Father's business and love talking about it!

Finally from the key verses we see the payoff -- each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Not those who served in ministry. Not those that said a magical prayer. Those who were saved.   The only thing that should matter to us as Christians is the eternal destination of the souls of men. But we can make it be about so much else in the church today. We can make it about fancy buildings and motivational speaking. We can make it about works of the flesh and self-help. We can make it about the temporal comfort and entertainment of the saved instead of eternal peace with God and the salvation of the lost. This is not about us anymore beloved. We are already on the inside. We already have the blessed assurance. This is about our unsaved family members. This is about our unsaved co-workers and friends. This is about the countless people we see every single day that do not know Jesus Christ yet as their Lord and Savior.

For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. -- Philippians 1: 20-24 (NLT)

The biblical church is designed to bring honor to God and bring the lost to the cross. Fruitful work for Christ. It must always start with a reverent awe of who He is -- a healthy fear of the Lord. The Biblical church will have accompanying signs and wonders evident. Real miracles of God; not the works of man. It will have a proper and correct view of money and wealth. It will inspire corporate worship, united under the only unifying principle -- Jesus Christ and Him crucified. It should result in the true fellowship of believers -- edifying each other in the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ. And it will result in people being genuinely saved. People genuinely regenerated -- all for the glory of God. The Biblical church model will always bring glory to God.

Reverend Anthony Wade -- May 17, 2012

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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