What Has Church Become?

November 28, 2014

1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

What Has Church Become?

Does our church, our gathering together in the name of Christ still resemble this exhortation in 1 Corinthians 14 or has it gotten swallowed up in the organization, the structure, the program and the one man headliner. Is it about a functioning body where different members are able to contribute as they are led of the Spirit or have we become dumbed down to depend only on the leadership to carry out the act of worship and give the Word. In many churches our services have been reduced to a series of rote mechanical functions that we have memorized and go through. That isn’t the church that Paul speaks about here. We have become accustomed to playing church rather than being the church. Our religion has separated us into clergy and laity. One performs and the other is the audience that listens. We wouldn’t know what to do if the Holy Spirit actually showed up in our service because He would throw the agenda on our bulletins all off and mess everything up. We would lose our order and our control and our smooth running programs. We have been so raised up in this organized church mentality it is really hard for some of us to conceive of something so different where we actually individually and corporately begin to operate in the gifting the Holy Spirit has for each member. Besides that it would most likely get out of our time limitations and constraints. Then we couldn’t beat crowds to the restaurant after the church and we might miss the football game.
Church has really ceased to be all about Him. It has become all about us. After all, we are doing God a favor just to show up on Sunday mornings, right? God forbid if someone or something should offend us. We’ll just take our attendance elsewhere where we are more appreciated and they sing our flavor of songs. What has the church become?
The truth is when we turn everything over to the Holy Spirit it can get out of our comfort zone. It can get messy and it certainly may not fit into our agenda. or box It doesn’t mean there isn’t leadership and there isn’t an order, but it is subject to the Holy Spirit and not to man. Let me tell you, when we allow and invite the Holy Spirit to show up we go home with more than just a self-righteous attitude. His presence touches our lives and changes us in ways that only He can. He doesn’t use just one man or a worship team to do it, He moves through His body and upon His body as His will dictates, when we allow His will to be done. Paul says here we have these different functions through the various members for the strengthening of the church. Something tells me that church might have looked a lot different back then than it does today. Today, our churches are built around our charismatic leaders, not our charismatic bodies. Isn’t it time we quit playing church and start being the church where each one of us functions in the calling and gifting upon our lives? It doesn’t have to be limited to the Sunday service. Your ministry and calling should spill out into your everyday life. You are not only for the edification of the church, but to edify, encourage and build up all who are in your presence. If we are in Christ and He is in us then we must become the daily expression of who He is and we need a place of worship where that is actually what we do, WORSHIP Him who is worthy until we enter into His presence and He is the headship and the direction of our service. I can tell you it won’t be the same thing every week. It will always be fresh and new. You will know that you have been with Him, not just heard about Him.
What has church become? How do we bring it back to what it should be? It is time we became activated and no longer stagnant, because the church that we have known isn’t what is lighting a fire in the midst of our unbelieving nation. They need to hear and see the reality of God’s presence just as we do, not just the rhetoric about who He was. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He hasn’t changed, we have. Church, wake up to who you are and come alive in your spirits so that you can be the expression of Christ in the midst of His body and in the earth today.

Blessings,
#kent

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Not the Outward, but the Inward

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

The church is not so unlike the Jewish nation before us. We have taken the principles of the kingdom of heaven and have fashioned them into laws and burdens that are placed on the backs of men. So many of our denominations have taken a revelation and a truth, dug their foundations and built their denominations and that is where they have staid. God is not stagnant. He is an ever-moving river of truth. He is continually unfolding and unveiling His plan before us. His truth is all there in His Word, but the revelation of that truth has not been fully manifested. It is a progressive thing. One of the chief kingdom principles is never think that you have it all and never be content to build your faith and religion on present day truth. That is not to say it isn’t truth, but it may be only a facet and part of the whole.
From the early days of Christianity men have done what the religious leaders of old did with Judaism. They try and make our faith a mandate of rules and regulations. Men still try and dictate and control by taste not, touch not and eat not. If Christ taught us anything He taught us to change the outward there must be a change inwardly. Jesus once told the Pharisees, “ It is not what goes into a man’s belly that defiles him, it is what comes out.” Jesus knew that unless the condition of the heart is changed no amount of rules and regulations will really change men. They may try to act correctly outwardly, but inwardly they are still the same. The kingdom of heaven in us begins with a heart change. It must change from the desire for earthly enrichment and expression to the desire for the Spirit of God to have expression through us. No longer my will, but Your will be done. What we find is that when we really get in step and in sync with God’s heart and the Holy Spirit, we have set out on a God adventure and there is no telling where it may take us. It is exciting and it is ever fresh and new. The neat thing is we are not struggling to control it, but we have relinquished control to the Holy Spirit. Now our chief desire and ambition is to flow in harmony and obedience to Him. It is no longer about religion telling us we have to do this and we can’t do that. The law that governs us lives within our hearts and we know that our obedience to Him leads to heightened relationship and fellowship. We have found that our faith is not of the ceremonial outward protocol, it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Instead of ceremony we celebrate who and what we are in Christ and all that He is becoming in us. Perhaps that would explain why there is such a large movement away from traditional religion and more of a move toward non-denominationalism. The kingdom of heaven is not about the organization it is about the organism in which the Holy Spirit is released and free to move in and through His body according to His will and purpose and not the dictates of men and their programs. Where the Holy Spirit is free to move is where you will find that it will be as the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God [is] not in word, but in power.” Isn’t that what we desire and seek today? We have heard countless words, but God we want to behold your power. We want to see the kingdom manifested in the lives and affairs of men. This is what we press into as we seek the deeper experience of the kingdom of heaven. We want to find the lover of our soul, our King. We want to find the place of intimacy and relationship with Him where we have true communion and dialog with His presence.
May our hearts become inflamed with an everlasting passion for our Christ and His coming as well as His manifest kingdom. When we are consumed in our love for Him, the things of this world become strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Righteousness then becomes a state of who we are by association and relationship with Him who is righteous rather than something we seek to achieve through outward efforts and works. The kingdom of heaven in you is allowing and giving place to Christ being all that He desires to be in you. Allow the kingdom to flood into every part and fiber of your being and your life. As He is in you, so will you be in this world.

Blessings,
#kent

A Word from the Lord

January 9, 2014

A Word from the Lord


Romans 13:12

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

 

Leave this day the things of the earthly realm behind you.  Look into the dawn of the New Day for from the East arises your salvation and from the West the sun is setting on the former things and the things of this time and place.   Open your heart to me and I will fill it.  Open your mouth to me and I will fill it.  Open your hands to me and I will fill them.  I will be your supply and your provision.  All of your need is met in me.  Lean not upon the arm of the flesh to feed and provide in your day of want.  I am your Provider and the supplier of every need.  Lean not upon your own understanding, but lean on the council of My Word, for it is the light unto your path and a lamp unto your feet.  Take care that you walk in the light of the council of my Word.  It is a sword to prove you, to divide and separate soul and spirit.  Far too long my people have been a mixture and double-minded in their ways.  Let your eye be single and your heart true to the calling that I have given you to walk in My ways and obey My commands, if you do this, then do you love Me.  Far too long my people offer up the oblations of praise and worship, but their hearts are far from me.   Outwardly they do their homage, but within their heart and their thoughts they entertain wickedness and impurity.  I do not judge the outward man, but the inward man, the man of the heart.  What value does a beautiful cup or vessel have if it is full of abominations and wickedness?  

The fire is sent to purify that which I have sanctified.  It will burn with unquenchable thirst until there is no more left to feed its desire.  Mercy and grace will wet and temper the steel of godliness in my people, lest they be consumed in judgement.  My people shall turn to me from the least to the greatest and those that are mine shall gather beneath My wing.  There I will shelter them from the storm.  It is a time of pruning and separation so that those who would bear fruit may do so more abundantly and those that are dead upon the vine may be cut off and cast into the fire.  

What a man has sown and what he is now sowing will bear its fruit and he shall eat the fruit thereof either to life or to death.  Take care how you plant into your life and into the lives of others.

Clay pots hold divine life.  Only as they are emptied are they perpetually filled.  Stop holding the life till it becomes stagnant and putrefied.  Pour out that which I place within each one of you.  It is only in giving that you truly receive.  Release the life.  You are not vessels for storage, you are vessels of daily use to wash the feet of common people and make their way clean and sure.  Some of you say, what do I have to give?  Give your life, your service, and My love that abides within you.  With Me there is never a lack of supply or increase.  You are shallow, because your deeds are shallow.  Become the vessel that is tipped over and poured out.  If you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly.  

Revelation is coming, but it comes with a price.  It must be received with humility and obedience.  The revelation of the Most High is revealed in what you live and not in what you know.  The revelation of Jesus Christ in you is revealed through a crucified life, laid upon the altar of obedience and service.  

Today is the day to seek Me and lay all else aside.  I am your refuge, your hiding place, your mighty fortress, but you must truly know me to be hid in me.  It is no longer about outward actions of religion and godliness, it is a day to know intimately my heart and come into the inner sanctuary of relationship and abiding that is only found in intimacy and relationship.  Come quickly, for the days are getting short and times and seasons are at hand.  Rouse you up out of your sleep and slumber and come away with me.  I speak these things to you, because I love you. Let him who has an ear hear what the Spirit is speaking to the Church.  It is the day for the Bride to prepare herself and make ready for her Groom.  Take heed and act quickly. 

 
Blessings,
kent
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