Jeremiah 7:9-10 A False Hope

Fake lips

‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”–safe to do all these detestable things?’ Jeremiah 7:9-10 

It is very common for people to live multiple lives. They live one way around one group of people and a different way around others. In public they will often look and act like a model person, but then in their private lives they will treat people horribly, lie, cheat, steal and other things.

When they are eventually caught in doing something wrong, they will point to how ‘good’ they are in the public life. They feel as if the good things that they are doing in public can cover up the bad that they do in private.

God is upset with Israel. The people had been following false gods and living in sin, but then going to the temple and worshipping God on the Sabbath, believing that they were safe and His people.

There are many people inside the church who, while in church, look like good model believers who follow God with all of their life. However, during the rest of the week they are living in sinful lifestyles. The lie, steal, commit adultery and worship false gods in their lives.

These same people go to church on Sunday and believe that they are God’s people and are safe from God’s judgment.

Living like this is having false hope. It is trusting that God will save oneself while purposefully living in sin. The person who does this has blinders on his eyes and cannot see what is happening. There will be judgment in the end. He is not safe from God’s great wrath.

As you are going through this life, examine who you are when in church and when not in church. Your life should be the same no matter where you are. Your trust in God should dictate how you live your life.

Jesus forgave you of your sins so that you would no longer commit that sin, but turn away from it. To continue to live in sin is to spit upon the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is to reject Him and follow false gods. You have a false hope in your salvation.

Turn away form all sin and allow God to change you. Have a true hope in God’s saving and changing power in your life.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will rely upon the Holy Spirit to guide how you live; that you will live in holiness for God; and that you will turn towards God and away from all sin.

1 Corinthians 12:12 Unity In Diversity

 

Church

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12

Paul uses the body as a great example of the body of Christ, the church. There are many parts but one body.

The human body is an amazing work of God. It has many different parts, yet they all work together in unity. A person needs the leg, just as much as he needs the hands. He needs the lungs, just as much as he needs the heart. If any part of the body is taken away, the rest suffers.

There are many people who view the church as very separate and not really in unity, because of the many different denominations that exist. While there is some truth in there being disunity in the various denominations, there is also some unity also.

Even inside a single church, there is always some diversity. Not every one agrees on everything. One may believe in outreach to children, while another is focused on outreach to the elderly. One person may have the gift of teaching, while another is more focused on prayer. One may like contemporary worship songs, while  another likes the hymnals. None of them are wrong. Each one is needed.

The focus of every believer and every church must be on following and obeying God and building His kingdom. For each person this may be a slightly different method. This is where diversity comes in, the many body parts. The unity is in the focus and the mission. The diversity is in the different methods.

The body suffers when one part is not functioning correctly in the way it is supposed to. The church body will also suffer when one part is not operating correctly. When a person or church group is not functioning in God’s will, everyone will suffer some.

Many people do not like the diversity, but it is needed. Take a look at your life and ask God where do you fit in with His body. What can you do to help the body function in a healthy manner?

Complaining and fighting against each other, will not bring about unity, but division. Focusing on building His kingdom and show love to everyone will bring about unity of His church, despite the differences in methods.

What is your part in His body?

I pray today that God will reveal to you the work you need to do; that God’s love will show through your life; that all churches will focus on God’s love and building His kingdom; and that God’s kingdom will be built through His people.

1 Corinthians 12:27 The Body Of Christ

 

white church

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27

Paul had been talking about different parts of the church. There are different leaders and different ministries within the church. Each one has a place in the church.

Groups of people tend to believe that their church is the only true church and that all other churches are missing the mark and are not true to God. The reason for these feelings are usually different beliefs in doctrine. One church worships with only fast songs, while another worships only slow songs out of the hymnal. One believes in using wine for communion, while another uses grape juice. One has services in a home, while another in a church building. The differences are uncountable.

Some of these groups broke off from another group because of some of these differences. Yet, God did not make His church to be that way. The church is the body of Christ. It is made up of believers in Jesus, regardless of how they worship or believe.

The core of it is belief in the salvation provided by Jesus. All the rest are sides to how you worship and serve God and each other. As long as the belief does not go directly against any teaching in the Bible, it is acceptable.

Each person must decide between himself and God as to what he wants to believe and do in the process of worship. However, every believer must be a part of the body of Christ, working together to build His kingdom in their own ways as God has shown them. That needs to be the goal of every believer, just as it was with Jesus and is still to this day.

Division must not occur in the body of Christ. Regardless of  how you worship and serve God, do not cut someone else down for the way that they worship and serve God. Build each other up, rather than cut them down.

A body should never cut itself or destroy itself. As a believer in Jesus, do not do anything that would destroy another part of God’s body…the church.

If you are believer in Jesus, you are a part of His body. What is your duty in the body of Christ? What does God want you to do in order to build His body even greater?

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that God will show you your position in His body; that you will love every part of the body of Christ, the church; and that God will help you build the body of Christ.

Ezekiel 47:12 River Flowing With Life

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing. Ezekiel 47:12

In the vision Ezekiel is given, he sees water flowing from the sanctuary. The farther he follows that flow of water, the deeper it gets. It becomes a full river, giving life to all around it. Not only do fruit trees grow around it, but each tree bears fruit every month, providing food and healing for the people.

The river that is flowing represents God’s Holy Spirit flowing out from the temple providing life wherever He goes. God is a God of life, not death. His goal is to bring more life to every person. While the Israelites are in captivity for sin against God, He is telling them that there will be a day that He will flow among them bringing life to all who come.

Although the temple no longer exists, there is the church today. The church is made up of people who believe in Jesus. Whoever believes in Jesus is given His Holy Spirit to work in and through him. God’s Holy Spirit still flows out like a mighty river bringing life, food and healing to all who enter His river.

He brings life through the work of Jesus on the cross. He brings food by showing men how to live and serve God on this earth. He brings healing to both the body and the soul of every person who follows Jesus.

Most people are willing to accept God’s river, Holy Spirit, in their own lives, however, many do not allow Him to flow through them to others.

As a believer, you can allow God’s Holy Spirit to flow through you. You have a mission to bring life, food and healing to all who are around you and you will see fruit on a daily basis.

Do not be like some and hoard everything to yourself. Do not sit in condemnation of others, but bring life to them. Jesus forgave you, so you can forgive others. His commission to you was to go and make more disciples.

Allow God’s Holy Spirit to flow like a river to others and bring them real life.

I pray today that you will know God’s Holy Spirit in your life; that you will allow God to flow through you to others; that you will bring life, food and healing to those around you; and that many will know Jesus because of you.

What’s Your Dream?

Kayla Ann has written a guest post for my blog. Many people have dreams, and she writes about a couple that had a dream that God placed on their hearts and how it had blossomed over the years. I trust you will enjoy this post as well as I have and that you will also check out her blog afterwards. Thank you for reading.

What’s your dream?

On October 22, 2017, Sandals Church celebrated their 20th anniversary in the Inland Empire.
In 1997, Pastor Matthew Brown and his wife, Tammy Brown, began a new church named Sandals with a little girl on the way. They had decided to leave their church down by the beach in order to start a new church in the Inland Empire because they believed that was were God called them to go.
They had little support from the surrounding churches and Tammy worked full-time as a teacher in order to support her husband who was fully invested in planning and preaching sermons. Their first church meeting took place in the living room of their home with only a handful of friends present.
However, both Matt and Tammy felt that this was what God was telling them to do and so they held on to their faith and over time, their congregation grew. Pastor Greg Laurie was one of the first pastors to congratulate Matt and Tammy once their congregation reached 100 people.
Over the years, Sandals church as gone from meeting in the small living room of a home, to renting out spaces at other churches or colleges, to finally being able to purchase their own building a few years back which houses 4,000.  Today, Pastor Matt and Tammy celebrated 20 years of hard work and wonderful results with the church. Sandals has grown to encompass five different locations within the Inland Empire.
After service, members were encouraged to leave behind a note in response to the following question:

Legacy Vision

Legacy Thank You

Many did.

Legacy Note
On this anniversary, Pastor Matt Brown talked about “How to Make Your Dreams Come True”

“The key to any dream is not just seeing where you want to go, but being honest about where you are. The bigger the dream the bigger the team.” – Pastor Matt Brown

Make sure the dream comes from God
God’s dream for your life takes honesty with yourself
God Dreams take teams
Never Give up on God’s Dream for your life

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

“Don’t copy the behavior and the customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2  NLT

Pastor Matt’s dream for Sandals church has been realized with God’s help and the church’s faith.

Written by Kayla Ann

You can check out Kayla’s blog at: Kayla Ann Author

You can check out the Sandals Church website at: Sandals Church