Why meet?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

 

Hebrews 10:25   not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

 

A Biblical reason to meet with fellow believers. The why of “church”.

 

1 Corinthians 14:26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

 

A Biblical plan for what meetings with fellow believers should include.

 

1Corinthians 14:12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

 

A Biblical purpose for the meetings with fellow believers.

 

Colossians 3:12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Col 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Col 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Col 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Col 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

A Biblical pattern for ‘church life’ with fellow believers.

 

What does ‘church’ as in the meeting of believers look like? What is its purpose? Why do believers meet? How do they relate to one another? The scriptures are plain in answering those questions.

Why – Hebrews states we are to meet to be active in

encouraging one another.

What – 1 Corinthians 14:12 states we are to

strive to excel in building up the church.

How – 1 Corinthians 14:26 states we each have something to contribute to the meetings:

each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

Who – Colossians 3:12-17 states this pattern for relating to one another and meeting with one another is for all believers –

as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, and is to include the following:

Evidence of the fruit of the Spirit – – This shows up in our attitudes as we relate to one another

compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Methods to settle differences – When differences arise or if one is offended there is a scriptural manner to deal with the difference by

bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Jesus states

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Treatment of one another -How we treat each other demonstrates to the nonbelieving world that we are truly disciples of Christ

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.

Actions – this is to include teaching, admonishing in wisdom.

  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,

It also includes a form of worship -worship will include singing, leading the body into an attitude of praise and thanksgiving

singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

In what spirit should this be done? With thanksgiving –

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Now the question is; When we meet is this what we see? Can this be accomplished in the “way we do ‘church'”?

Our churches are esteemed ineffective when:

  1. The laws of the land are created contrary to God’s Word
  2. A town of 40,000 has 4,000 attending church
  3. The general tone or attitude on the street is self-oriented

We can say in this place the ‘church’ is ineffective and that is not due to a lack of ability – perhaps we have “harnessed” the Holy Spirit? This is also known as quenching the Spirit. Whose will do we follow? Our own? Mankind’s? Or God’s? Who do we trust to do the work? Where is our faith?

 

The church, speaking here of the body of believers, must rise up as an army of believers and begin to act like scripture paints the believing church, the bride of Christ. In that place it will begin to have an impact on those around it as it did in the early days of the church. God added to the church daily. The church was dispersed and each believer grew in the word, sharing what they had received with those around them.

 

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Words…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 37:1-9a

As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD.

 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz.

 They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.

 It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the LORD your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.'”

 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah,

 Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me.

Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.'”

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that the king had left Lachish.

 Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, “He has set out to fight against you.”

 

Words disturb. Words hurt. Words frighten. But the Words of God bring peace, hope and understanding. Much is done with words. May we use words to heal hurts, bring peace, and give hope. May we not be found using words to bring fear, distrust, or dismay. The arm of the Lord is not shortened. God is still the same yesterday, today and forever.

 

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Where is our trust…

 

 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 36:1-10

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.

And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field.

And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours?

 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?

Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.

 But if you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”?

 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.

 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?

 Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.'”

 

 

The world notices when we turn our backs on our God. It makes us appear weak and vulnerable. They begin to flex their collective muscles for they know of God also. Those who rely only on their own strength, the strength of ‘Egypt’ will find no strength in comparison with what we have when we rely on God. We can see this being played out in our world today. Let us turn to the One who can defeat any enemy, especially the enemy of our very souls. Let us rely on His strength.

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A cry for justice and safety…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 16:1-5

  Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Zion.

  Like fleeing birds,

like a scattered nest,

so are the daughters of Moab

at the fords of the Arnon.

  “Give counsel;

 grant justice;

 make your shade like night

 at the height of noon;

shelter the outcasts;

do not reveal the fugitive;

  let the outcasts of Moab

sojourn among you;

be a shelter to them

 from the destroyer.

 When the oppressor is no more,

 and destruction has ceased,

 and he who tramples underfoot

 has vanished from the land,

  then a throne will be established in steadfast love,

and on it will sit in faithfulness

in the tent of David

 one who judges

 and seeks justice

and is swift to do righteousness.”

What does humanity cry for?  It cries for justice, peace and safety from the oppressor.  It cries for righteousness, a way of living that demonstrates love for one another.  And where will this be found?  Is there any place upon this earth that is free of oppression, free of destruction?  Only in Christ is this found.  There is a place in the spirit that transcends the physical and outlasts the temporal. Only in Christ, sent by God to establish a kingdom ruled by love, faithfulness and right living.  A place of justice where there is no oppression and no destruction.  This is a promise we can hold onto.  In Christ we are found in that safe place with a promise of good not evil, of eternity with God that starts now.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Peace, rest and singing…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 14:1-8

 For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.

  And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the LORD’s land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

  When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve,

  you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

 

“How the oppressor has ceased,

the insolent fury ceased!

  The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked,

the scepter of rulers,

 that struck the peoples in wrath

with unceasing blows,

that ruled the nations in anger

with unrelenting persecution.

 The whole earth is at rest and quiet;

they break forth into singing.

 The cypresses rejoice at you,

the cedars of Lebanon, saying,

‘Since you were laid low,

 no woodcutter comes up against us.’

There is peace, rest and singing when oppression ceases.

There is peace, rest and singing when a sin-oppressed soul is set free.

There is peace, rest and singing when Christ enters our life.

Peace, rest, and singing follow those who trust in the Lord.

“… The whole earth is at rest and quiet;

they break forth into singing….”

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Be a light…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 3:16-26

 The LORD said:

 Because the daughters of Zion are haughty

and walk with outstretched necks,

 glancing wantonly with their eyes,

mincing along as they go,

 tinkling with their feet,

 therefore the Lord will strike with a scab

 the heads of the daughters of Zion,

and the LORD will lay bare their secret parts.

 In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents;   the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves;  the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets;  the signet rings and nose rings;  the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags;  the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.

  Instead of perfume there will be rottenness;

 and instead of a belt, a rope;

 and instead of well-set hair, baldness;

 and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth;

and branding instead of beauty.

 Your men shall fall by the sword

 and your mighty men in battle.

 And her gates shall lament and mourn;

 empty, she shall sit on the ground.

It would be wise to know there is a part of God that is shared with us that alerts us to the knowledge of judgment.  Not a judgment imposed by mankind upon one another, not a judgment similar to that of the Pharisee elevating one over another, but a judgment imposed by God Almighty; one more severely intense that is placed against His people for their pride and their rejection of Him, all that He is.  In Christ we have forgiveness and with a that acceptance comes responsibility.  Genuine believers respond to Him out of love and gratitude and there is no rebellion in them.  Let’s be sure to be a part of the remnant saved from total destruction.  Let us be a light in a dark world.  Peace.

 

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

One in purpose, one in love…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 2:1-5

 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,

and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

  O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD.

Hope, a hope held by all, of a time when we shall make war no more.  That time comes when all nations turn to the Lord and follow his commands.  The Lord shall judge between men and between nations.  With that judgment comes peace for the disputes are settled.  There is nothing left to fight over.

When we turn to the Lord and we follow his commands, there is no room left for argument.  Disputes are settled and we become united, a unity that brings peace.  The phrase “can’t we all just get along?” becomes reality.  Christ speaks and we know this day is coming.  In Christ there can be no dissension for we have one Lord, one Savior, one God.  We become one in purpose and in love.

let us walk in the light of the LORD.

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Children of light…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Colossians 3:1-17

 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.   In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.   But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 

 

 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,   bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

How shall we live?  With compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiving with love, allowing peace to rule with the word in us teaching and admonishing, singing songs and giving thanks to God, this is the picture drawn of genuine believers.  Does the description fit us?  Time to reflect and search our hearts, minds and souls.  Time to ask of ourselves, if we were the person crossing our path what would they see, experience of us? Is there light?  Is there salt?  Or do we carry the opposites of these descriptors?  Help us Lord this day to exhibit the list of traits that say we are your children, children of light not darkness.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

transformed…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Colossians 1:11-20

 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,   in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.   And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.   And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.   For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

So, in Christ we see God our Father and Creator.  And light is spoken once again into the darkness; a darkness that crept over the face of earth as mankind turned their backs on  God to go their own way.  So as we  turn back through Christ, light enters our world once more.  And now we speak in spiritual terms.  This light transcends all other light.  It illuminates the soul and we grow as spiritual beings in Christ.  In this we become transformed into overcomers of all that the darkness tries to throw at us.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, WordPress charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

God’s words bring peace…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Psalm 119  Sin and Shin vs 161-168

Princes persecute me without cause,

 but my heart stands in awe of your words.

 I rejoice at your word

like one who finds great spoil.

 I hate and abhor falsehood,

 but I love your law.

 Seven times a day I praise you

 for your righteous rules.

 Great peace have those who love your law;

 nothing can make them stumble.

  I hope for your salvation, O LORD,

 and I do your commandments.

 My soul keeps your testimonies;

I love them exceedingly.

 I keep your precepts and testimonies,

for all my ways are before you.

No matter what surrounds us: negativity, oppression, confrontation, all affect us but in all of it we have a deep love for the things of God.  All else will pass but His Word will not.  So we can turn from those things that would interfere with our relationship with God and ask simply for His peace; then sleep like Jesus in the boat in the middle of the storm!

When we fully realize where true power rests, when we fully realize where truth lies, all else begins to shrink in comparison.  Like a child whose world view rests on the next snack or toy; we move from immaturity to maturity in the Lord’s words.  When faced with the sure death sentence of a terminal illness we can move from self-pity and despair to the hope of our salvation; looking forward to the soon reuniting with our God!

Perspective changes attitude and feelings.  The psalmist is under attack but knows where true peace can be found; not in release from attack but in connecting with God Almighty through His Word.  Sleep in the midst of the storm–“Great peace have those who love your law.”

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, WordPress charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie