When Paul prayed for “God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus” In Chapter 3 of his letter to the “Faithful followers” He asks God for the congregation, “Power in the Spirit” that the “Love of God ” can be understood. Too bad he did not pray that we could understand theology then we would not have a problem understanding how silly the stuff we argue over. Some do not argue they simply walk away confused, hurt, damaged by the very people that should be sharing healing and comfort. People try and forget they are a Spirit created by God for His pleasure. Our Ego screams “Me” “Mine” “All mine” God tolerates no opposition to His Love, He remains a Jealous God. It is easy for them to slip back into the world. The “Root of Bitterness” grows fast in poor, rocky soil of discontent, Sheep will wander into those places when the shepherds are more focused on the rules, rituals, and tithe than the one the “tithe” was to benefit. These are the “Hired Hands” Jesus spoke of that are in charge for power and the control of others. Some people are so done with the “church” of today they are never going back to a structured religion unless someone drags their coffin into one. The hype, the divisions of men and many other reasons, the “Dones” are done. Most “Dones” and “Nones” will never see the inside of another grand church building. This one prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21 has all the necessary elements of Ekklesia. This prayer of Paul for the Christians of the Church has all of God’s Power the Church needs. Read it here, click on the underlined text. “I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”Ekklesia /Church,Greek root word. Not a location in use of text.
Do you believe this humble prayer? Does everyone around you know these Truths that Paul asked for to equip the “Royal Priesthood” of the “Living Stones” Some will only be happy with traditions and build on sand with straw. Be radical build on the Rock with living stones? BTW The “Church” in some translations is the congregation, the people, the Ekklesia, never a location or organization state/political type church in the first century. What are you to do? Peter sez,https://www.biblestudytools.com/1-peter/2-12.html
Paul prayed for the ekklesia of Ephesus in Eph 3: This will be my prayer for you followers of Jesus.
Paul writes: “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”
Who was the worlds super power in 1900? Largest Navy, Empire, Army, World Financial centers? What did America know in 1890s that we don’t know we need to know? Ans. Great Britain, the other nations of Europe that had been in power were in declines and by wiping out the middle class to pay for wars had bankrupt their respective empires. Jesus said “Wars and rumors of war” . If we use the time measurement of the new agreement as correct, I figure America has maybe enjoyed 20 yrs between major warfare since 1800s. Of course the American of 1890 was the cowboy, worlds policeman like our president Teddy Roosevelt. Most of the generation in power had fought with their brother and each had bloody noses and missing limbs. Many would suffer the shame of what they had done to this day. Most felt it was our “Manifest destiny ” to ride to the rescue like a “Cowboy” policeman. In the 1890s Columbia was rising. Britannia held an iron grip on Her Empire, enslaving millions for profit, Her Majesties’ family held Europe in it’s oppressive hold. More people enslaved. History shows that man’s greed for gold, power(oil, salt, fish, etc) and control were the same as in our time, or Jesus’ time. Where is our persecution, our discipline, our “rod and staff of the Good Shepherd” Are we so lost a sheep he can not find us? Or has He left us to flounder in our wilderness? Are our hearts so hard that we can not see “That it is not all about me”? Our lack of repentance/obedience attitude may keep us in the prodigal mode. Or as Jesus sez “Lukewarm is not nice” Or Are we so frustrated by man’s religion ” the hired hand’s “, grand temples while homeless starve, cold in the street? Or miffed man’s many little god’s did not come through for you? Missing out on the Health Wealth and happy times “Get rich” Pastors preach? We have been hurt in our “churches” taken advantage of and out right duped by “Wolves” the Sheep with the voice of the dragon, and naive brainwashed traditionalists types, fans on gameday, the “Don’t Know, don’t care”, the apathetic church goer, and the clicks that are cults with in denominations of the divided daughters of the whore of Babylon, False prophets, reverends, pastors Preying on the sheep. What can you and your people, your neighbors, your family do? You form community, you care for one another. Every 501c “Church” in America should evaluate “Who is my neighbor?” Is the community around me cared for as much as I am able? Do I respect and honor my neighbor as a human just like me created in God’s image? What did followers of Jesus believe in the 1890s? about the world around them? Click the link to a record. https://www.ccel.org/ccel/johnson_bw/pnt.pdf
A study of Eph 3 reads that Jesus gives all power to those that obey His commands. All the old laws are covered, all the pharisaic laws are optional, sometimes good advise, none are binding on the new covenant believer. The problem is when a nation or a person uses an old covenant practice to enslave, make war, infanticide, genocide and claims God told them it was OK cause the nation is evil. Even other gods have people that go off and kill for not a godly reason, but to expand empires. Pol Pot in a Buddhist nation turned a country upside down and Satan got his due of many good people. The “World Police” were not around to prevent this genocide because they had just lost a few other colonies at a high cost of their children and their children’s, children. (Just ask mine what it cost to have a war you could not vote for affect you) The human pain is our part and parcel we carry in this life of physical time/space. Jesus sez “Lay down those burdens, all of them, everything and take up His cross. Only then can we forgive as He forgives and love as He loves.
Jesus loves me always, all days, all of His Ways, myriads of ways, always with love.
Free edition and download. We would like to discuss as a group of elders, deacons, and humble servants of God the birth of the Ekklesia of Christ. Not to form a new group or divide but to seek truth and unity as Jesus prayed for. We/I have to start somewhere and this was written as a bible college textbook for most of the schools of the time, 1890s . No mention of a rapture, Written before all the cults, wars and divided denominations of the last 200 yrs. Acts is commented by an eye witness to Palestine of the 1800s. Who would like to discuss this and other documents relating to first century of the new covenant? http://www.ccel.org/ccel/johnson_bw/pn
Pieces of the Cross, side notes, you are reading half of the conversation, just like all the letters in the NT.
God’s law of physics/science rules the universe. There is no such thing as luck. To attribute Luck with God is to have an idol of a lesser god. The follower of Jesus is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. We can transcend the physical laws to worship in Spirit. I commune with God with out a cell phone, no altar but my bent knee, no mediator save Jesus. He communes with me via His Word in many forms and ways. Never does He contradict the plan and purpose. Gal 5:14 one rule overall. If you have to have physical evidence or must hold something see something, or be somewhere then your god is limited in time /space and may not save you. We must learn to walk by faith. (Action word)
Comment on the Dr Bart Erhmans class; Forgive my ignorance. I now understand the laff. Would you care to comment on the atheist allegations he makes or points he makes that actually are evidence that demands a verdict? He believes in a historical Jesus without giving Jesus credit for the Resurrection, yet he can’t deny the Resurrection as he has no evidence to prove Jesus did not rise. If he had the evidence of a dead never risen Jesus it would be out there in all the media. Have you read this restoration movement teacher from before? https://www.biblestudytools.com/comm…/the-fourfold-gospel/
Answer to a teacher saying “Jesus Spilled his Blood” “Calling what Jesus did for us an accident, spilled blood” I take great offense to your reducing the master plan of God to an accident on human terms. Jesus did not spill his blood nor did the woman spill anything. The vase was broken as it was old and never to be used again in the other account. I attended Atlanta Christian in the 70s, now I see most have adopted the designs on mixed covenants and trappings of the divided daughters of the whore of Babylon. Millions of followers look the lookout to be our flagpole. Please run up the Truth flag and not the world’s message that our God makes mistakes and spills stuff like a child.
Jesus was above the Jewish norm of the day in the treatment of women. Looking at the big picture, In the Gospels I see that Jesus was very respectful of women, treating them as equals as much as the social setting allowed. Using them as reliable witnesses, perfect choices as mothers for God’s plans, and faithful disciples.
In an Elders meeting of a small Restoration Movement congregation we were serving back in the 80s an elder asked for some of our members if our teenagers, young women and men, could serve the communion and help with some of the worship meetings. Of course, several elders protested that that was not right. “We never done that” and so forth! Of Course, Elders should question and investigate every thing the congregation does as a Body of Christ. However, Carried to extreme, this can result in nit picking and bickering over stuff that the deacons should be doing. This is why you involve the Holy Spirit in selection of elders and deacons. Jesus should be the only High Priest at your meetings anyway. With out the Holy Spirit leading all decisions of the elders and deacons about the “Club” they control may make it a great benevolent organization but it is not the Ekklesia made up of the followers of Jesus unless He is allowed to direct and obeyed. The Ekklesia may be found in those organizations but they are not representing His Body, Ephesians 4: . Followers are the Church of God that has no man made temple or building for a home, but is found in many homes of many people that love one another because of Jesus. I asked the people gathered at our meeting this question for the elders. “What kind of former sinners do you want to serve the Body? The teenagers are just as we are, forgiven sinners.” ” We (that board of elders and deacons) decided then that a follower (Gal 3:26-28) of Jesus could be a servant at any position the Holy Spirit qualified them for as long as they were obedient to the elder’s( always plural number of men in NT) decisions for the congregation.( we don’t see the rise of the Bishop and division of Clergy until 3rd Century corruption, Cardinals and other offices are much later) In other words all the teachers, every one of the preachers are under the supervision of the shepherds of the flock. When you have one man as the pastor of a congregation, if he is in control, He must be driving the flock or if the sheep are in control, the flock is driving him. He will be surrounded by people that support him for what they get. If the needs are not met, people will go where they are met. Do the people need entertainment, milk and have itching ears? Do they need the living Word and seek Jesus? If the preacher is a humble man and wants to please God he will lead his flock to springs of pure water of life and protect them from the doctrines of men and pagan religions. If Paul can entrust the letter to the Roman Ekklesia to a woman serving as a deaconess of the Ekklesia, I can trust my Sister in Christ to serve our local congregation in the gifts she is given. Can she serve as an Elder? Not according to what I read. Can she teach or preach? Yes, if the elders approve as with any teacher or preacher. IMHO this is what I teach quoting only New Testament. I could cite early first century writers on this. We only see women dishonored in the later centuries after the male dominated societies took control of the state churches. All of the first century in the church despite persecution, was looking up for the status of women over where the Jews and pagans had placed them, state/political based religion tended to suppress that effort because of the desire to control. Example would be requiring extreme dress rules, attendance, contraception rules or forbidding to marry. Just because the Corinthian Church had problems with the Roman/Greek culture does not mean we have a permit to act like the world in anything we do. Nor should we take up the many specific problems of the Church of Corinth as if we are them in any way except in Jesus Christ. Read Corinthians with prayer that you can see it as a gentile former pagan would hear it read during the next Lord’s day meeting where you might consider your “church”. Pray and read the whole two letters. What would the downtown Corinthian congregation think about our lifestyle, our worship? Our acceptance of the morality of our culture? Answer these questions??????
Does your group/church/congregation/AKA “Church” serve the community by meeting the daily needs of the local neighbors?
Does your Church serve the needs of the widows and orphans? I will include orphans that are in the womb and out. I will include any person that is orphaned by life, alone and lost nearby, your neighbor, my neighbor. Expecting one “Shepherd” to see after the whole flock is ridiculous, God provides a structure of elders and deacons, teachers, evangelists, and care givers. What is your gift and how does your group use you and your gifts in His service?
Jesus used the sheep and the goats in His teaching. I have owned both and have great respect for what Jesus taught. Sheep are on the good side of God, goats, not so much. Seem they are always scapegoats and turned out into the wilderness because of sin. I don’t want to be a goat. Own sheep for a few years. If any survive your treatment you might consider being a servant in the court of the King. You will understand the metaphor clearly. What are the sheep and goats divided over?
Does your group grow and disciple? Pray to the Lord of the Harvest.
Now is the time to come out of divided denominated daughters of the whore of Babylon and see Jesus in the eye of your neighbor. Form community with your friends, neighbors and serve God by obeying one law Gal 5:14 all the rest is religion. Follow Jesus, love your neighbor. meet with your neighbors and pray for each other. Read God’s Word, avoid the many voices of the world. Drink the Living Water from the Spring, the Rock of Ages, don’t drink out of the Nile or the Jordan. Follow God’s Word as did Na-man the Syrian in simple non theological Gospel obedience. Reject rules and rituals of bondage.
My neighbor is the closest person to me. Is that including wifi? I am studying how social media affects this and praying for guidance that God’s promise of His Word will not be carried, prayed, cursed in vain. I hear so many voices, so many gurus and PhDs, right and left reverends abound. “Savage wolves” attack the very flock Jesus has blessed them with. The latest fashion in Babylon will be worse than millstone necklaces if God’s wrath is not paid. Is the voice we should hear drowned out? Example, a pastor preaches the apostles drove Hondas, because it is in the Bible. Right? Well it does say they were in one accord, but! No! but because someone with a wonderful web site and slick production sez it on youbob it must be true. I use John 21 as an excuse to go fishing, and I do hope to meet Jesus on the beach to share breakfast and talk about those fishing tips He gave the disciples. Is that “Church”? I do not want to miss it for the world! If Jesus, as the Wonderful Counselor, is not the High Priest of your priesthood of obedient disciple believers who is? Where will your wisdom come from? The Ark? The Temple? Where is your light O Israel? “Walk in the Light” Where is our bread? “Bread of Life” Where is our God’s Temple? Where did that ritual/rule come from? Which covenant? Does it follow flesh? or Grace? Jesus said the Holy Spirit will teach us. How does that work ? Does He speak thru His Word? John 14, Peter sez we are a royal priesthood a holy nation. We are to be one in Christ. Ephesians 4, Col 2, Gal 3, Acts 2, If we are divided and bitter we fail to love our brothers and sisters. If we consider our rules and practices the “Way” it better be the only “Way”. The danger is that teachers have the burden of being right with God. As a former builder of race cars and vehicles I know precision. How precise was God’s instruction to Noah? Moses? I am fed up with denominational bravo sierra that divides and shuns difference in opinion. Essentials are simple, Paul sums it up in Galatians 5. One law to rule them all. I am going to start a study on James. I want to know how a common Jew that was convinced his brother was crazy can come to the realization of the resurrection and pay for the Faith he has in his own half brother with his life as recorded by Josephus. If any one deserves the medal for courage under fire, James was ordered stoned by the same priests of the temple that did away with their King as he knew as his brother by Mary. Question? Why did Jesus hand over Mary’s care to John and not his half brother James or Jude? Jude, another brother by the same mother who followed his crazy brother to martyrdom we are told in later writings that may be legend. The cult of Mary does not start appearing in writing until much later in the middles ages. Google the facts! James was painted the wrong colors by Luther and later Calvin. James deserves better than that. Luther never understood James and that is a shame for Luther’s theology became so popular the German people could claim to be Christian and kill Jews. I read Luther’s bio on audible and a bio on Paul by N.T. Wright, who writes a very interesting book on Jesus as the Messiah. N.T. is an Anglican Church of England elder, I consider him a good scholar if disobedient brother. I have really enjoyed reading https://www.amazon.com/Will-Theologians-Please-Sit-Down on kindle. Verify all the Spirits voices! A study of James will remove the bias that Paul and Peter seem to have. This has led many astray in understanding of Grace, obedience and into mixed up covenants. How could James not know who Jesus was, is and is to be? James may or may not have written Hebrews but as the shepherd of the ekklesia of Jerusalem he was well aware of the challenges of the early congregations that once were enemies are now to be One with Jesus as He is with the Father. We are to be one. If we believe in Jesus we must love him and love God, forsaking all others. We must do the next part of the command of Jesus as one law for if we love God we will love and honor His creation. We are so divided over theology and stuff that won’t matter on judgment day. How can we have unity without compromise? Our “Church” Ekllesia, congregation, worship group, prayer groups either honor Jesus Christ as Lord or not. more…….later.
The Word is not the book we now call the “Bible”. The Word or Logos is explained by Paul better than most in several of his letters. Here are some examples. click to see resources cited.
Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight– 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
The lady in the gift shop had asked me what church do you go to ? In our conversation that began somewhere but ended up on God. I was wearing a t-shirt that said ” Jesus is my Savior not Religion”. The lady persisted and after we talked she invited us to her “Church”. We had told her we are followers of Jesus and followed no man made doctrine, creed or religion or divided denominated daughter of the church of Babylon. She had then said something like “We are all followers of Jesus” and she was very correct. We who place our faith in Jesus Christ of the prophecy of Isaiah 9 are all His children. The Jesus of Grace and Truth who said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” is the Savior of all who are redeemed by the blood of God’s only Lamb. He is for us the Word became flesh and the Word was/is God. When you see the message of Jesus for all mankind as this amazing love that Paul writes commentary on in his letters to the ekklesias,the trappings of rules and ritual fall away in His presence . When we humans decide to divide up and denominate around men, albeit good men we fall into the trap of the Corinthian Ekklesia following after Apollos, Paul or Peter. Who is the high priest of our congregation? Who are the priests? What are the offices or special appointments to be selected by scripture in the verified letters of Paul and Peter, James, John, Jude, the Apostles by Word of the Spirit of Christ? We crucify Jesus afresh just as David used the throne to do evil, took the one lamb from Uriah and sinned. Like King David are those that allow the easy money, the power of control over others to capture their heart in obedience to Satan. These are the grievous wolves of warning to the elders of the early Ekklesia Is this word familiar to you? Click here for the Greek and 111 times it is used in the New Testament of your translation,
The word was used to define a location after Luther translated the German word to mean a location. Early communities of faith always built or used a structure to serve the needs of the people. These structures were used as community schools, storehouses, hideouts and more. Never the grand buildings we see now. (early records around 250AD on) Never did the early followers think that Ekklesia was a place to go. No where is evidence of the excessive spending, the widespread use of pagan temples and pagan priesthood until after 300AD. Constantine flipped the pagan world upside down and incorporated many practices in his new model of religion. The history of how he propagandized what influence he had, during that time is well documented and an easy google search . If you are an agnostic or atheist because of this historical fact, please reconsider, Jesus lives! Use the word “Church” how you like but know what you are saying. Here is a technical description of the translated word Kirk, Kirche, church and how it got in the bible as Church instead of the word Ekklesia which means something totally different. http://www.aggressivechristianity.net/articles/ecclesia.htm
Find out for yourself what the early followers said and did in the everyday life of the first century.
The wine skins have burst. The Ekklesia of Jesus is not a new covenant made up of old parts. Nor is the New Covenant a list of rules, rituals and regulations requiring lawyers and scribes or high Priests in costumes or temples with holy shrines to whois and whatfor? The Ekklesia of Jesus begins with 2 or more. The Ekklesia never ends with just 2. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit will never inhabit a temple made with hands or bless the idol worship of the “building” or useless things over the maker. Everything physical is a tool to be used or discarded for the Glory of God and our Lord Jesus who proved His word with the resurrection from the dead after a full course Roman Crucifixion.
The teaching of the wine skin is that the new agreement is final until God makes a new one. Humans broke the promise/covenant every time. God did not break His side of any agreement. Broken covenants are never reused. We are in the new agreement/covenant. To go back and drag something that did not work to save us or give us Grace is to insult Jesus as saying His sacrifice was not enough to satisfy the wrath of God’s justice. No gentile was required to read, understand or know about the Torah or Moses. Read with earnest prayer 2 Corinthians 3 and welcome Jesus the Author and finisher of your Faith https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/2-corinthians/3.html
The Hebrew Passover lasted 7-8 days and involved feasts and meals with family, relatives and friends. Our “Love Feasts” should be as joyful and festive in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus in the New Covenant. Abba Father!
Love to hear about your Ekklesia wherever it is. In a traditional model or not, wherever you are gathered in His Name.
Check out Francis Chan explaining the end times on youtube
I sometimes pray my real mom has found peace for her soul. I never met the woman that birthed me and loved me enough to know that she could not care for a baby as she was not much past dolls. What ever the reason she choose life for me. For that I am forever grateful. The preacher and his wife at East Point Christian Church near Atlanta was where he was preaching when the new baby was found to be with out parents. Aunt Katherine was older than the age of caring for a newborn with cancer and other health issues the couple decided to find someone else with too much love not to share. I am thankful for my moms. The one that raised my sons and those that held me when I cried.
When Jesus washed the disciples feet as they were arguing who should set where based on rank and Satan filled Judas with bitterness, we see in action what Jesus will, does and has done many times with His bitter tears. Jesus will pick up our muddy, filthy feet and wash the world’s dirt from our life. (Hebrews sez Jesus’ blood sacrifice paid it all) Sometimes He uses the rod of discipline on me, sometimes it is His staff pulling me back from the danger I just do not see because of the bright lights and glitter of the golden idols the world has for me.
I found these 10 quotes on a clickbait site. I quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer and add a thought of my own numbered and bold before Dietrich’s. The more I study the writings of God I find gentle souls that looked outside the box. Especially today when many realize that the lukewarm worship of entertainment and the sage on a stage is not fellowship with Jesus we see in the Gospels or the Ekklesia in Acts or the letters. I hear many voices saying similar things. Numbers say the mainstream model is broken in many places and for far too many sheep that are wandering. I pray for unity. Unity will take the Holy Spirit to melt prideful hearts and gently break soft ones.
1. Mutual respect for another means I love you too much to sin against you or God in your presence or to allow you to continue in sin against others or God. Not about judging, but about saving.
“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”
2. Jesus was/is a friend of sinners, lived with the poor and least of these. Who is going to serve the “least of these”, dones, nones, ?
“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. ‘The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people.”
3. Being forgiven is a gift, not a title of rank. We are servants of Jesus, yet a royal priesthood of the least of these of equal rank. That is what “Wash feet” means.
“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. … How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”
4. We can build a church of sticks and bricks, or as Jesus did with living stones on the foundation of the Rock of Ages.
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
5. Prayer in the name of Jesus separates the Ekklesia from the “religions of the world”. Our redeemer lives!
“A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.”
6. Be prepared to be used, if one time like Ananias with Saul or thousands like Phillip.
“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions.”
“There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.”
8. Who are you compassionate about? Wash the feet of your brothers and sisters. Be kind to neighbors. There is a difference.
“The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated. The burden of men was so heavy for God Himself that He had to endure the Cross. God verily bore the burden of men in the body of Jesus Christ.”
9. God is in the details, watching.
“Who can really be faithful in great things if he has not learned to be faithful in the things of daily life?”
10. Thankful, and able to be thankful of others.
“If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.”