Sunday, February 27, 2011

Simple Church

There have been a lot of changes in my life these past few years. Some were very tough to get through but got through we did. Recently, the church we planted 10 years ago died in the hands of another man. We turned the church over to our assistant and in less than three months it died all together. It simply is no more. It is not totally the fault of the assistant pastor. I believe others had their hands in the mess, but it is sad to see. OR IS IT?  Oasis Fellowship had started off as being a simple church with a simple vision. We did more things as a home/community center church than we ever did when we were in a building. There is nothing wrong with having a church in a building but for us it was. It was not our DNA as a church. It was not our purpose as a church. We were meant to be different and to reach people in a different way. I believe the Lord has a place for all kinds of churches and ministries. The key is that we all stay humble and not think we are better than the other.


Maybe God taught us a lesson that we were too blind to see. Maybe we were supposed to go a different direction all together. I enjoy the simple church atmosphere. I don't think you can only find that atmosphere in a small church either. I think it depends upon the hearts of the people. The willingness to server at whatever capacity. The willingness to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth. Those are great attributes in any great ministry.  For us it was the simple meetings places. For us it was the pouring of our time and finances into worth while events. We loved it!!!! We celebrated when we saw the Lord do His best in our midst.

I believe God taught us a valuable lesson. You don't have to be like the other person or persons. We can express our walk with God the way we feel led. Now others might not understand it. Others might not consider us " ONE OF THEM ", but who cares. The Lord will work out the rights and the wrongs when we stand before Him one day. I believe many will be surprised.

I left Oasis Fellowship to plant another work because I know deep down this is the purpose of the Lord. I am getting back to my roots and going the way God intended for me and my family to go. I will not call it house church or church in the building. It will simply be church in whatever form God desires for it to be. Church is not the house nor the building but the people. Where two or three or gathered in my name, HE ( our God that is) is in the midst of us. Now does that mean that renegade christians can do whatever the heck they want to do now? Of course not, I stay connected with other believers and leaders because it is the right thing to do. No man can be an Island to himself. I believe that is how heresies creep into a work.  My family and I are slowly getting plugged in to a conventional church as we seek out and go forth with God's plan. We have to stay connected.

Simple church or Organic church is nothing new to the body of Christ. The early believers did it and were successful at it. It was simply being the church in everyday life situations and then meeting up at the end of the day for fellowship and support. How cool is that? I love the Romance and Ancient feel of how church use to be in the 1st century.  Many would work all day and then congregate at night for group prayer and fellowship. Some would meet during the day. Church was in a synagogue, an alley way, a house, a business, a beach, a forest, a market place, and anywhere else they could congregate as believers. It was a sight to behold I am certain.

What does it take for us in the West to see that our present day way of worship is not fully working. Oh people are getting baptized in our churches but it is usually the third or fourth time for the person to be baptized. We simply keep recounting salvations from those who supposedly got saved in our churches a few years earlier. We don't have true church growth in the West. We have true rewashed Christians growth. Christians hopping from one exciting church ( that is now dead) to the new exciting church ( that plays rock and roll at the beginning of it's services.)

What did scripture say about being Lukewarm? 

Revelation 3:15-17  I know what you have done, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.  (16)  But since you are lukewarm and not hot or cold, I'm going to spit you out of my mouth.  (17)  You say, 'I'm rich. I'm wealthy. I don't need anything.' Yet, you do not realize that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.

I could be wrong but a Luke Warm Christian will not see God. What do you think? We are fooling ourselves if we think different. It is time to return back to what God desires.

What does God desire for me? What does He desire for you? His word holds the answers if we are willing to follow.

For me, I am heading back to what He called me to do when I first came to the Midwest. I am revisiting the ancient times in order to incorporate God's truth within my life and ministry. My first goal is to keep falling helplessly in love with my God. Next, to keep my family in check and on the right path. Then I am going to do the gospel and be the gospel for the hurting. Finally I am going to stand before my Lord with freedom beaming from my chest and knowing that I did what He called me to do.

I hope you can do the same one day.

blessings,

Johnny

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The course of Sin

We all were born into this world of sin and corruption. Everyday we hear about corruption from our leaders and from people around the world. Mankind tries , with their own strength, to be good but they can not succeed without the presence of God within their lives.

Sin is a disease that eats away at each human being. It's finishing by product is death. Only through the sacrificed blood of Jesus can save us from our deception. There is a true enemy deceiving many around the world. He convinces people that they are born a certain way, that their sin is OK, that their sin is not hurting anyone else, and that God is far from them. It is his entrapment of the masses. Convince them that God is far away from them then they will not be able to look in His eyes and see His majesty.

Many are convinced that they know more than our Savior. A painting never becomes more than the painter. The painter is remembered as the painter of the masterpiece. The Masterpiece is revealed and revered by many but the artist is forever more honored and deemed as the creator of the masterpiece. Why do we think we know more than our God? Why do we think we will get away with our sin? Everything will come to an end then what?

Rom 6:23  The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We can be set free. We don't have to be bound. The joy of sin lasts a very short season then what? The Joy of the Lord lasts forever. I whether spend an eternity with the Lord of righteousness than to succumb to the eternal damnation of my sin. I want to live free and never be a slave to my sin again. What about you? You can be set free if you so desire.

Our Lord is waiting for you. He is waiting for all of the Prodigals to come back to Him. He is waiting for the undiscovered heart to come unto Him. His arms are wide open. You can be set free from the course of Sin.