I think today is a good day to share our church vision. It is printed on the front of our church bulletin and on this website:
We are here to be a community of caring, worshiping believers who connect with one another and with those who are not believers for the purpose of sharing God’s love with them through acts of kindness, prayer, and the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are, “Connecting people to the living Lord Jesus Christ”.
I love our vision statement and since attending this church have found that the congregation truly lives up to it. I am also aware that it is going to take more than living up to that vision statement to make it to the Kingdom of Heaven. It takes living in the Word.
A few weeks ago when my husband Craig turned 67, we really began to wonder about the rest of our lives (no matter how you look at it, the wick in our candle is getting shorter). We asked God help us with what we should be doing for His Kingdom. It didn’t very long before God smacked us right across the head. We were both shown that we were not living in the actual word. We were studying it. We were reading it here and there. We would double check it when listening to others to make certain they were correct. But, we were not actually reading it for ourselves. We were not in the quiet, listening to what God has to say, interpreting it with the Holy Spirit that dwells inside of us.
It was time to pull away from watching all of the things that might be taking place in these “end times”. Time to forget about the potential disasters and government take downs. Time to shut off the TV and YouTube evangelist. It is time go into deep prayer and bible study in search of the entire story. Not just a line here or a chapter there. So we changed our habits and we are changing our lives.
A couple of weeks ago Pastor presented a sermon about the presence of God. He reminded us that Jesus IS with us wherever we go. That was confirmed to us when reading 1st Corinthians chapter 1-6. It was there that it really hit us; how we are joined as one with our Lord Jesus Christ.
In second Corinthians 13:5, the apostle Paul asks the Corinthian believers a question: “Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” . In saying, “Jesus Christ is in you,” Paul wasn’t speaking poetically or symbolically. He truly meant that Jesus Christ is literally and practically dwelling within His believers. Many other verses in the Word of God confirm the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ actually dwells in His believers. We too, like the Corinthians, need to realize this fact about ourselves. Christ is not merely outside of us, a Helper in our time of need, walking with us when we are lonely; stretching His hand out when we need help. He dwells in us, living in and with us all the time.
Think about it. God is IN us. He sees and knows all. We are one with Him. Since we are one with Him, that means He experiences what we experience. This is where it can get messy:
- If we get drunk or high; He is there.
- If we are cussing out that person who cut us off in traffic; He is there.
- If we even think about not loving our neighbors or enemies; He is there.
- He is there when we are gambling, being greedy, committing adultery, anytime we sin, you name it; He is there.
We have a friend in Jesus. Yet, he is not one of those friends that are an enabler to our transgressions. He is our disabler; the disabler of our sin.
We invited Him into our hearts. We woke up His Holy Spirit, that He placed within us. It is so wrong to keep on living in our earthly ways right in the mist of His eternal love. That is why it is so important to repent and to live in the Word.
We all know Jesus is the Word. When we read the Bible, we fill ourselves with God’s wisdom. It is the weapon He has given us; words to use against Satan’s deceit. Words that show us what to do, words of comfort.
We must do exactly what we read. When we do we are wielding the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We totally expose Satan’s lies and deceit and overcome all the sinful tendencies in our flesh. Living according to His word makes us invincible.
Knowing, Jesus is IN me; I don’t want to take Him down some swarmy highway of sin and grieve the Holy Spirit do you?
As disciples who follow Jesus, we should want to deny ourselves and take up our cross; daily. It is very pricey to do so. It costs something. It costs our will. It costs our life. Sometimes, it costs our family and our friends. We can read about it in Luke 9:23 and Luke 14:26.
We must pray and cry out and our lusts have to feel the pain of being denied. On the “daily cross” they will suffer and die. Then we can cease from sin. This is the way our Holy Master went. If we follow Him, we will end up where He is! As the book tells us in Revelation 3:21; “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”