Thursday, January 12, 2012

Function of the Church

Matthew 16:18 - And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Oh my, last Sunday so spoke to my spirit! What I shared Friday about Thursday was somehow connected to Sunday school and our sermon. Amazing. Will I ever grow tired of how the Lord works and how He speaks? I hope not. When it becomes an even more regular occurrence, I pray I never lose the amazement I feel.

Sunday school brought the questions: What is the Church and what is its function? Jesus began the Church. He IS the head of it, always has been. His function while on earth was to show Himself and teach His followers. They in turn were to go out to share what they had learned with others. So the snowball effect takes place.

The Church isn't what it should be. It has lost its function in many cases. The Church is not a building but a people. The Church is Jesus' assembly. The Church is here to help us with our mission; we don't go to church to help with its mission. We are not to go to church to always be fed but we are to go to church to help feed. The Church’s mission is to teach us, like Jesus, that we might be prepared and encouraged to go out into our own mission field. We are not to assume that we come to help the Church with its mission to seek and save the lost. We ARE the Church and are commanded to go out, be disciples, to bring in the lost souls that they might be prepared to go out.

And the sermon? It was on fasting and prayer as we have been doing this week. We worshiped to songs that spoke on being in the presence of God and what we find when we are there: peace, rest and wholeness...and that these can help us in our mission. Being in His presence always works to our advantage as we go out.

Fasting and prayer should be a time of personal meditation. It can be a preparation of our hearts. It should be a time of seeking the Lord not just for the church, or the Church, or any other thing that seems important to us, but for ourselves. Looking for God's guidance for our lives. It's spending time in His presence and listening for His voice. 

Remember what Thursday night for me was all about? Being prepared and now it's time to act. Step into my mission field, whatever that may be, whatever the Lord chooses for me to do. Mission fields. Abide in Him. And if we are in His presence and only act when He tells us to, there should only be peace. His power is in us. And then I thought, if that's true we shouldn't have to ask for power! He gives it to us abundantly...just act in it. He has given us all we need; we only need to hear Him telling us when to act, to be that arm, hand, voice, heart, leg of God extended to someone else, those things that have been prepared if the Church has done its proper job. 

Jesus is the foundation, the solid rock on which we stand. He is the head of the Church. We can do nothing without Him.

John 15:5 - I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

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