Paul

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    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3 The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

Over the last three weeks I have been presenting some of the main purposes of God’s church.  As I travel around and speak about the Uncommon Church I am always surprised to learn how many churches don’t understand what the most basic and fundamental purposes of God’s church are. So these posts have been my effort to share nine of them.  In my first post I talked about the purpose of producing disciple, providing resources, and proclaiming the gospel. In my second post I talked about the church’s responsibility to propel missionaries, present proof, and practice holiness.  Today I would like to briefly discuss the last three. To Pray- Every Christian knows that they are suppose to pray, and most of us do.  But I am talking about focused corporate prayer here in this post.  I believe that God hears all of our prayers but He does something special when a church practices uncommon prayer together. In my book The Uncommon Church I talk in detail about the power of uncommon prayer.  When the body of Christ unites together in prayer many wonderful things happen.  We see this in scripture in places like 1 Thessalonians 5:25 when Paul urged the church to pray for him and his companions.  In Acts 12 we see an amazing miracle in the form of a prison escape for Peter and we learn that the church was gathered in prayer for him during his captivity. As individuals we must pray, and as a church body we must pray as well.  Churches should make it a priority to unite their minds and hearts in prayer! To Protect- 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy is a predator on the prowl!  Like […]

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    The Purpose Of The Church Part 2 The Purpose Of The Church Part 2

    The Purpose Of The Church Part 2

The Purpose Of The Church Part 2

Last week I posted three things that I believe all churches should be focused on and dedicated to. Over the years I have noticed that almost all churches are full of great people, and lead by very dedicated, and devoted leaders.  However over time it is easy to forget what the purpose of the church actually is.  There are so many good things that churches focus on, that have little or no impact on the Kingdom of God. Why?  Because they are not part of God’s purpose for the church.  The list I am providing here is not meant to be an exhaustive list, and the things mentioned are in no particular order.  I simply feel that churches should carefully consider what their purpose is, and then fulfill that purpose.  If you have other things you feel should be mentioned by all means feel free to make a comment down below.  Here are three more things to think about when it comes to the purpose of the church. The purpose of the church is to… Propel Missionaries –  Throughout the book of Acts and indeed the New Testament we see God using churches to propel missionaries like Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, and many others throughout the world.  This should still be one of the primary purposes of all churches.  We must remain focused on the task to winning the world to Christ.  God calls people to the mission field and he calls churches to equip, support, pray for, and provide for those missionaries needs.  The missionary on the field is far less effective without the support of the local church. Many churches today have elected to only support missions through cooperative giving through their denomination.  This […]

I will trust…

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. 6 Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight. —Proverbs 3:5–6 NET The fallen nature of man naturally pushes each of us further and further from the joy of trust.  Think for a moment about a small child under the age of three.  These innocent children are extremely trusting.  This is due primarily to the fact that they have yet to learn that not everyone can or should be trusted.  As we mature however we learn these lessons.  Even at the tender ages of say four or five we start to develop our world view, part of this is learning to be skeptical.  Rightly we teach our children to be skeptical of strangers.  They are told not to eat or drink things that smell or look strange before asking an adult.  In the years that follow all children come to learn about deceit, lies, gossip, and the extreme pain associated with such evil. By the time we are in our late teens or early twenties most of humanity despite the country or culture we grew up in become extremely skeptical and UN-trusting.  This characteristic of our humanity is somewhat necessary to our survival in our fallen world, but it leads to major spiritual problems as well. Over time as we progress through this life and we come to understand that there is little we can put our trust in this side of heaven, we can become even UN-trusting of our creator.  This is why so many have trust issues with God when times get hard.  Sure it’s easy to trust God when all is […]

Lessons On Winning

Ready or not here they come! That’s right. It is time for the summer Olympics.  Every four years they roll around and dominate the TV, radio, Internet, newspapers, and conversations around the world.  The Olympics are unique in the fact that for a few weeks the entire world watches and talks about the same thing, day after day.  Starting on Friday, July 27th, the entire world will witness some of our planet’s finest, and fittest athletes.  We can learn many things from these competitors about what it takes to win.  Think about what Paul said to the Corinthians about the Olympians of his day… 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 NET “Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified.” Spiritual Lesson #1- Run To Win- It is not enough just to show up. You have to run to win.  Millions will travel to London this summer, but only about 10,000 will actually compete in the games and have a chance at the 900 metals that will be awarded. I am constantly amazed at how many show up spiritually but never actually compete.  When it comes to your family, faith, job, and church you have to run to win! We are not called to spectate, we are called and commanded to participate!  Are you running to win, or just […]

You Can’t Take It With You (Day 42 1Timothy 6:7 NET)

“For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either.” (1Timothy 6:7 NET) We labor and strive so intensely each day of the week hour after hour trying to earn wealth only to be reminded that in the end all we accumulated will remain behind and be of no use for us in eternity.  Some have taken the passage above as a mandate to forsake all human efforts to earn money, this however is foolish and was not the intent of Paul’s heart in penning these words.  Certainly we all have to pay our bills, eat food, put gas in our vehicles, and use money for other necessary and vital things each day.  The encouragement for us in these verses is not that we should never work or attempt to earn money.  Rather it is that we should never under any circumstances let money rule over us and take charge of our lives.  Why spend a lifetime accumulating things?  Why not use what God has given you to bless others now while you are still alive?  Saving is a biblical principle that all Christians should embrace, however hording is a demonic principle that all believers should quickly retreat from.  Personally I don’t know how much is too much nor do I claim to have a certain dollar amount that is the threshold between saving and hording.  It is my opinion that you know whether you are hording or saving God’s money.  You know if you are being a good steward or not.  You know through your relationship with God if He is calling you to give more or less.  You know what you are suppose to do […]

Can God Use Me? (Day 30 Acts 28:30-31)

 30   Paul lived there two whole years in his own rented quarters and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete boldness and without restriction.  Acts 28:30–31 NET In these two verses we find the final update on Paul’s progress in the book of Acts.  For two full years he was under house arrest in a home that he rented.  What did Paul do in these two years?  Did he simply sit around and wait for his trial?  Did he spend his days whining and complaining about his unjust persecution?  Did he fill his days and nights with worry, in anticipation of a possible death sentence?   Of course he did none of these things, instead he made the most of everyday he was given including these two years under house arrest. During this time he continued to share his faith.  The text above says he welcomed all who came to him proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about Christ.  During these two years he also wrote at least four of his epistles Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.  He continued to share the gospel with the lost as well according to verses like Philippians 1:12–13 NET  which says “12 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel: 13 The whole imperial guard and everyone else knows that I am in prison for the sake of Christ.”  In Philippians 4:22 NET he writes “All the saints greet you, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.”  Imagine the impact these two years had for the kingdom of God.  During this time Paul […]

Flying Solo…

I took my first flying lesson when I was 16 years old.  I was hooked from day one!  To this date the scariest flying experience I ever had was the day I first flew solo.  The sky was blue and a calm wind out of the south blew straight down the runway.  These were perfect conditions for my first solo flight.  The instructor had accompanied me on several landings and then said “you’re ready to solo.”  I was so excited as I dropped him off near the hanger and began to taxi away by myself for the first time.  When I got to the end of the runway and started going through my checklist the excitement grew even stronger.  I was so ready!  I made the radio call and on to the active runway I went.  As I pushed the throttle all the way down and started to roll down the runway I was smiling so BIG and almost overcome totally with joy.  However, something very strange happened as I left the ground.  All of a sudden it dawned on me, I was all alone!  My excitement and joy quickly turned to a very nervous anticipation.  What if something went wrong? What if I could not land?  What if I mess up?  There was no longer the accountability, security, and safety of having someone else in the plane to ensure I would survive.  While I was confident in my ability to fly, it was a nerve-wracking experience to be alone. It is acceptable to fly solo as a pilot, however, flying solo spiritually will always lead to certain disaster.  I am always astonished and amazed when I take a close look at the lives of […]

Decrease Your Risk of Death…

This morning while driving into the office I was listening to the news on a local talk radio station.  One of the stories was about exercise.  The general idea of the story was that all adults should exercise at least 30 minutes a day to see long-term health benefits.  They then  went on to say that if you can’t exercise 30 minutes a day 15 minutes would be worthwhile as well.  They reported that a recent study had proven that exercising  as little as 15 minutes each day would “decrease your risk of death by 14%”  I had to laugh, surely I heard that wrong, but NO she said it again!  We are foolish to view death in such terms thinking that we can simply exercise and decrease the risk of it by 14%.  Death is not something that happens if we don’t do the right things like eat healthy and exercise, death is a certainty of life.  It will find each and everyone of us, you can’t decrease your exposure to death by exercising each day. As I continued to drive I reflected on the only real way to decrease your risk of death.  It is not a diet, exercise program, or vitamin you take each morning.  He is an actual person named Jesus Christ who ironically came and died for you so you would have no risk exposure in death.  To those like myself who know Christ as Lord, death is not a risk at all, but rather a reward. This is why my brother in Christ Paul could write  “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21 NIV).”  He went on to talk about life and […]

Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3–5)

 “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow toward us, so also our comfort through Christ overflows to you.”   2 Corinthians 1:3–5 NET  Life Application Study Bible Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for him. We must understand that being “comforted” can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles. [1]Life Application Study Bible, Accordance electronic ed. (Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, 2004), n.p.

Day 23 ~ Acts 27-Romans 4

And here is the map of Paul’s journey across the stormy ocean!

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