Love Your Church—Jesus Does! – Part 4
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12
The Bible says, ‘The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body.’ Let’s use what may seem like a ridiculous illustration. Imagine your foot no longer wanting to be part of your body and when you ask why, it starts saying things like, ‘I’m tired of getting walked on and dragged through the mud. Other parts of the body get off easy, but I have to do the heavy lifting. Nobody appreciates me. They talk about beautiful eyes and hair and lips, but nobody writes songs about feet. So I’m leaving.’ When you enquire what your foot’s future plans are, it says, ‘I’m just going to sit at home and watch Christian TV.’ Now, Christian broadcasting is great, especially for those who are shut in and can’t get out to church. But when you leave a church (the people of God) without God’s permission, you no longer function as He designed you to. You may have peace for a while, but you’ll have no fulfilment. And because you are cut off from your spiritual food supply—you won’t grow into maturity. ‘Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand”, that does not make it any less a part of the body…God has put each part just where he wants it…In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary’ (1 Corinthians 12:14-22). Why should you come back to church? For community, nurturing, mission in working together, and being part of something that makes a difference in people’s lives for eternity.
Heavenly Father, help me be drawn to Your people and work with Your people to accomplish Your Will. My worth comes in being with Your People doing Your Will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Love Your Church—Jesus Does! – Part 4 – May 30, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Love Your Church—Jesus Does! – Part 3
And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple. 1 Kings 8:11
Only when the Ark of the Covenant was brought into the temple and set in its rightful position, which was the central place, did God’s glory fill the temple. ‘Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place…[And] the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord’ (vv. 6, 10-11). There’s a lesson here for all of us, particularly those in church leadership. Christ alone must have center stage! Programs and promotions are fine but only when Jesus is honored as Lord, His Word preached and His presence reverenced and relished, will His glory fill the church (his people!). Next time you’re standing in God’s house singing His praise, pause and remind yourself: it’s about Him, not me! One day the telephone rang in the clergyman’s office at the Washington church President Franklin Roosevelt attended. A voice enquired, ‘Do you expect the President to be in church on Sunday?’ The pastor answered, ‘That, I cannot promise. But we expect the Lord to be there, and that should be incentive enough for a reasonably large attendance.’ Hymnist Fanny Crosby wrote these words: ‘Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.’ Next Sunday don’t just fill the pew, be filled by God’s presence – and leave with His presence in you!
Heavenly Father, it is all about You and doing Your Will! Help me always to remember that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Love Your Church—Jesus Does! – Part 3 – May 29, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Love Your Church—Jesus Does! – Part 2
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5
We don’t go to church, we are the church! If we met for worship in the parking lot, we’d still be the church! Consider Solomon’s temple. It was planned by David the father, built by Solomon the son, and at its dedication filled with the Holy Spirit. Here are three ways your church is just like Solomon’s temple: 1) It was built on redemption ground! Mount Moriah, the scene of Solomon’s temple, is where Abraham took his son Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice. Guess what? Two thousand years later God led His only begotten Son up that same mountain to die for our sins. As G. D. Boardman said, ‘The cross is the only ladder high enough to touch Heaven’s threshold.’ 2) It was the most unique building ever constructed. It was built from stones made ready before they were brought together. They were washed, then fashioned, then fitted together. And that’s our story too, isn’t it? ‘You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house…offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.’ 3) The building materials came from many nations. We aren’t saved by race, but by grace. It’s not the blood that flows in your veins that saves you; it’s the blood that flowed from Christ’s veins that makes you righteous and accepted before God. Two unique phrases are used to describe Solomon’s temple: ‘exceeding magnifical’ (1 Chronicles 22:5); ‘famous everywhere for its greatness and beauty’ (v. 5). That’s how God feels about His church, and you should too! But remember – God’s church is His people and not the building!
Heavenly Father, help me to be accepting and supportive and work with those in my church so that unity and growth for your Kingdom can be achieved. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Love Your Church—Jesus Does! – Part 2 – May 28, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Love Your Church—Jesus Does! – Part 1
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her Ephesians 5:25
The church isn’t made up of people who are better than everybody else. It’s made up of people who want to be better than they are, and who know that by the grace of God they can be. Have church leaders sometimes failed us? Yes, but Jesus Christ, the Head of the church, hasn’t failed us—and He never will! Christ’s church, of which your local church is a part, was planned by God before the world began (Ephesians 1:4). It was paid for in the crimson cash of Jesus’ blood, has been sustained through history by the sacrifice of the martyrs, is prophesied to be more glorious in its ending than its beginning, and is being prepared right now as a bride for her Husband. John of Revelation describes it this way: ‘Rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready’ (Revelation 19:7). So before you attack the leadership, withdraw your membership, or withhold your stewardship, remember that nothing on earth is dearer to the heart of God than His church. The truth is, when you hurt any part of the body you also hurt the Head. And here’s something else to keep in mind: the only thing on earth that has a future is the church; all the rest is going up in smoke. And the church’s insurance policy is guaranteed by Jesus Himself, Who said, ‘I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18). So love your church—Jesus does!
Heavenly Father, as imperfect as my church may be – we are all redeemed sinners at Your feet. Help me be an active participant in Your Church. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Love Your Church—Jesus Does! – Part 1 – May 27, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Believe In Yourself—God Does!
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
Owning your dream means having your belief in yourself outweigh your fears. Acclaimed author Marianne Williamson wrote in her book ‘A return to love’ the inspiring verse: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people don’t feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ What does this mean? It means that we are not supposed to be afraid. But what are we not supposed to be afraid of? We are not to be afraid of ourselves, of our own unique abilities and talents. You will never embrace your God-given destiny until you first believe in yourself. And that belief comes from knowing: ‘God is working in [me], giving [me] the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.’ God gave you these unique abilities because He has plans for you ‘…plans to prosper and not harm you…give you hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29:11).
Heavenly Father, I am a child of Yours that You created and blessed so that I can be a blessing to others. Thank You in Jesus’ Name, Amen