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July 29, 2003

Building a House

2 Chron 24:4,8,10,11
4 Now it happened after this that Joash set his heart on repairing the house of the Lord.
8 Then at the king's command they made a chest, and set it outside at the gate of the house of the Lord.
10 Then all the leaders and all the people rejoiced, brought their contributions, and put them into the chest until all had given.
11...Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.

My heart is set on building a house for the Lord. A spiritual house (2 Peter 2:4-5) as lives are being linked together. It can seem like it is need of repair, but an unfinished home isn't ever attractive. But I do know that this "house" will never be finished without everyone making a contribution. Not only financially, but each member in our church family jumping in. It's this picture like an Amish barn raising where we all come together to do what on one can do for themselves. Or like a Habitat For Humanity project where everyone offers thier ability. When the effort of many is combined with the expertise of a few, it's amazing what can be accomplished. And there is the incrediable sense of satisfaction/fulfillment that comes from "good, old-fashioned, hard work."

The building of a church is not a Sunday by Sunday process; it's day-by-day. When it happens this way, there is rejoicing. When God is being honored, there is abundance.

Lord, help me to father our "family" that lives in your abundance.

June 14, 2004

Peace and Growth

Acts 9:31
Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

The last words Jesus spoke to the disciples were to be witnesses, "in Jerusalem, Judea, Sameria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). In just these few weeks we see the immediate results. People been healed, baptized with the Holy Spirit, and the church has grown rapidly as people believe in Jesus. It hasn't been without a cost either. Peter and John have already been imprisoned and beaten and remain religious fugatives. Stephen has been stoned to death. And Saul's persecution has caused fear throughout the church (8:3).It is after Saul's conversion that things seem to change in this season.

Sure, the apostles were being used in miraculous ways. Still, I believe the work of being "witnesses" had spread to the converts. The church was growing because because the church was were walking in the fear of the Lord and with the help (paraklesis) of the Holy Spirit.

I wonder if it is when the people of God begin to do the work of God that peace is produced. I'm sure it is the reason for the growth or the building of the church. This is the season that preceeds the next step of the first gentile convert (Cornelius) and the steps into "the ends of the earth" with the gospel.

Lord, help us to break free of the "professional ministry" syndrome. Let us be a people who walk in reverance. Let us be a people who are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Let us produce peace and the rule of Your kingdom in our sphere of influence.

November 14, 2006

The Neighborhood Church

JR Woodward (lead pastor at Kairos LA) expresses what I've always thought about how the church should function in a healthy structure...

I sense that providing public weekly gatherings of worship alongside of home groups or house churches enables greater transformation as well as builds richer community. This combination creates opportunity for God to work in each of these various spaces. It is probably one reason that the early church gathered at the temple grounds and from house to house. I often wonder if the house church "only" movement is primarily a reaction to the mega-church and those who have become disillusioned.

Read more here...

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Community category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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