Posts Tagged ‘Church’


Deuteronomy 12 (NLT) When you drive out the nations that live there, you must destroy all the places where they worship their gods—high on the mountains, up on the hills, and under every green tree. Break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars. Burn their Asherah poles and cut down their carved idols. Completely erase the names of their gods! Do not worship the LORD your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods. Rather, you must seek the LORD your God at the place of worship he himself will choose from among all the tribes—the place where his name will be honored… Your pattern of worship will change. Today all of you are doing as you please, because you have not yet arrived at the place of rest, the land the LORD your God is giving you as your special possession… You must celebrate there in the presence of the LORD your God with your sons and daughters and all your servants. And remember to include the Levites who live in your towns, for they will receive no allotment of land among you… You must eat these in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose. Eat them there with your children, your servants, and the Levites who live in your towns, celebrating in the presence of the LORD your God in all you do… When the LORD your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land, do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’ You must not worship the LORD your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.

I know the question you must ask as did I – Why would a God of love direct His people to cause such destruction to their enemy’s property and idols? Is there no room for secularism in God’s eyes? (more…)


James 5:13-16
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

In all of the aspects of the Christian faith, this is one area that has always made me feel comfortable. I may not be wise to speak well, not wealthy to give much, not influential to cause change but I serve a God who listens to our prayers and just being able to pray for others makes me feel more fulfilled in my walk with the Lord. Are we then called to pray for others or is there more to it? What does God want from us today? (more…)


Philemon 1:8-11, 15-16
Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me… Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.

This book is only a chapter long and is a letter of appeal from Paul to Philemon, a wealthy man who owned a runaway slave by name Onesimus. Onesimus met Paul after he fled from Philemon, accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior and was now despatched by Paul back to Philemon with a letter which is our text today. Philemon was a member of the church in Colosse and Paul appeals to him as a Christian to another for the life of Onesimus and for his freedom. What caught my attention was the humility Paul shows in his request and the way he brought out the benefit of Onesimus in his new skin, as a Christian brother. What does this story have to do with us today? (more…)


Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Earlier in the chapter, Paul instructs Titus about how he should instruct the young and old men and women in his flock to live their lives so as to glorify God and also instructs Titus about how he should conduct himself so as to be an example to his flock for the glory of God. It would be awesome if everyone who heard simply complied and went with the flow but I don’t suppose that was the case because even today in Churches, challenges exist among it’s members and pastors spend considerable time ministering to people affected or causing the issues. How then does Paul say (in the passage above) that by God’s grace alone are we are able to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions? (more…)


1 Timothy 5:1-3, 5, 8, 24-25
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need… The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help… If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever… The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.

In the days when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy advising him on how to be a better pastor the elderly, the children, the youth and the widows were treated with less respect than adult men. Widows were the outcast in society and people lived only considering themselves and their desires, not those of their families and people around them. Times have changed and people regardless of age, sex or situation in life are now considered equal in most parts of the progressive world. In these days, what is the need for God to remind us of something as basic as this? Do we not love and respect everyone around us and give charity to organizations that support the poor, homeless, suffering, etc? Is there more that we need to do? We do not have the time, resources or energy to do more than we already are, right?

What Paul suggested to Timothy was a culture change and showed the heart of God. The Church is less an organization and more the representation of God’s love. It is not a corporate body or a physical structure, rather it is a group of sinful and helpless people brought together by the love of God, saved by the grace of God, for the purpose of giving God the glory and supporting and upholding each other in the process. The church is not a body that represents the world and it’s sinfulness but is a representation of God and his forgiving nature and is an oasis of hope to the world. Do we consider anyone less deserving of our love and if so, is that what God would desire of us? Are there any in our families who need caring and we have failed to notice because we are caught up in the busy-ness of our lives? Are we living outwardly as christians but inwardly lost and therefore trashing our testimony of God’s grace in our lives? Lets take the plank out of our eyes before we point at the dirt in others lives.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Proverbs 10:9 He who walks in integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will be found out.

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1 Timothy 3:15-16
If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:
He appeared in a body,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.

Earlier in the chapter, Paul explains to Timothy what pre-qualifications one needs in order to be made an overseer or deacon in the Church. An overseer also referred to as an elder are people who should be peacemakers, prayer warriors, teachers, leaders by example, and decision makers. Deacons are generally more like servant-leaders helping out with non-teaching roles whereas elders can be described as teaching-leaders. When we look at the pre-requisites, very few people in every Church fit that role and might be willing to perform that role. Obviously the role involves serving the body of Christ and therefore there is much at stake. The draw of power and prestige should not be the earmarks of the role but instead the focus should be on whom God calls and how the chosen are able to serve with servant-hearts. What then is the mystery of godliness?

As we look at the 6 lines that explain it, we understand it as:

1. Appearing in body: Jesus Christ was fully man and yet fully God

2. Vindicated by the Spirit: After his condemnation to death, the power of God raised Him from the dead

3. Seen by angels: The angels were at the open tomb and told the women about Jesus’ resurrection

4. Preached among the nations: To Paul, a Jew who was taught that Gentiles (Non-Jews) were not chosen, it was significant to Him that God came to die for sinners regardless of their culture or heritage

5. Believed on in the world: Two thousand years later, Christ is still preached and lives in the lives and hearts of millions today

6. Taken up in Glory: Christ’s resurrection

Those who seek to take up office in the Church need to be mindful most importantly that they are called to serve Jesus Christ and his bride, the Church, which is the people in the body among them. This calling is a fulfillment of how God wants His body to be led and instructed and served and those called into it His servants.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

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1 Thessalonians 5:5-11
You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Last evening, a dear friend of mine called to share heartbreaking news of his wife’s decision to annul their marriage by filing for a divorce. This young man was shaken at the very core and he could not believe it and asked me a question that seemed so hard to answer. Why did God permit him to be married to her when God knew this was not going to work specially after he asked God to only permit the marriage if it was God’s will. In these troubled times when we are surrounded by brokenness and suffering, why is God reminding us to be hopeful and when will He come and take us away from this suffering?

As I spoke with my friend, God led me to remind him of the life of Joseph who was a good kid but was betrayed by his own brothers, sold as a slave, imprisoned on false charges and finally was lifted by the pharaoh and blessed those who betrayed him. Also, I reminded my friend that God saves the lost and that’s whom we are. We are the worst of the worst that God saves, transforms and uses for His glory and therefore we should not consider suffering as loss but as gain because through suffering, we gain Christ and everything that comes from Him. As Christians, our hope is in an unseen God and our reward is in future, not at the present time. Therefore we are encouraged to keep focussed on this unseen God and wait eagerly for this future gift of life in God’s presence. We do not need to seek worldly pleasure to fill our hearts, it can never fill the void, we only need Jesus. Are you troubled, are you lost, are you seeking, then know that Jesus is standing at your door waiting to come in and love and transform you for His glory. Just ask Him in!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

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