And I say also unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matt. 16:18
Recently driving on a back-woods road in South Carolina, I spotted a church and a sign in front. I just had to stop and take a picture.
“CHURCH CLOSED, Stay Safe”
“Stay safe?” Maybe it should have said “Stay Connected.” After all, what really is a church? It is a lot more than a building.
I recalled how one night a number of years ago I was speaking in a small town in north Florida, as they were celebrating the opening of their new church building. It seems that the former one had burned to the ground and they had to re-build. I asked. “When did your church burn down?” Quickly, he answered, “Oh the church never burned down, it was just the building.”
The church consists of God’s people. It is the assembly of believers in Jesus Christ. The physical buildings facilitate the fellowship, worship, and ministry of God’s people, but it is not the church. … It is based on the Greek word of ecclesia, which is referring to the gathering or assembly.
The early Christian church was persecuted. Christians did not congregate in large physical buildings, but met in secret in the homes of other Christians. The early Quakers, as a matter of principle, refused to call the buildings where they met “churches,” since the biblical word church referred to people, not a building. The Quakers instead called a building designed for Christian worship a “steeple house.”
We all learned about closed churches during the pandemic isolation. Our church building was locked, but our church never missed a beat. How about yours?
Acts 2:42 could be considered a purpose statement for the church: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” According to this verse, the purposes/activities of the church should be 1) teaching biblical doctrine, 2) providing a place of fellowship for believers, 3) observing the Lord’s supper, and 4) praying……. And you don’t need a building to do that.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
In Dr. David Jeremiah’s book, Forward, subtitled, Discovering God’s Presence and Purpose in Your Tomorrow, he offers 10 steps to help us move forward spiritually, and in life.
The ten words are explained in detail in each chapter.
1. Dream: Seize Your Tomorrow Today
2. Pray: Consult with Your Creator
3. Choose: Diminish Your Distractions
4. Focus: Make Your One Thing the Main Thing
5. Risk: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
6. Pursue: Chase Your Dream
7. Believe: Get Your Mind Right
8. Invest: Outlive Your Life
9. Finish: You’re Not Done Until You’re Done
10. Celebrate: Turn Your Forward into Forever
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My mind is like my Internet browser – 19 tabs are open, three are frozen and I have no idea where the music is coming from !!!!!! This is me: Beverley. Anonymous
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Christianity is not about our commitment to an ideal, dedication to a religion, or devotion to a philosophy. It’s about loyalty to a person: The Lord Jesus Christ.
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Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it. It requires a conscious decision because it is a countercultural lifestyle that stands against the culture of overconsumption that surrounds us.
The world we live in is not friendly to the pursuit of minimalism. Its tendencies and relentless advertising campaigns call us to acquire more, better, faster, and newer. The journey of finding simplicity requires consistent inspiration. The Minimalist
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In America, faith-based groups contribute more than $316 billion in savings to the US economy every year. In addition, congregations, religious institutions, and faith-based businesses contribute roughly $1.2 trillion of socio-economic value to the country, which is the equivalent of the world’s fifteenth largest national economy.
I bring these statistics up, however, not as an opportunity to congratulate ourselves for a job well done but rather to show just a small taste of the potential we have to bless our country and our community by serving others in the name of Jesus. Jim Denison
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. WILLIE NELSON
It can feel lonely to stand for Biblical morality in our radically secular culture. Jim Denison
When what should be first place in our lives gets misplaced, before long it will be replaced. Ken Whitten
If you want to be more like Jesus, try giving help in both time and treasure without telling anyone about it. Jesus has answered your silent prayers for a long time and does not seek to take any credit for it…see the power that brings when you do the same. Dwight Short