Church/ekklesia/lampstand showcase the light in everyday Christ-followers . . .

lampstand

The word that the New Testament uses for the body of Christ is ekklesia. However ekklesia was replaced in English translations with the word church. Jesus said that ekklesias are lampstands. “The seven lampstands which you saw are the seven ekklesias.” Jesus in Revelation 1:20

“No man, when he has lighted a lamp, covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed; but sets it on a lampstand, that they who enter in may see the light.” Jesus in Luke 8:18

A lampstand doesn’t restrict or limit the light, but rather showcases the shinning of light so that it may be seen by all who come in. The light is shinning in all Christ-followers. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts.” 2 Corinthians 4:6.

Therefore, as a lampstand, ekklesia (church) is a gathering that allows everyday Christ-followers to shine for Jesus as they show and tell what God has done, so that “they who enter in may see the light.”

Paul of Tarsus explains how this works in 1 Corinthians 14:25-26: “But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believes not, or one unlearned, he is convicted of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when you come together, every one of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.”

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Don’t let inner fear interfere with you . . . enjoy the ice cream!

Does inner fear interfere with your life?
The living, resurrected Jesus Christ can make you fearless!

However, don’t just take Christ in — let Him flow out through your words and actions. The inflow of information without the spark of inspiration and the outflow of participation is powerless and quickly forgotten.

Would you rather hear a talk about ice cream?
Or eat a bowl of your favorite ice cream?
“O taste and see that the Lord is good!”
(Why settle for a talk about God?)

ice cream cone

Walking in the soothing rain,
Eating a vanilla ice cream cone,
Enjoying Jesus;
Watching people rushing everywhere,
Hiding beneath their umbrellas,
Rejecting the heavenly gift.

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Ekklesia plugs into the Scriptures and the Spirit’s current.

Welcome to ekklesia where:
* You “behold the Lamb of God” working in and through ordinary people, (John 1:29);
* “Christ in you” (everyday people) is “the hope of glory,” (Colossians 1:27);
* Jesus’ sheep hear His voice in and through regular people, (John 10:27);
* Normal people “cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard,” (Acts 4:20);
* “Each of you (ordinary people) has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation,” (1 Corinthians 14:26);
* Everyday people love, encourage, teach and admonish one another; (Colossians 3:16);
* There is no hierarchy, (Matthew 20:25-26);
* Rather than a human head controlling the meetings, the living, resurrected Jesus is the Head, (Ephesians 5:23).
* Jesus Christ is “the same, yesterday, today, and forever;” (Hebrews 13:6).

(Ekklesia is the word used in the Greek New Testament for the assembly that Jesus is building.)

Bible plug

Ekklesia lets God’s current flow . . .
–A piece of wire with no electrical current is boring, but plug it into the flow of electricity and the wire becomes alive with power!
–A religious gathering with no Holy Spirit current flowing through it is boring, but plug it into the flow of the Spirit and it becomes alive with power!
–The Holy Spirit flows from person to person as ordinary people are allowed to share from their heart what God has done in their life!
However, if we don’t allow them to speak what the Spirit puts on their heart when we come together for worship, then we cause them to disobey this New Testament commandment: “Quench not the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
–“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” –Jesus (Luke 12:11-12)
–“But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.” (Acts 6:10)
–What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
–Experience these Bible verses in action in the 21st Century with us at The Salvation Army Berry Street every Sunday morning at 10:45 at 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207.

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What in the world does God want?

How can we know what God wants?
1) By God’s Spirit showing us through the Bible;
2) By God’s Spirit speaking directly to our heart;
3) By humbling ourselves and laying down our traditions, desires, opinions, fears, patriotism, pride, intellectualism, sins, and anything else that may hinder us from hearing God speak something against our personal defense mechanisms.
–“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

Whose voice
Do you hear?
Jesus said:
“My sheep
Hear My voice.”

How can you be sure you are hearing God’s voice and not your own voice or a counterfeit voice? Here are some ways to make sure:
1) Check out what you hear with the Bible. If it disagrees with the Bible, it’s not God’s will.
2) Examine it to see if it is morally right. If it’s sinful or immoral it’s not God’s will.
3) Examine your heart to make sure you are not acting in anger, hurt, fear, self-defense, rebellion, pride, revenge, manipulation, self-righteousness, greed, or any other wrongful attitude or impure motive. If what you are hearing is compulsive and tormenting it is not from God. God lovingly woes and draws; He does not try to override your free will.
4) Ask God to show you if there is anything in you that is interfering with your hearing His will and then be open to receiving instructions directly from God that may disagree with your opinion and/or desire.
5) Share what you hear with some spiritually mature Christ-followers. If they don’t confirm what you heard as the will of God and you agree with their counsel then don’t do it. However, if you still believe you are hearing God’s voice, go back to God in prayer and ask for His confirmation. Also, continue to search the Scriptures for direction.
6) If what you are hearing continues after these steps, there is a strong chance it is God instructing you.
7) Check out Acts 5:29: Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!”

question marks

Posted in Acts 5:29, discerning of spirits, How to be led by the Spirit, how to know God's will, spiritual discernment, We must obey God rather than man, witness of the Spirit | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The paralysis of analysis or the openness of brokenness?

Our culture analyzes everything. We mentally pick things to pieces. Yet, sometimes our logic locks out love. Love often doesn’t compute — it can be very irrational. Yet love is an essential ingredient for a lovely life! Without love, we’re human information processors — feeling accurate but lonely — full of proud hypotheses, trapped in the paralysis of analysis.

Brokenness breaks the brain’s burden of analysis. It opens us up to thinking with the heart, not just with the mind. Brokenness breaks us out of the mental box that the brain’s logic has left us in (accumulated left brain information) and gives us the right to hear fresh ideas with our heart (free-flowing right brain inspiration).

“Love is not the absence of logic
but logic examined and recalculated
heated and curved to fit
inside the contours of the heart”
–Tammara Webber

Brokenness opens us up to love’s openness and keeps our heart from going down the brain drain. Like Roto Rooter, brokenness unclogs our heart.

Analysis is tidy. Brokenness is messy.
Analysis follows logic. Brokenness flows with light.
Analysis is programmed. Brokenness is unprogrammed.
Analysis relies on the head. Brokenness releases the heart.
Analysis process information. Brokenness embraces inspiration.
Analysis is controlled. Brokenness is surrendered.
Analysis is rational. Brokenness is revelatory.
Analysis is boastful. Brokenness is humble.
Analysis is closed to what it can’t explain.
Brokenness is open to and desperate for miracles.

The psalms of King David flow with brokenness — an incredible man humbled before God. The Jewish prophet, Isaiah, put it this way: “‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.'” And Paul of Tarsus declared: “O wretched man that I am,” and “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” John the Baptizer said: “He must increase, I must decrease.”

Yet, contrary to these biblical examples, church meetings in the West tend to be based on analysis — programmed to a tee — centered around a one man theological analysis of a Bible passage.  However, in the Greek New Testament, church is called ekklesia and it is a group of broken people called out of the pride of life and into participatory and interactive, support-group-style meetings in submission to and obedience to the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.

Read more about ekklesia here: The Lost Word of the Bible — Ekklesia

analysis brokenness

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Look! — Light near. — See?

I woke up this morning with these words in going through my mind:
“The longing for meaning and purpose deep in your heart is the Light shining in the darkness of your discouragement and despair, demonstrating your divinely designed destiny. To deny or ignore the inner Light is to embrace your own defeat and to destroy your hope.”

Our culture teaches us to live by and obey our feelings and desires.
–However, Christians are called to obey the teachings of Jesus Christ, living by God’s inner Light.
(We can’t do both.)

Some things are obvious . . .
A book has an author;
A building has a builder;
The Universe has a Creator;
And there’s a Light in your heart.
Don’t turn away from God’s Light!

Christ on the cross,
He took your place!
That’s the cost
Of grace.
Isaiah 53:6

Light shining in our heart

Enough with darkness! Go out and have a Light year — follow and obey the Light of the living resurrected Jesus Christ for the next year, and you’ll never be the same! You’ll never turn back to darkness.

“When a person is free from the tyranny of thoughts, that is freedom!” –Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Read more about the Kingdom of God and the Inner light.

Posted in 2 Corinthians 4:6, alternative lifestyle, depression, destiny, freedom, God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, I saw the light, light shinning in darkness, light-year, purpose driven, Quaker light, shine the light, shined in our hearts, Thaddeus of Vitovnica, the light came on, tyranny of thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faith Hearing (Meeting To Be Taught By The Spirit)

Faith Hearing

Listening to God,
Releases His miracles,
When Christ-followers meet,
Yielded and obedient
To the promptings
Of the Spirit
That reach beyond
Rhetoric, rituals,
Rallies, repetitiveness,
Repertoires, and religion.

(“Does He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith”? –Paul of Tarsus (Galatians 3:5 ESV))

Have you been “taught by the Spirit?” It’s an amazing experience. There’s nothing else like it!
–“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” –Paul of Tarsus (1 Corinthians 2:13)

“Set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain, that I can’t control. I want more of You, God!” –Jesus Culture
–When Christ-followers get together to listen to and obey the Spirit, with the fire of God burning in their souls, uncontained and uncontrolled; ekklesia breaks out!

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Posted in 1 Corinthians 2, ekklesia, faith healing, Galatians 3:5, hearing with faith, I want more of You God, led by the Spirit, Paul of Tarsus, Set a fire down in my soul, taught by the Spirit | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments