The Church: 100 Pianos
[b]..that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. [/b] --John 17:21
Someone may fear that we are magnifying private religion out of all proportion, that the "us" of the New Testament is being displaced by a selfish "I." Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other?
They are of one accord by being tuned, [b]not to each other[/b], but to [i]another standard to which each one must individually bow.[/i] So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become "unity" conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
[b]Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.[/b] The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life. [i]The Pursuit of God, 90.[/i]
"Lord, let this start with me. Give me a closer walk with You today. Then as a leader enable me to encourage others as well, individually, so that all to whom I minister might be in harmony as we individually are close to You. Amen."
The Church: The Cure for Difficulties
[b]But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."[/b]1 Samuel 16:7
Indeed it may be truthfully said that everything of lasting value in the Christian life is unseen and eternal. Things seen are of little real significance in the light of God's presence. He pays small attention to the beauty of a woman or the strength of a man. With Him the heart is all that matters. The rest of the life comes into notice only because it represents the dwelling place of the eternal being.
[i]The solution to life's problems is spiritual because the essence of life is spiritual.[/i] It is astonishing how many difficulties clear up without any effort when the inner life gets straightened out....
Church difficulties are spiritual also and admit of a spiritual answer.
Whatever may be wrong in the life of any church may be cleared up by recognizing the quality of the trouble and dealing with it at the root.
Prayer, humility and a generous application of the Spirit of Christ will cure just about any disease in the body of believers. Yet this is usually the last thing we think about when difficulties arise. We often attempt to cure spiritual ills with carnal medicines, and the results are more than disappointing. The Next Chapter After the Last, 82-83.
"Problems loom so large, Lord, because they seem so prevalent. Help our church to focus on 'prayer, humility and a generous application of the Spirit of Christ.' Amen."
-daily Tozer devotionals from [url=http://lmi.gospelcom.net/tozer.php3]Literature Ministries International[/url].
KJV, NKJV, Amplified, Living or HCSB....
Current Tongues, no tongues, earthly language or angelic, continuing or cecessional gifts....
Old earth, New earth....
Pre-, Post-, Pan- millennial tribulation...
The corporate conduct of the 'church external' matters not ... it is the perfection of our souls through Jesus Christ that allows us to be able to shape, within ourselves a [i]personal and intimate relationship with God[/i] that is the ultimate end. It is only through the perfection of our personal discipleship that the 'church grows stronger.
Imagine one body of Christ, purely focused on God; what power has satan against all this...
Once again we come to the simplicity that is Christ and His message. All that He did focused honor and Glory on the Father God, and He always said that He was merely the conduit... the power was His only through God.
How then shall we live and continue to persue our own personal agendas if we are truly "CHRISTians"? Are we living the life or only seeking an 'acceptable risk' association for our personal satisfaction.
As my 'brother from an other mother,' Reggie Dabbs said two weeks ago at the JAX Promise Keepers conference...[b]we need to stop just going to church... and start BEING the church."[/b] yup-YUP