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Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2094
Whittier CA USA

 The Church Has Become Inward-Focused

As I turned on Christian radio yesterday while driving, I couldn’t help but notice so many announcements for all kinds of Christian get-togethers going on in different churches. Men’s retreats, conferences, concerts, etc. So much of what churches do is inward-focused. It is hard to find a church that has a genuine concern to reach out to the lost with the gospel in the community.

When we study the book of Acts, we see they were on fire and went everywhere preaching the gospel. There was a deep burden to get the gospel out and see souls saved, and we’re told they turned their world upside down. In the current featured sermon by Carter Conlon (‘Honoring God in an Impossible Place’), he says, “we have 120 churches in certain towns and cities and can’t change our own block, yet at the beginning of the Church 120 people changed the whole known world.”

It’s been said that the Church is supposed to be more like a battleship than a cruise ship. But that’s what it’s become for the most part, isn’t it? A great big cruise ship. No deep commitment to the cause of Christ. No compassion for the lost. No agonizing prayer for the lost in our communities.

Brothers and sisters, when all around us there is so much apathy and no one sees the desperate need of the hour, will we stand in the gap? God is calling a holy remnant who will stand up and wage war against the evil forces of sin and Satan by the power of His Spirit. May God help us to burn brightly for our Master in these last days.


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Oracio

 2013/9/20 13:56Profile
ArthurRosh
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Joined: 2011/9/26
Posts: 899


 Re: The Church Has Become Inward-Focused

This is the biggest problem today but how do we change it?

 2013/9/20 17:42Profile
InLove
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Joined: 2010/11/17
Posts: 53


 Re: The Church Has Become Inward-Focused

I find most real Christians feel burdened to go and do something, but don't. So let us look at self first. We pray for labors and go. We can't wait, wait for people to understand. They won't understand til they see it and/or God shows them. All we can do is go and pray. To me what else is there than that?

 2013/9/20 22:31Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2094
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Quote:
This is the biggest problem today but how do we change it?


Good question brother. I think InLove made some good points. The most important thing is to be steadfast in prayer and by God's grace try to lead by example. I would also add that we should be sensitive to opportunities to encourage and exhort the Body.

I have found that pastors have a huge impact on the direction of local churches and the individual members. Usually as the shepherd/s go, so go the sheep. If the shepherd is not burdened to reach the lost and does not lead by example, most likely the majority of the local church will be the same way in that regard.

But it does come down to each of us individually responding to God's calling on our lives.


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Oracio

 2013/9/20 23:02Profile
ArthurRosh
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Joined: 2011/9/26
Posts: 899


 Re:

We need to be teaching the principles of biblical meditation in churches!

Principles of solitude and discipline in prayer.

We do not need more theology!

We have all the theology would could ever need at our fingertips

What we need is to learn about

discipline in prayer

discipline in QT (quiet time with the Lord)

meditation of God's Word

memorization of God's Word

The following excerpt from a message by pastor Tim Conway is fitting:

You don’t have what happens to Charles Simeon or Jonathan Edwards or Thomas Charles or John Wesley unless you are doing what they do which is meditation.

We live in a day where meditation is almost impossible.
We’ve got so many toys. So much noise. So many distractions

Brethren, when you become filled with a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory over the glories of Christ.

People who become unable to speak because of an exhilarating glory of Christ the only words that can come out, amid tears, and deep heart movement of the truth of the reality of the Person of Christ

And all they can say is; “Glory, Glory.”

People like that they don’t go out and let sin and weight cling to them.

They don’t go out and have to be told to obey those in leadership or attend meetings or be fruitful in their life.

People are not headed back to the old country when they have experienced Christ

 2013/9/21 9:58Profile
ArthurRosh
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Joined: 2011/9/26
Posts: 899


 Re:

A retired missionary who is part of the Navigators (ministry known for its emphasis on Scripture memory founded by Dawson Trotman who was converted trough Scripture memorization) told me one of the most important things is to learn to listen to the voice of God. He told me about something called "7 minutes with God" so I googled it and I found the following link:

http://preceptaustin.org/quiet_time_seven_minutes_with_god.htm

I encourage the saint to go through this resource as well as the following:

http://www.preceptaustin.org/a_primer_on_meditation.htm

http://www.preceptaustin.org/Memorizing_His_Word.htm

I believe these principles are the answer to the problem of the "inward-focusness" of the church in the West. I believe if we start practicing and teaching these principles in the church we will see the change we so desperately need.

 2013/9/21 10:16Profile
ArthurRosh
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Joined: 2011/9/26
Posts: 899


 Re:

Here is some thoughts as well as some commentary on the theme of meditation:

Nehemiah was a man who meditated on God and His attributes

Nehemiah meditated on God's Word

Nehemiah spent much time with the Lord

In Nehemiah chapter 1 it says Nehemiah
wept v4
and mourned v4
and fasted v4
and prayed v4
day and night v6
for four months 1:1-2:1
not for himself
but for others v10
when he learned of the great trouble and disgrace of his people, being broken down and destroyed. v2, 3
He was a man like anyone else, he had a full-time job, he was a cupbearer to the king v11
this was not a regular job
in today's standards it would be a job with great responsibility
but it is mentioned almost in passing as if to say, this was not the real focus of Nehemiah.
He was a man who loved God and loved others and His primary job was prayer for his people that they would be saved. Even with great responsibility he understood the greater responsibility of interceding before God for the salvation of others who were headed towards destruction. This is our example of what it means to be a servant of God v11
O Lord, we have so much to learn, we are so different, help us Lord for Your glory.

To sit down and pray v4 we can't be in a rush to do these things.

The men of old were men who lived at a much different pace. They walked with God and were attentive to Him.

If we sit down to pray today we become worried after 10 minutes about all the things that need to be taken care of and how we should hurry up because of all the things to do.

It is impossible to be God's servant if we live like this. We must learn from Nehemiah to live much differently. O Lord, please help us and teach us.

"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10

"be still"
not be fearful, nor fretful and impatient, or restless and tumultuous; but be quiet and easy, resigned to the will of God, and live in an assured expectation of the appearance of divine Providence.

"know"
acknowledge that he is God, a sovereign Being that does whatsoever he pleases; that he is unchangeable in his nature, purposes, promises, and covenant; that he is omnipotent, able to help and deliver, omniscient, knows persons, cases, and troubles, that he is the all wise God, and does all things after the counsel of his own will, and makes all things work together for good; that he is faithful to his word and promises.

"I will be exalted among the nations"
when the kingdoms of this world shall become Christ's, and all nations shall come and worship before him, Revelation 11:15. In the destruction of the Heathen; the Papists, the antichristian states; which will cause great rejoicings, hallelujahs, and attributions of honour and glory to him, Revelation 16:5

"I will be exalted in the earth"
now Christ is exalted in heaven at the right hand of God, before long he will be exalted in the earth, where he was despised and rejected, crucified and slain; he will be King over all the earth; his dominion will be from one end of it to the other; his tabernacle will be among men; and his people, as kings and priests, will reign with him on earth; by whom he, and he alone, will be exalted in the dignity of his person and offices, and, especially in his kingly office, Zechariah 14:9. The consideration of which may serve to remove fears and dismayings of mind under present troubles.

 2013/9/21 10:25Profile
ArthurRosh
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Joined: 2011/9/26
Posts: 899


 Re:

The man of one thing, you know, is a terrible man- and when one single passion has absorbed the whole of his manhood, something will be sure to come of it. Depend upon that. The desire of his heart will develop into some open demonstration, especially if he talks the matter over with God in prayer.

Something did come of this. Before long Nehemiah had an opportunity.
Men of God, if you want to serve God and cannot find the occasion, wait awhile in prayer and your opportunity will break on your path like a sunbeam.

The hour will need its man and if you are ready, you, as a man, shall not be without your hour. The opportunity came as the matter prayed upon in his mind began to affect his very countenance.

http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols22-24/chs1390.pdf

 2013/9/21 10:38Profile





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