Our Journey – January 2012

What a month!

Firstly, I am conviced that what our family has undergone over the last few years has definately been in Gods purpose.. Im at a unique spot in my life at the moment, I wouldnt want to be anywhere else. My love for Christ has grown ten fold and we have been blessed in getting to know Jesus in a deeper way. I really get it now “to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Once you start to learn how the indwelling Christ (Holy Spirit) manifests himself in your life you really know God in a whole different light. What a blessing to have the Living, Eternal God dwelling in me! For Christ liveth in me! (Praise God)

Secondly, our journey is taking us into sooo many peoples lives at the moment. As I learn more about Jesus and his functioning body ‘The body Of Christ – His Church the ‘Ekklesia'”, I talk more about Him and share more about Him. Most of our conversations with friends over the last few weeks have been centred all around Christ and Gods purpose.

Have you ever wanted be a vessell used by God? – Simple know Christ! Love Him and Breathe Him… let Jesus pour out your sweat glands and start up conversations, expose your beliefs and passions. Christ said “To know Me is to know my Father”. If you start seeking Christ in your life, you will start to know God more intimately. Remember “the only way to the Father in through the Son”. Knowing that God created all things “through and In him” – Jesus, really starts to change the way in which you relate to your God. God is not limited by time and space, we cannot fathom His almighty power or strength.. So my question is.. why arnt you allowing the living Christ that dwells in you to shine bright, to dominate your thoughts and discussions? Whats stopping you from giving your all? – You dont need to do it in your own strength.. Jesus said “seek first the kingdom of God” and “seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened”…

Pray this prayer with me “Heavenly father.. you love your Body.. you love us so much. Take all that is within me and make me new, change me, shape me, mould me. Holy Spirit counsel me and expose to me the truths in your Living Word. Teach me your ways, draw out more of my spiritual nature and teach me to live more In You. Lord you said it is “greater to give than recieve”, as you soo freely gave of yourself, I ask that your spirit would teach me to give more of myself and honour you in everything I do… I want to change and need your guidence. Amen”

Have a great week guys… would love to hear how your going! Remember to encourage one-another.

People want real examples of Organic Church Life!

I responded to a blog by Alan Knox, please read these articles to gain more insight into organic church life!

“Hi all, Im from down under! (Australia) I have read most of Franks books on organic church life. I havent been attending an institutional church (came from both baptist and pentecostal circles) for over 3 years now. We are striving toward gathering like the following;

“The Organic Church. This is a living, vibrant face to face community that has no other pursuit but Jesus Christ Himself. Members are being “built together” into Christ the Head, they are experiencing the cross of Jesus, they are discovering how to live by His indwelling life, and they are fleshing out the biblical vision that the church is the family of God. Such churches are a testimony to the world, to one another, and to the principalities and powers that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed alive – alive enough to be Head over His own church. Christ is the church’s centrality. He is her passion. He is, as it were, her obsession. Members specialize in nothing – except Christ. Their goal is to make Him visible in their community. Their Hallmark is their growing desire is their growing knowledge of the Lord. Their testimony is their openness to all of God’s people, their humility, and their unmistakable love for one another.” – paraphrased summary from Frank Viola’s books

It hasnt happened yet for us as Frank depicts but I know it will. I know of many ‘christ-centred’ families and followers that no longer attend church for a whole pile of reasons. Primarily because the church they attend, seems to have lost sight of Jesus and being built up together as the body of Christ. They are turning more into’inward looking’ sects and have lost their kingdom view (Im generalising but have experienced this in the few churches I have been attending over the last 15 years)

Its early days yet, but we are seeing crowds of christians here in Australia move away from traditional ‘pulpit-pew’ churches and are attempting to gather in simple-church style gatherings. The picture Viola creates is very unique and it does speak of a functional new testament church that is vibrant and living in Christ.

The biggest hinderance to people gathering as the ‘organic expression of the body of christ’ is the instutional mindset they have spent most of their life being taught to function like and within. My understanding is that people need to go through a ‘wilderness’ type experience to de-institutionalise themselves from traditional church thinking and practices. It hard to refocus on new testament expression of church when we have grown up in our times and its embedded within our thinking, we tend to ‘default’ to that thinking.

I am already seeing the fruits of the spirit in several groups we are attending, they are refocusing their lives on Christ and re-learning to encourage and love-another. Finally we are starting to see the gifts of the spirit being used how 1 Corinthians intended, founded on love and unity in Christ Jesus. I am praying we will soon have multiple gatherings that will be equipped to function like Viola’s books. Hopefully the landscape of the way we do ‘church’ will change forever!

Note. In no way do I mean to be-little or attack institutional church goers, I believe God works in and through all believers who are committed to Christ… I am only speaking of the ‘ekklesia’ above.
God Bless. Daniel”

http://www.alanknox.net/2012/01/people-want-real-example-of-organic-church-life/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=people-want-real-example-of-organic-church-life

Church – Jesus Manifesto

A quick comment on Jesus Manifesto (Book by Frank Viola)

Wow what a Jesus!! Well thats the quick summary… Jesus Christ is soo unique and special. I have discovered so much more about Jesus on Nazareth. I never truely understood the whole movement of “what would Jesus do” as it just didnt do justice to the Christ that I knew. I discovered that if we truely want to be like Christ we have to not just ‘be like him’ or ‘model ourselves in his image’ but actually realise that Christ Lives in Us! To truely know God the Father, is to know Christ… and to know Christ is to allow him to function ‘THROUGH’ you, and ‘IN’ you! Remember that Jesus is living and real… we are made ‘Alive IN Him and Through Him’….

Consider the words in Galations 2:19-21

 19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”[e]

I just cant fathom how Christ wants us to be part of His Body.. He designed us to function togther in complete harmony and unity, through love and encouragement. It makes me feel soo unworthy knowing what the creator of the universe was willing to do… He loved us sooo unconditionally that he sacrificed himself on the alter so we may be Holy and Blameless in Gods eyes. What a Precious, Loving Saviour we have and oh how undeserving are we!

Think about this “Greater is He that is in ME, than he that is in the world”… ‘IN’ me!!! ‘IN’ me…!  He (The Holy Spirit is a living person who wants you to be activated into Gods Will, through Christ Jesus.)

Worship – Does your life reflect it?

Worship just on weekends, or does your whole life reflect worship?

We visited another church in our local area 2 weeks ago to experience thier flavour on church life. I must admit that it was pretty much a ‘main-stream’ charismatic church, run by one family and had the stereotypical emphasis on the ‘gifts-experience’ like so many churches we have attended in the past. Not to bag out this church, each to there own, but one striking statement was made by the worship leader that really supprised me.

One thing that stirred me was what the worship leader said, the statement “lets enter into worship and focus on God for this small opportunity that we have been given this week…” Wow what a statement! (could have been taken several ways, but has deep meaning)

To me this statement really reflected the attitude many churches so often take today. Worship seems to be reduced to a miniscule part of the service on sundays. Lets put in into perspective.. If we are awake for an average of say 100 hours per week, we are really only get half hour or so of worship time in per week. Wow less than 1% of our week is spent worshippping our Divine, Loving, Eternal Saviour… Is something wrong with this attitude that is being conveyed? Reality is that 70%+ of Christians in churches today do exactly that! So whats the Answer to fixing this issue, what do you think?

Not much is going to change until we really grasp what scripture is saying… So what is Jesus saying to you about worship in your life?? If I was to repeat the words in James 2 – “faith without action is dead” are we a faithful people remembering to worship God in all we do and say?

Church – Is your church functioning correctly?

Gods word has been such a blessing in my life over the last few months. Does your ‘church or gathering’ function in the way this statement describes?

This is a living, vibrant face to face community that has no other pursuit but Jesus Christ Himself. Members are being “built together” into Christ the Head, they are experiencing the cross of Jesus, they are discovering how to live by His indwelling life, and they are fleshing out the biblical vision that the church is the family of God. Such churches are a testimony to the world, to one another, and to the principalities and powers that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed alive – alive enough to be Head over His own church. Christ is the church’s centrality. He is her passion. He is, as it were, her obsession. Members specialize in nothing – except Christ. Their goal is to make Him visible in their community. Their Hallmark is their growing desire is their growing knowledge of the Lord. Their testimony is their openness to all of God’s people, their humility, and their unmistakable love for one another.”

Do you desire a church that functions organically like this? I DO… join with me on this journey of discovery in the New Testament. What do you think?

Evangelism – Allowing the Holy Spirit to Lead

Evangelism and how to spread the gospel the way Jesus would want us to!

” The most potent evangelist on earth is a community of believers who are living by the indwelling life of Christ together in face-to-face community” – Frank Viola

So what do you think? Over the last few years I have been to several conferences and talks on this topic and they all present some interesting “ideas and formulas” to evangelism. I would love to know what you think… do you share your faith often, if so how effective are the relationships you are developing and have you seen people come to know Jesus?

This is the verse on the great commision; MY QUESTION; What do you think about eveangelism and how is it made effective? – Matthew 28:16-20

 “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Our 7 Day Fast – Holy Spirit

So we are now into our third day of fasting.. wow its going well. No meat and minimal pleasures this week… We were praying last night for “Gods Will to be done on earth as it is in heaven” and this is what happened when the Holy Spirit comforted and convicted us;

12 “A word was secretly brought to me,
   my ears caught a whisper of it.
13 Amid disquieting dreams in the night,
   when deep sleep falls on people,
14 fear and trembling seized me
   and made all my bones shake.
15 A spirit glided past my face,
   and the hair on my body stood on end.
16 It stopped,
   but I could not tell what it was.
A form stood before my eyes,
   and I heard a hushed voice:   – Job 4:15

All Ican say “God is Great and we are on the right path to understanding ‘the body of christ’. God Bless.