Sunday, January 6, 2013

Whole Stole My Church?? {Part 1}

Sunday's are very important days to me. It's Sabbath. That means there are only two things I focus on:
My Faith and My Family
But, since we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, you are --in extension-- a part of my family as well. :)
Going to church, or at least being in the Word on Sunday is important to my family and I. It's Husband's job...but, even if it wasn't, the importance is still there. It's what grounds me for the week to come.  It's what gives me strength and rebuilds me after a long or hard week. It's my time to give God what he deserves. Sunday is a time for rest, reflection, worship and praise. And corporate worship is important too; we, as a Church, need to learn, pray, read, and worship together.
Over the next six weeks I am going to share my personal church's current sermon series, "Who Stole My Church?" not only to share with you what I am learning, but to inspire you to learn as well. To soak in God's love and truth, to bask in his glory, and to remind you {and me} of our mission.  I desire for all of us to band together corporately {whether we are 3 miles away or 3,000} and praise Him for all He has done.
Open up a Bible {or Bible app}, grab a cup of coffee and join me!
Of course, I can't do a whole sermon on a blog post {especially not as well as my pastor delivers it}, so each week I want to give you what hit me as inspiring, revealing, or convicting, so that we can share and we can then go out to others! {I am soooo excited for this post!!!!! case you couldn't tell.}
This week's message focused on Acts 15, where Paul is debating with a council in Jerusalem about what the Church's mission (in Acts) should be.  A lot of the Jews thought that in order to become a follower of Jesus the Gentiles (non-Jews) had to follow all the ways and laws of Moses in the Old Testament as well. You couldn't be saved by belief in Jesus and his sacrifice alone.
Well...Paul did not agree. So, there was a debate. {Even churches didn't agree on things back then!}
They weren't debating over the mission (spreading the Gospel), they were debating membership.  The Jews did not want to give up their old ways, they didn't want to abandon their old laws and traditions, even though Jesus had changed everything!
That is what hit me today.  Sometimes we get too wrapped up (in church or anywhere else) about the 'good ol' days' or the way things 'used to be.'  We almost grieve when things change, because it's like we are losing something.  It's okay to be nostalgic about the past, but to grieve about it can be dangerous.
Our world is constantly changing. Sometimes I think it would be nice, if church could always be the same, because a part of me loves routine, normalcy, comfort, etc. But, church, and the way 'church' is done HAS to change, because we need to meet the people of the world where they are. 
Our mission is for the unsaved. Yes, we need to help the saved as well. But, we can't be totally focused on ourselves, the unsaved don't have a voice inside the church and we need to be that voice.  It is easier to be selfish than selfless.
Change is inevitable. Change can be good. Jesus changed everything.
I cannot wait to see where this series is headed. AND, there is a book to go along with it, which you can see here.  
The Scripture:
Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

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