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Archive for March, 2014

New Life

At this time of year, new life is a welcome sight. Trees start budding, plants start showing signs of life, the grass starts to green up. It is a good time of year.

Spiritually speaking, for my wife and myself, this is a time of new life also. Not in the sense of rededication or recommitting our life to God, but of a new way of looking at things, of new truths being revealed.

We both grew up in organized religion and followed certain doctrines and specific beliefs. After nearly 58 years in the system, our dissatisfaction with what we were seeing, and many questions we had about some of the things we had been taught, finally brought us to a point of leaving.

Having been out of organized religion for a year now, we have found that it is a time of new life for us. We have a new dependency on fellowship with the Father and with other brothers and sisters, even though it is outside the four walls of what we call church.

It is a time of new life in the way we think of church. What we had always thought of church is really not so. Church is the body of believers, each fulfilling an equal function in the body, with Christ as the head. It is not a building we attend once a week for a pre-planned religious service.

We have new life in our learning process, open to let the Spirit teach us and not settle for a specific doctrine or belief system based on what a particular denomination has told us. We had many things that bothered us and caused questions that just didn’t make sense, but we are finding new life knowing that God is within us and that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to rely on a man or woman to teach us. We can listen and hear the leading of the Spirit for ourselves.

We have come to realize the new life we have in the New Covenant. No longer do we need to try to mix the old covenant law with new covenant grace. We now depend on Jesus, and Him alone, as our all in all. He lives within his followers and is the living, inerrant Word of God. We have the mind of Christ, and the Holy Spirit within us teaching and guiding us.

We’ve found new life in fellowship. We had such a hard time finding true fellowship within the four walls. We’d sit for an hour looking at the back of someone’s head, listening to a man or woman tell us what they thought God was saying. Fellowship normally doesn’t happen at a typical church service. We’ve found more fellowship going about our daily business, knowing that God is within us. He brings other brothers and sisters along that we wouldn’t find while sitting in a meeting. We each have a small group of fellow believers that we meet with regularly and have really come to know what fellowship is meant to be.

We know everyone isn’t going to agree with what we are finding to be good for us. A lot of people want the organized meetings. There is nothing wrong with that if that is what you want for now. But we have found new life being outside of organized religion and traditional church. For us, this is so much better and we’re finding some of the questions that were bothering us actually have been answered. Some things make so much more sense now. Of course, there are still many questions, but rather than beat ourselves up over trying to make sense of everything, we’ve accepted that God is in control. We’re not going to know everything or have the answers to everything. We each learn over our life-time, and as God reveals new truths to us.

It is also a time of new life in the way we accept others and let Christ live and love through us. We can love and accept people the way they are. We can be loving and kind and not condemning. As followers of Christ, we are all at different stages in our walk with God.  We aren’t on different levels, as we feel all of us have equally important functions in the body, with Christ as our head.

Actually, each day is a time of new life. Stop looking to man, and man-made institutions to be your link to God. The Father says that we are now one with Him. Let Christ live through you every day and listen for the Spirit to teach and guide you as you go about your daily routine.

 

This post is part of the March Synchroblog, ‘New Life’, which can be viewed here
http://synchroblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/link-list-march-2014-new-life/

K.W. Leslie – Sin Kills; God Brings New Life
Carol Kuniholm – New Life. Mystery Fruit.
Jeremy Myers – I Get Depressed On Facebook
Glenn Hager – A Personal Resurrection Story
Loveday Anyim – Spring Forth – Ideas That Speak New Life
Loveday Anyim – Inspired By Spring To Create A New Life
Sarah Quezada – Post Winter Delight
Edwin Aldrich – Finding New Life In Our New Home
Doreen A. Mannion – Each Day A New Decision: Choose Life
Kathy Escobar – new life through nonviolent communication
Anita Coleman New Life, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and Eternal Living
Sonja Andrews Persephone
Mallory Pickering New Life Masterpiece Theater Style
Liz Dyer New Life, Empowerment and Dropping Keys

 

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So many times what we say and what we mean are two different things.

Take for instance the word church. Most of us think of a building where Christians meet every Sunday for an organized, pre-planned service of music, prayer and sermon by a paid pastor. In reality, church is better described by the word ekklesia. It’s people. It is people who are following Christ and allowing Him to live and love through them. Church isn’t a place, a building, or the house of God and it isn’t at a set time or day. Church is the body of Christ, each of us equally functioning as part of the body under Christ, going out each day and letting Christ live through us, loving others, accepting others.

How about the word Christian. We think of people who love God, go to church, pray, read their bible and try to do the right things. Actually Christian is a man-made word that originally was used to describe those who followed the teaching of Jesus and were doing the works of Jesus. Today, rather than being the true sense of following Christ, it is more widely known as a religion. Christians are considered people who believe in Jesus, go to church, follow specific rules, adhere to a set doctrine, pray, read the bible and try to get more people to come to their church. We think of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindu and a host of other religions rather than a way of life walking with Jesus.

When we talk about prayer, we generally think of a pastor or godly person saying spiritual sounding words to God. Many times prayers are written out and followed word for word to make people sound more spiritual. Actually prayer is just talking. Like you would talk to a friend or relative, prayer is talking to God. Not only talking, but being quiet and listening for God to speak to you. Believe it or not, prayer is not spoken in King James English. It is talking to our Father like we talk to anyone else.

What about the bible. Of course our first thought is a book that God inspired men to write. If we look closer at John 1:1, we find that the Bible is not a book at all. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God”. Actually, the Bible (the Word of God), is Jesus. He is the inerrant, all powerful, living Word of God. What we call the Word of God, the bible, is a book that is God inspired. It is words that show us the ways of men and the Way of God. Does that mean we don’t need to read the bible? Of course not, we can learn a lot about God and ourselves by reading it. What we don’t want to do is make the bible equal to God. The bible is not part of the trinity, it is a book. Again, God inspired, but humans still had a part in writing it.

The word worship is generally thought of as a time during the service when people are lead into song and outward praise to God by a leader or group, paid to lead people this way. The style of worship also varies greatly from group to group. Many people think worship are songs, or lifting of hands or dancing. A lot of people think of worship as a church service. Worship is a true sense of reverence and adoring praise to our Father. It is personal and does not need a professional leader to bring us to this point. It is a sincere and earnest thankfulness we have for God.

I’m sure there are many other words we could come up with that would fit here, but the main point being is it is not as important the word we use, but the true meaning. Jesus is the all in all. It doesn’t boil down to our doctrines, beliefs and man-made efforts. It’s following Christ, allowing Him to live through us and giving Him the throne of our lives. Jesus is the head of the body, the rest of us are equal parts with equal functions.

 

This Post was a Guest Post at Till He Comes website.
Visit the site here http://www.tillhecomes.org/what-christians-say-and-what-christians-mean/

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