Summary: Experiencing God and the Church at its best.
Shaped by Imitation
October 1, 2006
Experiencing God #3
I’ve printed a quote by a Pastor on the back of your bulletin. A Pastor writes, "I don’t serve well if I merely oversee a church that continues to serve only itself."
To be true to his task
to be faithful to his calling as a pastor he cannot oversee,
give his seal of approval, cheer on, be pleased with his church if it serves
tries to satisfy only itself.
A church full of people that exist for the sole purpose of serving each other is not a church but a club. Such a group of people are not loving with one love of God but selfish and conceited.
The Church - this church - Clear Lake Baptist Church - Christ the King Church each and every church is at its best when they are not primarily concerned with and focused on themselves but have a different focus.
An external focus
A drive to love God deeply and live out that love to those who surround them.
A Church at its best seeks not to primarily abide by its constitution.
A Church at its best does not listen to the agenda of the few.
A Church at its best does not seek to satisfy
-the most vocal
-the highest givers
-the most frequent attender
-nor the best dressed.
The Church when it is at its best lives not in response to loud and ever present and changing demands, longings and needs of those within it but instead a Church is at its best when it lives responsively to God’s leading and guiding.
This kind of a Church
A Church made up of people being attentive to, alert for, expectant of God and His work is one that is brought into the purpose that our God has for it.
A Church at its best has people in its worship services, Bible Studies, Sunday School who are continually being responsive to God’s work around them and who according to their abilities join Him in that work.
When this happens-
When this is the behavior of a Church, the people of that church are brought into a love relationship with our God and as a result begin to do the very work of God in their Community.
Think about this - Jesus left his followers, those who were his closest and most faithful listeners with all the responsibility to carry on in the work He began. But He left them no book or manual to read. He gave them no strategic plan to follow. He didn’t set up a Board of directors. He did none of that.
Instead what he did in part was to invite them to be responsive and attentive to His Spirit’s ongoing work and as they were- they would be led.
One circumstance at a time.
Jesus invited them to be responsive to Him. Jesus Christ no doubt knew that often plans, programs; procedures often got in the way of us being obedient and faithful. So by leaving nothing to follow. No program to implement. No 10-year plan this caused his followers to trust with abandon the teachings and words of Jesus, to continue on what He began, sharing meals and material possessions, to worship together regularly and as a result "the Lord added to their number daily." (Acts 2:47)
Now let me clarify something early on to put some of you at ease. I’m not angry with any of you. I am not claiming that I am overseeing a Church that serves only itself. Sometimes we do, other times we don’t.
I begin this way this morning because I recognize in my own life a continual behavior and attitude that wants everything mapped out ahead of time, before I eve take a step of faith.
I begin this way today because I can identify within myself a propensity to want to have everything figured out ahead of time.
Though I know God does desire to use me and has the ability to somehow use me for his work over and over again I in a sense put on the brakes and put up speed bumps or act unresponsively to my God’s invitations to join Him in his work because of who I believe myself to be or not be and -
-I as a result limit God.
-I do not permit God the opportunity to use me.
It is me saying no to God’s invitation.
Me excluding myself.
Me missing out on what God desires to do in me and through me.
And as a result I don’t grow deeper in my relationship with God and others aren’t blessed.
My friends our God invites us to join Him in His work. Any takers?