THE CHURCH IS THE ASSEMBLY OF THE
The last two issues of the newsletter have been articles about the church. The church (ekklesia) is the most unique organization on the face of the earth. It is an organization or an assembly of people who have responded to the call of the Lord Jesus Christ. So they believe in His birth, as well as in His death, resurrection and ascension, when He ascended into heaven sitting at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, as our Mediator and Advocate.
The head of the church is Jesus Christ, who is invisible, all-powerful, all-loving and knows all things. Service in this group of people is done for the most part on a volunteer basis. He has called specific people and given His authority to individuals selected by the church. These individuals are called to serve and fulfill the responsibilities of pastor, elder and deacon.
The church does not function with health, wholeness, efficiency and effectiveness unless each member and especially the delegated leadership is responding to the directions and instructions of the Head, Jesus Christ with love and truth, and serving one another accordingly.
There are so many thoughts that come to mind from Jesus' teachings. Let me share just a few of them from the book of John. These are some of Jesus' words from chapters 8, 14, 15.
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. If you love me, you will obey my commands. If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with Him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down His life for His friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”
Does Jesus count you as one of His friends?
Do you count Jesus as your friend?
Do you love Him?
Do you love His teachings and commands?
How is the level of joy in your life?
Do you love & count other Christians as friends?
What are you willing to sacrifice to serve others?
Think about these questions in light of what Jesus said. Many of your answers will determine 1st, if Jesus is at home in your life, and 2nd, the extent and kind of relationship and association you may have with others who are friends of Jesus.
Sincerely Seeking to Serve,
Pastor Perry DeGroot
P.S. Be sure to check out the thought provoking article about the church and geese that follows. “Can We Be As Smart As Geese?”
CAN WE BE AS SMART AS GEESE?
This fall you may have seen geese heading south for the winter flying in a V formation - you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way.
It has been discovered that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates a draft or uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
(Christians who share a common direction and a sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust and encouragement of one another.)
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets back into formation, to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
(If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in the formation with those who are headed in the same direction we are going.)
When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
(It pays to take turns doing hard jobs with people at church or with geese flying south.)
The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
(What do we say when we honk from behind?)
Finally, (Now I want you to get this part) when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is able to fly, or until he is dead; and then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their original group.
(If people knew we would stand by them like that in church, they would push down walls to get in!) You see, all we have to do in order to attract those who are missing...is to demonstrate to the world that we have as much sense as a goose.
That seems little enough price to pay to win the lost and minster to one another. Even geese have enough sense to know that it works every time.
Barbara Sterling Willson