I gave a message the other night with the intent of helping people know they ARE the church. Here is my message. I also had a Powerpoint to go along with it if you want to leave me a comment, I can email it to you as an attachment.
Acts 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.
Why does the world need a church? What is the church, who is the church and where is the church?
As believers: We are a regenerated people saved by the power of God for a purpose in this world.
The word “church” means: Ecclesia = “gathering”.
We sometimes misunderstand that the church is a gathering – (like an event) but actually “gathered ones” who builds their lives around Jesus as Lord, King and Savior.
It is not an event but the event of Christ saving people to Him.
Jesus builds his church thru his people, therefore everything we do counts, not just a couple of hours that we are in church but all life where we live as the church bringing glory to God in ALL things.
Jesus wants to saturate the world with his presence as the head building His church in every place.
When WE understand this, it changes the way you see yourself.
You don’t “go” to church you “ARE” the church.
MOST PEOPLE THINK CHURCH IS AN “experience” an event – listen to message, sing, pray and look as though church is way above us. People gather to look up to find Jesus when the Holy Spirit is everywhere.
To be a better church is not to form a better program, not to rely on pastor, staff, volunteer but to serve together becoming more like Jesus and be the “expression” of Jesus to many.
Mark 4: Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.
As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.
Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.
But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.
- Careless, thoughtless hearer are easy prey – satan robs the hearer. ( thinking of other things, zones off)
The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.
- Hypocrites: Start out right, shows profession, many are glad to hear a good sermon but don’t profit from it because in reality, life is too hard to change – light of Jesus does not shine in them through actions and attitudes.
The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.
- Hebrews 6:8 Worldly cares are great hinderance, trust is put in financial security – faith in money – status
And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Thirty fold: The number 30 can symbolize dedication to a particular task or calling. Aaronic priests were dedicated to serve at 30, in part because it was the age when a person reached both physical and mental maturity and could therefore handle major responsibilities.
Joseph, a type of Jesus, was thirty years old when Egypt’s Pharaoh placed him in charge over all that he ruled. King David also, when he began to reign over Israel, was thirty years old (2Samuel 5:4).
The number 60: which literally denotes to uphold, help or support. The widow ; who herself gave much support for the body of Christ in “every good work”:
The number 100: represent the fullness or completeness – accomplish a task, the glory that results from Grace, God’s miracles.
Think about this: Jesus Christ is not only willing to be known and to represent Himself, He is willing to be known and represented by us!
He asks us to be His representatives, His ambassadors.
To be sure, we do a poor job of this sometimes, maybe even often. He knew that we would, but chose to arrange things this way anyway. He knows you’re not perfect, and he invites you to represent Him anyway.