Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Simple Church

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works...." I read this scripture several weeks ago in our home fellowship.(Heb10:24) It was one of the "one another" scriptures we had been talking about. One hour later, an intricate message had been woven by the Holy Spirit, using normal folks in various stages of their christian walk. Each adult and several young people contributed to the conversation. It was not a message that was prepared beforehand by anyone.

We hear a lot about loving one another in church,
but that particular verse in Hebrews uses a very strong verb
in the Greek.
Provoke, incite, stir up, stimulate, arouse;
these are some of the words used by different translations.
These words are not passive.
This type of love is something that we must purpose in our hearts to do.
It does not just happen.

After the meeting was over, I came away convinced the Holy Spirit had spoken to us in a very concise manner. I personally felt that it was a message for me. However, I was not the only one who felt that way.

Each time we have come together, the Lord has spoken to us through those that are gathered. I find myself meditating on that word throughout the next week. It has an impact on my life. It challenges me and makes me uncomfortable. This is what simple church is about.

What I am finding is that I cannot hide in these meetings. I have a responsibility to spend time with the Lord so I can be ready to share with the group. The Lord is revealing things to me that I need to attend to. It is very personal. The next week the message was along the same lines. The Holy Spirit weaved another amazing message that touched my heart. I confessed at the beginning of the meeting that I had been challenged in provoking my family to love. Jokingly I mentioned that I had been better at provoking them to anger. The problem was it had been easier. One of the dad's asked his teenage son for forgiveness for getting mad at him the week before. This happens in simple church meetings.

So here are some questions I ask. Are we challenged when we gather with the saints? Do we participate? Do we leave the meeting with a mission on our hearts? Are we changed?

I have encountered God during these meetings. It is frightening. The flesh doesn't like it. I am exposed. I come away changed, grateful for a Mighty God that loves me, in the midst of my weaknesses and faults. You can't help but be changed when you encounter God.

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