My wife and I are members of a small gathering of believers in our area. We wrote what follows to the members of our group recently. While aimed specifically at our little group, it really applies to the church at large. Each of us is an essential piece of the Body of Christ. Each of us is a unique expression of our Lord, with our own strengths, weaknesses, gifting, calling and destiny.Each of us is special, needed, playing an essential role in the revelation of Christ and Kingdom of Heaven upon this earth. God dwells in us, we are all kings and priests, heirs and joint heirs, sons and daughters of the Most High God. There is, or should be no division in the Church, not Jew or gentile, man or woman, black, white, red or yellow. Not child or adult, rich or poor, or any other division you might think of. Just children of God. What follows is our thoughts to the group:
Most of us have been walking with the Lord, and together for some time. We have developed friendships, learned to trust one another, know each other’s strengths, and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. In other words, we have, at least to some degree, become intimate with one another. Many, if not all of us have been looking for the next step. How do we grow? Where do we go? What is God’s plan and design for us, for the church? For that matter what IS church? What does it look like? How is it organized, structured? How and where does it meet?
The bible is, perhaps mercifully short on details. We have a few scriptures describing various roles or perhaps job descriptions, but little else. We know at least a little about the early church from Acts 2, and we have a few passages addressing how we should come together, but little else.
Every believer was faithfully devoted to following the teachings of the apostles. Their hearts were mutually linked to one another, sharing communion and coming together regularly for prayer. A deep sense of holy awe swept over everyone, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. All the believers were in fellowship as one body, and they shared with one another whatever they had. Out of generosity they even sold their assets to distribute the proceeds to those who were in need among them. Daily they met together in the temple courts and in one another’s homes to celebrate communion. They shared meals together with joyful hearts and tender humility. (Acts 2:42-46 TPT)
So what can we learn from this? They met regularly, both in public and house to house. There were as one body, fellowshipping freely with one another, sharing freely and generously, praying and sharing communion. They were in the midst of the Kingdom, and signs and wonders abounded. Let’s take a little closer look at the beginning of the passage. “Every believer was faithfully devoted to following the teachings of the apostles. Their hearts were mutually linked to one another, sharing communion and coming together regularly for prayer.” They were devoted to the teaching of the apostles, their hearts were linked together, and they came together regularly for prayer and communion.
As Debbi and I have been seeking the Lord for His plan and design, He seems to have been placing a special emphasis on that part and on verses like Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16:
And your hearts will overflow with a joyful song to the Lord Jehovah. Keep speaking to each other with words of Scripture, singing the Psalms with praises and spontaneous songs given by the Spirit!
Let the word of Christ live in you richly, flooding you with all wisdom. Apply the Scriptures as you teach and instruct one another with the Psalms, and with festive praises, and with prophetic songs given to you spontaneously by the Spirit, so sing to God with all your hearts!
With that in mind, we will be asking core members of our little group to share what God has been placing on their hearts. We’re not looking for deep or involved teachings, or what someone else has been teaching, but for the things that resonate in your heart, the secrets He has whispered to you and set your heart aflame with. I was asking the Lord what he wanted the other day, and He spoke KISS to me. I questioned him, because of the way I have used and seen it used before, and then He spoke to my heart, Keep It Short and Sweet. So then, what will that look like? Well, obviously, it will be short. It will be from the heart, yours and God’s. It will look like you, and “smell” like God. In short, it will look a little different for every one of us, as each of us is a unique expression of God, and if we are doing what we believe He wants we will reflect that unique expression, that unique relationship we each enjoy with the Father.
So then, we will start with some simple guidelines.
- Keep it short—half an hour or so. We want to have time for discussion, prayer, etc.
- Keep to something that is on your heart. It does not have to be deep, or profound, but we want it to be from God. What that will look like will be an expression of who you are in Him.
- Keep it honest. Don’t say what you think others want to hear, say what God is saying to you. We want to know you. Know your heart, your passions, the unique expression of God that is you.
- In short, do what the Word tells us in Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16; “… Let the word of Christ live in you richly, flooding you with all wisdom. Apply the Scriptures as you teach and instruct one another with the Psalms, and with festive praises, and with prophetic songs given to you spontaneously by the Spirit ….”
So what is on your heart? What is that thing the Lord has whispered to you in your quiet time or on the night watch that is burning in your heart? What is that thing that gets you really excited, or causes you to fall on your face before the Lord in intercession. We want to know it, share the burden with you, to know you.
I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus. So let all who are fully mature have this same passion, and if anyone is not yet gripped by these desires, God will reveal it to them. (Phil 3:13-15 TPT)
… you are God’s chosen treasure—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world. (1 Peter 2:9 TPT)
So, how about you my readers? What do you think?