Monday, July 4, 2011

Simply church

The past eight days have been spent with a family of believers learning and practicing the heart of what Jesus laid out thousands of years ago. In Matthew 16 Jesus speaks to his disciples saying, 'And I tell you that you are Peter(rock-small stone, pebble), and on this rock(Jesus-bedrock, boulder, large stone) I will build my church(ekklesia-ruling body), and the gates of Hades will not overcome it...' The parentheses here represent the Greek meanings/definitions of the words used in the original texts. When you are able to look at this representation, it brings a whole new meaning to what Jesus was speaking of. One of the greatest and most profound revelations was that Jesus revealed the idea of 'church', which in this context was completely unknown. There are but a handful of mentionings of 'church' in the four gospels. So, the disciples hearing this, were in the dark; probably considering Jesus more crazy than he was! They had no concept of this 'church', unlike us as a western culture, where thousands of ideas and thoughts flood our minds when we hear 'church'.

As we progressed throughout the days of Student Church Planting eXperience(SCPx), we were able to share in company with some amazing people, that are furthering the Kingdom in their lives daily. They were invited to share their experiences, and to give us a glimpse of their heart, and more importantly, Papa's heart. We were able to begin to form a picture of what a simple church really is. It's not a building, not a time, not even a place; there are no constraints. It's merely bringing a group of Jesus loving, Father seeking, Holy Spirit driven people together to encounter the Trinity as a family/community/followers. There is no greater calling than to love the Father, during our loving each other as brothers and sisters. We share stories, food, music, revelations, and hearts. Why does this work so well? We as beings created in the image of God, are designed to be in relationship! Because we are created in Papa's image, our functionality depends on family/relationship. Papa exists in relationship within himself with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So therefore, we have this vertical family/relationship with our Father, and also require relationship/family with those around us. As for finding this, why not start with Father God, and end with 'church', nurturing relationships in every aspect of our day to day.

Even better, this ^^^^^^^ is something we can, and I will share with all that I encounter. There are no limits or boundaries on who I can share and encounter Jesus with. It may look different in every situation, but Jesus asks that we love everyone, hate no one, and share what we have(paraphrased of course)! The possibilities are endless, and that is what drives the heart of a true Jesus follower. Jesus moments can come in a grocery line, a night on the town, a bible study, a short leg, or an allergy. No matter where we look, or choose not to look, our ability to discern and find these encounters is what brings life, and life abundantly.  And anyone can be in my family/community, whether you believe who Jesus is, you are searching the Scriptures for Divine Truth to make that decision, or know nothing and walk in off the street. There is enough love to be had, and sooner than later, the Father heart of God will reach in and touch their heart, mind, and soul. From there, lives will be ruined for Jesus!

This is only a fraction of all that we went through and learned this past week. We haven't even touched the supernatural workings of Holy Spirit, which are available and working all around us daily. We have the same anointing and job that Jesus did, that's why he instructed his disciples to teach those that didn't know yet, the same things they had learned. While in Mark Jesus says that all those that believe will do the miracles that Jesus was doing. Whether it's casting out a demon, speaking in tongues, healing, prophecy, dreams/visions, or speaking wisdom and knowledge. God moves in power, simplicity, and love to reach the innermost parts of our heart. But these only hold meaning in the Kingdom by the workings of relationship.

What about the simplicity of our words? There are thousands and thousands of words, and my vocabulary is sometimes limited to the few complicated and overused words that I may not even know the meaning to. These are words that the common Christian will use to describe a particular view/working within the confines of being a Christian, or how about Jesus follower, that's much better! We're on our way now. There are so many words that are used that mean nothing to a lot of people, particularly ones that know nothing of our beliefs, or even a concept of Jesus and the Gospel. Therefore, the simplicity of words and conversation is necessary to convey who Jesus is, and the love that he truly wants to show and share with each one of us. Take a moment and see what words you can find in your 'Christian' vocabulary, seeing what you can substitute. For instance: salvation, condemnation, consecrate, paradigm shift, blood of the lamb, saved, the cross, gentile, and the list goes on. Test yourself, and see if you can share who God is to you, and what He is actively doing in you in three minutes or less; but in simple language! It will change your life, believe me!

Is there more? You bet! But I want you all to process this a bit, as I do the same. We have much to learn, and this will keep me busy for a bit! Ask Holy Spirit what this all means, that's the best way. HS will be sure to reveal, and will not disappoint. Blessings for now, and I pray/celebrate that you and Papa grow closer as you seek His heart/desires and His face daily.

Morgan Snell

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