Worshiping A Golden Calf On Sunday Morning Is Deceptively Easy

https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/gospeldrivenchurch/2017/09/12/worshiping-a-golden-calf-on-sunday-morning-is-deceptively-easy/

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Is Your Church Messy Enough?

I love my church. I love the people I gather with week-by-week. They are fun and safe and easy to be with. But who said church should be safe and easy? What if one of the marks of a good church, a blessed church, is that it’s a messy church?

I’m sure you know of the parable of The Lost Sheep in Luke 15. We call it “The Parable of The Lost Sheep” but it is actually “The Parable of the Kind and Loving Shepherd.” The sheep aren’t the point of the story. Like so many of Jesus’ parables, this parable was told in the presence of two groups of people—people who were convinced of their own badness and people who were convinced of their own goodness. And in this case Jesus was speaking primarily to those good and religious people.

The parable is simple: A sheep has wandered off from the flock and become lost. The shepherd will not rest until he has found it and restored it to himself. He goes, he searches, he finds, he restores, he rejoices. Just think about that silly, helpless sheeping, wandering lost and alone in the wilderness. Think about that tired shepherd who had to go wandering far and wide to find him. Think of the ways he could have responded when he finally tracked it down.

The shepherd finds his sheep and rebukes it: “You stupid, ignorant sheep. How dare you wander off from me?” No. He doesn’t rebuke it.

The shepherd finds his sheep and punishes it: “You dumb, disobedient sheep. I’ll teach you to wander off!” No, he doesn’t punish it.

Read more: https://www.challies.com/articles/is-your-church-messy-enough/

(Podcast) Message: “The Personal Power of the Holy Spirit in the Church” (Acts 4:32-5:11)

https://bellatorchristi.com/2017/08/18/podcast-message-the-personal-power-of-the-holy-spirit-in-the-church-acts-432-511/

5 Truths the Church Needs for Revival

“Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Ephesians 5:14

The Christian world is in a deep sleep. Nothing but a loud voice can waken them out of it!” George Whitefield, 1739

It’s time to wake up our churches to the need for revival and spiritual awakening. It’s time to answer the Holy Spirit’s wake up call!

Think about the potential of a fully awakened church. There were just 120 members of the original church in Acts chapter one. But these believers were calling out to God for his Spirit in a 10-day, non-stop prayer service!

God answered their prayers in Acts 2. The Spirit came and their little church exploded from 120 to well over 3,000 in attendance in an instant!

And unlike the early church in Acts 1, we don’t have to pray to receive the Spirit…we already have Him (Ephesians 1:13,14). The question is does He have us? Are we yielding ourselves to him in full surrender? If we were, our churches would be exploding with new disciples!

The indwelling Holy Spirit is calling us and giving us His wake-up call! Will we answer that call?

Here are five truths a church must wake up to so that revival can happen.

1. Wake up to the power of prayer!

Read more: http://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/307785-5-truths-church-needs-revival-greg-stier.html

A Wake-Up Call to the Church

A Wake Up Call To The Church

“Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Ephesians 5:14

The Christian world is in a deep sleep. Nothing but a loud voice can waken them out of it!” George Whitefield, 1739

It’s time to wake up our churches to the need for revival and spiritual awakening. It’s time to answer the Holy Spirit’s wake-up call!

Think about the potential of a fully awakened church. There were just 120 members of the original church in Acts chapter one. But these believers were calling out to God for his Spirit in a 10-day, non-stop prayer service!

God answered their prayers in Acts 2. The Spirit came and their little church exploded from 120 to well over 3,000 in attendance in an instant!

And unlike the early church in Acts 1 we don’t have to pray to receive the Spirit…we already have Him (Ephesians 1:13,14). The question is, does He have us? Are we yielding ourselves to him in full surrender? If we were, our churches would be exploding with new disciples!

The indwelling Holy Spirit is calling us and giving us His wake up call! Will we answer that call?

Here are five truths a church must wake up to so that revival can happen.

1.  Wake up to the power of prayer!

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4

When prayer becomes the engine, not the caboose, of our ministry efforts then our churches become an unstoppable train that advance the Gospel in unimaginable ways!

To experience this we must learn how to pray with passion, focus and faith. We must pray for the lost. We must pray for each other. We must pray for this nation. We must pray for the world. We must pray that God intervenes to break up the hard soil of unregenerate hearts and sends forth seed chuckers who will spread his message everywhere to everyone!

Let’s wake up to the need to pray!

2.  Wake up to the need for holiness!

“‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.’ In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” 2 Timothy 2:19-21

God only serves revival on clean plates, so we must purify our hearts! If there is sin in the camp we need to address it. If there is sin in our lives we need to confess it.

We need to have people in our lives that keep us accountable in these areas so that, together, we can walk in purity. As James 5:16 reminds us, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

As my old youth ministry professor used to say, “We confess to God to be forgiven. We confess to each other to get healed.” May we have churches that encourage this kind of relational reality checks so that we get beyond the surface of “everything’s fine” to the raw struggles underneath that all of us have. As we do we can live an increasingly holy life that leverages the power of our prayers with heaven! Again, as James reminds us, “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Let’s wake up to the need for holiness!

The rest is at: http://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/306829-wake-call-church-greg-stier.html

There Are 3 Kinds of Churches

https://www.challies.com/articles/there-are-3-kinds-of-churches/

The Pastor as a Church Member

http://ftc.co/resource-library/1/3002