Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Root System

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.  Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.   Hebrews 10:23 - 25 (NLT)

Have you ever wondered why God chose to make the church necessary?  Why gather often, especially with people that can sometimes be irritable, and even unkind?  After all, there are times when it really is like Noah’s ark – salvation to be sure – but smelly and a bit of a problem.  Have you considered the fact that there were porcupines on that small, crowded boat? 
There is a very good reason God chose “church”, calling-out millions of people through the centuries to be one body.  
Popular Christian author and pastor, Max Lucado, wrote:
Questions can make hermits out of us, driving us into hiding.  Yet the cave has no answers.  Christ distributes courage through community; he dissipates doubts through fellowship.  He never deposits all knowledge in one person but distributes pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to many.  When you interlock your understanding with mine, and we share our discoveries, when we mix, mingle, confess and pray, Christ speaks."[1]
The cave has no answers!  This is the reason I choose the church.  I’m a hermit by nature – an introverted loner who chooses the risky company of God’s ark!  Go figure!
In the church-ark you find all kinds of people:
·        Sweet-spirited lambs and treacherous wolves
·        Spiritual schizophrenics and those who are simply faithful
·        Sporadic relatives and surprising strangers
It’s definitely a strange and mixed bag, we, the church!

What’s the point?

The point is that over the years I’ve met just about all of them (er…us)!  And, for the most part, I still choose the church over “no-church”.
Here’s why:
The questions I hear from without the church are cave questions – no valid answers.  They’ve got no basis – no genuine root system that is attached to anything but the nothingness of empty hope. 
The questions I hear from within the church are faith questions – struggle, doubt, fear, anger, and crushed at times – but questions with faith in God who never lets you down!
With all its bugaboos, bruhaha’s, blunders and occasional brutality, this messy ark is my home, my family, friends and safety. 
You are my root system. 
It is Christ in you, and me, which keeps me standing when, without Christ and you, I would have given in to life’s craziness long ago. 
How could I ever leave that? 

Today I’m singing a song

Annie Murray’s song “You Needed Me” could very easily be about me and the way I have been loved by God’s church, and the God of that church.  
It’s my song today:


I cried a tear, you wiped it dry
I was confused, you cleared my mind
I sold my soul, you bought it back for me
And held me up and gave me dignity
Somehow you needed me

You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me

And I can't believe it's you
I can't believe it's true
I needed you and you were there

And I'll never leave, why should I leave?
I'd be a fool 'cause I finally found someone who really cares

You held my hand when it was cold
When I was lost you took me home
You gave me hope when I was at the end
And turned my lies back into truth again
You even called me "friend"

You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me

Alone, I couldn’t sing a note on key.  But this is sweet music – God loves and needs us.  And we are roots together in His vineyard!





[1] Lucado, Max, Imagine Your Life Without Fear, Thomas Nelson, 2009

1 comment:

  1. BEWARE OF DISTORTED SHEEP-TALK

    Do dead sheep have eternal security? Can sheep ever be lost? The favorite proof text of advocates for the erroneous doctrine of "once saved always saved" is John 10:27-28.


    John 10:27-28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.


    Jesus said His sheep hear is voice. Jesus told us all how to become a member of His flock. (Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved.....) If you have not believed and have not been baptized in water, then you have not listened to the voice of Jesus. There is only one way to become a sheep.


    Jesus said His sheep follow Him, He did not say that He would force them to become sheep.


    Jesus said His sheep will be given eternal life and no one will snatch them from His hand.


    No one can snatch you from the hand of Jesus, however, you can choose to leave His hand voluntarily.


    Matthew 10:22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.


    Why would Jesus instruct His sheep to endure to the end, in order to be saved, if the sheep were once saved always saved?


    DO DEAD SHEEP HAVE ETERNAL SECURITY?


    Acts 5:1-11.....3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back some of the price of the land? 4 .....You have not lied to men but to God."5 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last. (Did this dead sheep, who lied to God, have eternal security?)


    Acts 5:11 And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.(Why would the whole church be in fear because of two dead sheep, if all the sheep were once saved always saved?)


    SHEEP HAVE FREE-WILL!


    1 Timothy 5:14-15 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; 15 for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.


    Satan did not snatch these widows from the hand of Jesus, these sheep made a choice to follow Satan.


    1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.


    The love of money can cause sheep to wander from the faith. Satan has no power to force people from the faith. Men have a choice.


    1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith.....


    The Holy Spirit says some sheep will fall from the faith.
    Who do you trust, the Holy Spirit or John Calvin?


    DO UNREPENTANT SHEEP, WHO HAVE GONE ASTRAY, HAVE ETERNAL SECURITY? NO!


    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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