Schlagwort-Archive: others

Do You Have to Go to Church?

Let’s find out the true meaning of church.

Written by Joy on 30/11/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community
“Do not give up meeting together as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25

There are church services on television and the Internet. But is it ok to stay at home and watch a church service? Or do we have to go to a physical church building? Let’s find out the true meaning of church.

Church: The Body of Christ
When God talks about the church, he isn’t talking about a physical building. The church is all the people in the world who have put their faith in Jesus, sometimes called the body of Christ.

Christians are instructed to meet together regularly. (Hebrews 10:25) Many Christians go to church buildings (local churches). But if there isn’t a local church near you, don’t worry. You can meet in a house church, a secret meeting place or a public place where you can fellowship. The important thing is to meet with other Christians so you can learn, fellowship, and work together to teach others about God.

Divide and Conquer: Enemy Strategy
It’s not easy to overpower a group of people because there’s strength in numbers. But if you divide them, you can easily conquer. The Bible even talks about the benefits of being with another person instead of being alone. “Two are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

As Christians, we have an enemy who wants to divide us. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8). Satan tries to separate you from other believers because he knows you are weaker when you are alone. When we are in a group, we can support each other, hold each other accountable and pray for each other. Satan will not be able to drag one of us off into the wilderness of unbelief, doubt, or despair.

United in Love: Jesus’ Prayer
Jesus prayed for us to be united. (John 17:9-11). He told us to “Love one another” (John 13:34) and “Encourage one another” (I Thessalonians 5:11). You’ll be able to do all of that and more when you’re united with other believers by meeting together. If you haven’t put your faith in Jesus yet, become a part of the body of Christ today and you can begin meeting with other believers too!

Pray this week:

That God will direct you to a local church where you can belong and how you can be an encouragement to other believers.

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Life in the Body of Christ It is important to be part of a local church or christian community.

It is important to be part of a local church or christian community.

Written by Hope on 01/12/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community, Service
“Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another . . .” Hebrews 4:25

Last week we learned about being part of Christ’s Body, the Church. We also talked about how important it is for every believer to be part of a local body of believers., a “little c” church.

These days, you can “attend” church online. You can sing songs, hear great preaching, and even give money. But you would miss your chance to make a difference in the lives of other believers. That’s why Hebrews 4:25 says, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another . . .” You AND your disciples need to physically “show up” at church or in a fellowship group.

The New Testament is full of instructions on relating to one another. In fact, 56 passages include the phrase “one another” or “each other.”* Here’s just a few:
• Love one another – 15 separate times in the New Testament we are commanded to love each other (John 13:34-35, Romans 13:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:9 to name a few). When Jesus was asked to name the greatest commandment, He told us there are two: To love God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). He said that all the commands of Scripture were summed up in these.
• Serve one another – Galatians 5:13 tells us to “serve one another humbly in love.” Jesus was our example, saying in Matthew 20:28, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This world is filled with people who care only about themselves. When we put others first and serve each other with pure motives, the world takes notice, and God is glorified.
• Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16) – In music, harmony means not doing the same thing as everyone else, but playing or singing something different that blends with others, increasing the beauty and power of the song. On the other hand, just one person playing the wrong note can make the whole group sound terrible!

In the same way, when we are in conflict with our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ, or worse, spreading that conflict to others, the whole body is “out of tune.” It stops functioning as it should. Ask the Lord through His Holy Spirit to use you to build unity instead of conflict.

*For a list of all the New Testament commands concerning “one another,” see http://www.mecf.net/one_anothers.html.

Pray this week:

That God will give you opportunities to serve, love and live in harmony with others.

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Three Beginner Bible Study Tips

Make it your aim to prepare yourself for your mission as a follower of Jesus

Written by GodLife on 31/01/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Bible, Application, Interpretation, Context, Obedience
Ezra had spent his entire life studying and obeying the Law of the Lord and teaching it to others.

Ezra 7:10
Most Christians understand that we’re all supposed to be reading the Bible on a regular basis. But isn’t it true that it’s hard to understand at times? (It’s OK to admit this – even Peter did! [2 Peter 3:16]) Even when we “understand” it, it’s possible to take it all in and go away unchanged. (James 1:23-24) But God’s promise to bless what we do only applies “if we listen and obey, and don’t just hear and forget.” (James 1:25)

Here are three simple principles for reading the Bible. You can remember them by associating them with “SOS,” the international call for help:

S: What does it SAY
Before we can make use of what we read, we have to be sure of what it meant at the time it was written. To understand this, be sure to get the context. Here are three dimensions to context:

There’s the Biblical context: Who wrote it? Why was it written? What did it mean to those who received it? It’s been said that “a text without a context is a pretext.” It’s possible to quote the Bible and get the meaning all wrong. The words of foolish people (1 Samuel 26:1-21), false prophets (1 Kings 22:10-28), and even the devil (Job 2:4) can be found in Scripture. King Jeroboam deliberately quoted Exodus 32:4 without context to justify his plan to set up golden calves in his kingdom. (1 Kings 12:28) But Paul praised the Bereans for “gladly accepting the message” but also “studying the scriptures to see” for themselves that what he said was true. (Acts 17:11).
There’s also the context of time. It’s important to know where a passage fits in history. Was it before, or after Jesus’ coming? Does it describe a temporary situation? In 2 Kings 18:4, King Hezekiah destroyed the brass snake God commanded Moses to make! Why? The people were worshiping it—a thing of brass—as if it were an idol.
The context of culture may also be important. God told Noah in Genesis 9:2-3 to eat every animal. He told Moses and Aaron to set Israel apart by their diet and gave a list of clean and unclean animals in Leviticus 11.
O: Ask God what He wants you to OBEY
Never forget that you have access to the Author! Jesus was recognized as an authoritative teacher (Matthew 7:28-29) and occasionally revealed things they had not realized they were accountable to believe or obey. (See Exodus 3:6 and Matthew 22:32; also see Exodus 20:12 and Matthew 15:3-6.)

S: What can you SHARE
God promises His Word does what He sends it forth to do. (Isaiah 55:11) Once He has done His work in your life, you’re not supposed to keep the good news to yourself. (See 2 Kings 7:1-9)

There’s a biblical basis for these reminders. They came from a statement about one of the great characters in the Bible. Ezra was someone very influential, but not as well-known as Elijah, Samuel or even Esther (who appears in a book he may have written). He was a priest and a scribe in Israel after the nation’s return from captivity in Babylon. A short statement about him tells us a lot about why he had such a profound impact on his country:

“Ezra had spent his entire life studying and obeying the Law of the Lord and teaching it to others.” (Ezra 7:10)

To put it another way, Ezra read the Bible carefully to find out what it SAID. His purpose was to OBEY God’s laws. He then spent time SHARING it with others. In Nehemiah 8:1-8 we see that the whole regathered nation of Israel stood and listened as Ezra read the Bible and helped them understand what it said so that they could agree to its truth. This resulted in them worshiping the Lord. Making hearers into worshipers should be the mission of any follower of Jesus as well; but first, we have to make sure we are worshipers ourselves. If we read the Bible this way, we will be!

Pray this week:

Dear Lord: I want to know your Word and know you. I want to help others understand and obey and worship you. Please help me have the faith and discipline to do these things. AMEN

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Why did God send Jesus?

Be sure of this: He is with us always, even to the end of the age.

Written by GodLife on 27/12/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Incarnation, Jesus Birth
Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.

Isaiah 46:9-10
As we are finishing the Christmas season, we are reminded that not only did Jesus come at this time, but He is always with us!

A mathematician once calculated that eight predictions of Christ's coming (like the ones in “Part 4” of our Jesus Booklet) had one chance in ten "quadrillion" (10,000,000,000,000,000) of being fulfilled in one person. Why did God go to such dramatic lengths to prove Himself?

He did it to “pitch His tent” with us
John 1:1-18 sums up the mission of Jesus. He needed to become a man to live among us. Verse 14 literally says He "tabernacled," or "pitched His tent" with us. So that He could represent us before His Father, “He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn't sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) “Because Jesus experienced temptation when he suffered, he is able to help others when they are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18)

He did it to make us God’s children
God became a human child to make children of God out of those who believe in Him. (John 1:12) He "made peace through the blood of his cross." (Colossians 1:19-20) The only way eternal God could die was by becoming flesh and blood like us. It showed us He "is not ashamed to call [us] his brothers and sisters." (Hebrews 2:10-15) This is one reason the celebration of what we have in common ("communion") with Him is so meaningful. (1 Corinthians 10:16)

He did it to “explain Himself”
Becoming human was the way God made Himself plain to us. Without Jesus' sacrifice, no one was worthy to be in the presence of God; "But God the only Son is very close to the Father, and he has shown us what God is like." (John 1:18)

He did it so we could remain and continue His work
He wanted us to be fully convinced. “Who overcomes the world? Is it not the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5) Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” (John 20:21) In His earnest prayer before His arrest, Jesus asked that His followers could “be with Me where I am and to see My glory,” (John 17:24) Why are we not yet there? We have been left here to continue the public ministry of Jesus: “God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Pray this week:

Lord, thank you for coming to earth to be with us. I’m grateful for the chance to become a child of God. Please help me continue your work and to tell many others how they can come back to you. Amen.

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Is it really possible to love others?

“Abound in love to one another” (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
God’s second great commandment is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). (The first commandment is to love God – heart, mind, soul and strength.)

I find that loving others can be a difficult assignment, especially when the “others” have treated me badly—for example, those to whom I have loaned money and who have neither repaid the loan, nor have made any attempt to do so. You could be facing a far more difficult situation, such as an unfaithful marriage partner or an abusive parent. Loving such people may seem impossible..

There are two keys to our successfully loving others.

First, loving others is a requirement, not an option. We may not feel like loving someone who has deeply offended us. But God requires us to decide to forgive and love that person in spite of the offense. In my experience, feelings will eventually follow. But the starting point is always a decision—to forgive and to love.

Second, we are only truly able to love others based on God’s love toward and through us. Imagine His love as an inexhaustible river of water flowing into us and out through us to others. He is the source. We are conduits. People we encounter are recipients—very possibly experiencing a quality of love they’ve never known.

Loving others is a privilege and responsibility that comes directly from God’s heart.

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