I talk to people almost everyday that have given up on their struggle to find a church they are comfortable in and I have to admit that even while I’m not out there trying to find that special place, because we’ve been blessed with a very special fellowship at Grace Place, but I certainly understand the struggle. I once heard that if you find the perfect church, don’t go, because you will mess it up.
There are some great benefits in going to church, even if it’s not perfect. Below are a seven reasons why I think everyone should make and take the time to participate in church every chance you get.
1. You Have A Chance To Meet God!
2. You Might Bless Someone Or Someone Might Bless You!
3. You May Hear Something That Takes You To A Whole New Level!
4. If You Do Nothing Else, It’s A Great Time And Place To Practice Gratitude!
5. Interactions With Others Open Up All Kinds Of Possibilities!
6. It’s Possible You Might Get Inspired To Discover, Grow And Use Your Spiritual Gift.
7. It’s A Small Investment With Big Return!
The Beetles used to sing a song: “All You Need Is Love!”, which became a very big hit for them. And the whole song is pretty much the title repeated again and again and again. We know it’s what we need and most of us, when we are honest with ourselves would admit that love is what we really want. And while many of us have our moments, the truth is, we were created for much more than just moments.
I used to believe that the opposite of love was hate, but I have come to believe that it is so much more than just hate. At the very heart of hate is fear, which I think is the true opposite of love. I’ve noticed in my own life that I am drawn to love or fear. When I start getting away from love, it is not to hate, but fear, which can later manifest into hate.
In this world we live in, we often find ourselves caught up in this tug of war between love and fear, because our ego tells us that we are what we have, what we do or who people think we are. The real challenge is that most of this takes place in the back ground, below the surface and often without our noticing, until it’s already moving us away from what really matters.
God is love, so God, who is love created you in love to be love. Stop for a minute and let the truth of that statement simmer in your heart and mind. Now here is the powerful truth each of us needs to get a hold of, believe in and put into practice: We have the ability to choose! We can choose to live in love and it’s power to help us become all we were created for and so much more or we can chose to live in fear, which will ultimately take us to a place of hate, which will keep us for away from the blessings we were created for.
Here are three things we can do to realign ourselves with the perfect love we were created in and for:
1. Remember You Are God’s Special Creation Of Love!
2. Love God, Yourself And Others!
3. Bless Others And Allow Yourself To Be Blessed!
1 John 4:18 says: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Today was a great day! It should not amaze me, but it does! Each Sunday God continues to show up at Northwood and do an amazing work! I am excited about what God has done, but even more excited about what He is doing and I almost can’t wait to see what He is going to do in our future! Below are a few of the highlights from this weeks new beginning!
-Kid’s Ministry had a great weekend during their “Overnighter!” and it was great seeing them sitting together this morning is worship! Thanks to Sammy & Tyler for coming and sharing with them. And thanks to Mr. David and all of our volunteers who helped to look out for them and helped them to have a great and memorable time!
-The Worship Team and choir did a great job leading us in worship and reminding us of the Power Of The Cross! They plan at least a month ahead, but the music is spot-on week after week. Thankful to have a team that listens to and obeys the leadership of the Holy Spirit!
-The message flowed freely as I had hoped and prayed for! God continues to teach us some amazing things. If we are getting it, then get ready, because God is going to do some incredible and amazing things through our lives!
-We really have a great opportunity to get this thing called church right. Every now and then, I catch a glimpse of how God is building and growing this community of faith, so that we can work together to really make a difference and have an impact on this world!
-It was great seeing all of the new faces! New people keep showing up! Thanks to everyone who invites family, friends and co-workers. Glad that God is bringing these folks and allowing them to experience what is so special to each one of us – a community of faith, a church called Northwood!
-I love you all and I am thankful that I get to be your Pastor! Thanks for helping the dream that God has given us to become a reality!
We make church about a lot of things, but if church is going to be successful for the Kingdom, it must become less about what most of us want it to be or think it should be and more about what God created, called and crafted it to be! Church has got to be about community – inside and outside!
Church needs to be about community inside! It needs to be a safe place and people that live dangerously through the power and grace of Almighty God! Church needs to be a place where I can belong, even with all of my imperfections! Church needs to be a place where I can work on myself, while helping and being helped by others! Church needs to be a place where I am honest about who and what I am and who and what I am not! Church needs to be a place where I am motivated, encouraged and grown for God’s glory and His Kingdom’s growth! Church on the inside needs to be more about the inside of me and getting that into alignment with God and His plan for my life, so that I can go outside for His glory!
Church needs to be about community on the outside! When I am becoming in my inside what I need to be on the inside of the church, I cannot be content with community on the inside, because in my heart and spirit I know that there is a world full of people that need exactly what I have received – living on the outside! If the inside is right and growing, then I am compelled by a force greater than myself to step outside of myself to reach into other people’s lives and make a difference! I can be a bridge from the inside to the outside and from the outside to the inside! This difference or bridge-building will be made through love, acceptance and blessing, not hate, judgment and curses!
Community will come on the inside and outside, when we learn to love as we have been loved! God help me to be loved by you, even though I am unlovable and help me to love others, especially when they are unlovable!