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    The Spiritually Self-Seeking Church

    Reconciliation means the restoring of the relationship between the entire human race and God, putting it back to what God designed it to be. This is what Jesus Christ did in redemption. The church ceases to be spiritual when it becomes self-seeking, only interested in the development of its own organization. The reconciliation of the human race according to His plan means realizing Him not only in our lives individually, but also in our lives collectively. Jesus Christ sent apostles and teachers for this very purpose— that the corporate Person of Christ and His church, made up of many members, might be brought into being and made known. We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own, or to enjoy a quiet spiritual retreat. We are here to have the full realization of Jesus Christ, for the purpose of building His body.

    At the Center

    For all its warts and challenges, the church is still the body of Christ—the means that God has established for His kingdom to grow on earth. Renowned pastor and theologian John Stott wrote: “The church lies at the center of the purpose of God. God’s purpose, conceived in a past eternity, being worked out in history, to be perfected in a future eternity, is not just to save isolated individuals and so perpetuate our loneliness, but rather to call out a people for himself to build his church.”

    unstoppable

    In a video on YouTube, the scientists at Minute Physics attempt to answer the question: “What would happen if an immovable object met an unstoppable force?” Their answer? “If two infinitely massive, unacceleratable objects were moving towards each other and collided . . . since by definition it’s not possible for the velocity of either of them to change, the only possibility is that they pass right through each other with no effect on each other at all.” Huh?

    The Church We Need

    What should you expect of the church, and how can it be a meaningful influence in your life? In this booklet, author Mart De Haan considers the kinds of people who make up the church, their needs, and how to respond to them based on the history of the seven churches of Revelation 2-3. Gain a better understanding of the purpose of the church and how you can find the one that meets your needs.

    planted

    Accompanied by a cool breeze, the sunlight slowly spread over the horizon. It was a beautiful morning to plant. Grabbing various tools, my husband and I set out to rake back mulch and dig some holes. We had carefully selected plants that would work in the various growing environments our yard offered. Though the work had been strenuous, I later found it rewarding to stand back and see the fruits of our labor—a beautiful array of bushes, flowers, and trees.

    Much More Than Survival

    In April 1937, Mussolini’s invading armies forced all the missionaries serving in the Wallamo region to flee Ethiopia. They left behind just 48 Christian converts, who had little more than the gospel of Mark to feed their growth. Few even knew how to read. But when the missionaries returned 4 years later, the church had not just survived; it numbered 10,000!

    A "Well" Church

    Pastor and author Greg Laurie says that churches are “well” when they practice these activities:

    W-orship
    E-vangelize
    L-earn
    L-ove

    Like the early church, we should be active in these ways today.

    Worship. We must meet together for fellowship, communion, prayer, and praise (Acts 2:42,47). God is to be the focus of all we do in His church.

    Evangelize. As we share the Word, the Lord will add new believers to the church (v.47). We can all take part in spreading God’s Word by developing a friendship, by giving someone an article about the gospel, or by sharing some Scripture verses with a stranger.

    Measuring Growth

    When a high school student tried using a thermometer to measure a table, his teacher was dumbfounded. In 15 years of teaching, Dave had seen many sad and shocking situations. But even he was amazed that a student could make it to high school without knowing the difference between a ruler and a thermometer.

    Supporting And Caring For Your Church Leaders

    Another expression of the fruit of the Spirit is how we support those who teach us the Scriptures.

    “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches” (Galatians 6:1-6).