Archive for April, 2010

   We have been learning about unity in the church. In our men’s fellowship this Wednesday night it brought us to love and the greatest two commandments. Matthew 22:37-39 – “ And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
  As the men of Legacy discussed what love is in our men’s fellowship Jeremy was able to, as he can do, combine the responses into this eloquent statement. 
    “Love is the willful, volitional, sacrificial extension of one’s self in order to meet the needs of the object loved, in a way that is congruent to and accords with Scripture. “ ~Jeremy Clarke

   Wow! Take that to heart and start to examine your relationships around you asking “Am I really showing” Biblical” love? Or are you doing what is best for you? As I thought about this and the implications I was lead to Ephesians 5:23-30.

23. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26. that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27. so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30. because we are members of his body.

   Now as men we are to set the example of love beginning in our home , because if you are unable to love willfully, volitionally, and sacrificially towards the mate and gifts(children) God has given to you then how can you show that love to others outside the home?  I ran across this quote when looking into Ephesians 5 that I think helps put our some rubber to the road.

  “Headship is not a ticket to privilege but a charge to responsibility. It is not tyranny, but leadership based on love.” ~ Erroll Hulse

   God has given us a responsibility that should not be taken lightly when looked at through the lens of Ephesians. We are to show love as Christ in our home first then to the world around us. This is masculine love, as defined by God: to nurture and to protect. Men are to show a protective and nurturing concern for the women in their life that equals (or surpasses) their instinctive concern for their own bodies. As Christian men do this, the women in their lives will shine with the spiritual beauty that is precious to God. If we want God to look our way we need to make those around us shine with this spiritual beauty.


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“To be broken means to have no rights before God and man. It does not mean merely surrendering my rights to Him but rather recognizing that I haven’t any, except to deserve hell. It means just being nothing and having nothing that I call my own, neither time, money, possessions nor position.” ~ Roy Hession, The Calvary Road

Are you broken for Christ?  Are you ready to admit you are nothing? That you have NO rights before God? I found that this definition of being broken brought me to Christ asking him to repair me and make me something fit for Him. It will only be then that God will use us for His glory. So I ask again, are you broken and ready to be used of God?

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Another Discovery

Another discovery in my preparation for our series on the Church. You can also check out the first segment of Wretched Episode 420 (You’ll need a subscription or you can check it out on Family Net Television).

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Quotes to Ponder

I’m preparing for our study of the Church that begins this week. In the midst of that study, I ran across a book that I purchased several years ago, read, and then forgot about. I picked it up off the shelf, dusted it off, and began reading what I had highlighted the first time I read it. As I perused the pages, I quickly realized I probably wouldn’t purchase it today due to endorsements and quotations from the likes of McLaren, Sweet, Nouwen, Newbigin, Barna, and Willard. But I also realized if I hadn’t added it to my library, I would have missed the following quotes that I believe are worth contemplating. The book, published by NavPress is entitled, “Reclaiming God’s Original Intent for the Church” by Wes Roberts and Glenn Marshall. I hope you enjoy. And in case you are worried, I’ve also been consulting MacArthur’s “The Master’s Plan for the Church.” Relax.

“ecclesia – those called out from the world. . .set apart from the world. . .weirdos and strangers. . .authentically sold out to Jesus. [They] refused to accept the world’s system. . .chose to live under God’s reign. . .refused to participate in the Roman government’s pagan rituals. . .wouldn’t allow Jesus Christ to be assimilated as one of the gods in their pantheon of Roman deities.”

“Christians were outlawed, persecuted, hunted down, exiled. It was a crime to be a Christian – an act of treason to declare Jesus Christ as Lord. Needless to say, becoming a Christian under such circumstances meant making a serious commitment. . .to be in the church, a person must undergo conversion.”

“These early disciples had a sense of mission. They saw themselves as sent by God into the world for the sake of the world. Wherever Christians were, that was their place of mission. Local congregations became intent on ministering in both word and deed as witnesses of Jesus Christ. . .Mission wasn’t the job a few professional clergy. . .Under Christendom, the church lost its sense of mission. There was no longer any need to engage in mission locally. Because everyone in the empire was now a ‘Christian’, mission was relegated to the foreign lands – the fringes fo the empire – and accomplished by specialists who traveled to far-off places to proclaim the good news. We still feel the fallout of this shift today. Few people in the church think of mission as something done where they live or something that they have any personal involvement or investment in.”

“Although they came from different social and ethnic groups, they were bound together by the common purpose fo the Kingdom of God. They served their local communities with good deeds. They sacrificed and gave of themselves for the service fo the Kingdom of Christ. They had the conviction that they were a part of God’s continuing story of the unfolding of redemption.”

“Community includes the bonding of uncommon people around a common mission. This happens in a way that the needs of the group have a higher priority than one’s individual needs.”

“Sadly, many local congregations have lost much of the sense of their corporate witness. They’ve forgotten that they’re corporately the agent and sign and foretaste of the kingdom. How we live and deal with one another in community directly relates to our witness to the world. Jesus said, ‘This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other’ (John 13:35).”

“Building community means thinking about the needs of others before we think about ourselves. It means learning to appreciate the discomfort of being with people who aren’t like us. It means learning personal sacrifice. It means setting aside time on our already crammed schedules to ‘waste our time’ with other people who will cramp our styles and who don’t care about personal agendas.”

“Learning to live in community calls each of us to die to ourselves for the sake of our brothers and sisters in Christ. . .They are the people of God – people called to give up their own rights and privileges for the sake of the community, people beginning to understand that community is a greater goal than their own individual needs. When this happens, they sense something greater than themselves at work.”

“The communities that we foster within the church will spill out into our local communities. The church will proclaim the good news of the kingdom by its very existence – as a community, in contrast to an individualistic culture. We’ll demonstrate to our local communities that we accept one another and care for each other because Jesus Christ is Lord. And that we always have room for more to be part of our communities.”

“The consumerism within the church has led to what one friend in ministry refers to as a serial monogamy. People search for a church of their choice and settle in for a while. But they have no deep commitment. Eventually, these same consumers begin to dislike what’s going on in their church, so they look around again and settle in somewhere else. They then repeat the pattern. This isn’t authentic Christianity.”

“Before we receive what the Spirit is leading us to do, we must first concentrate on what the Spirit is leading us to be. . .The church will move into the future, not on the strength of our programming, but on the content of our character – a character formed by God’s work within us. . .We spend such an exorbitant amount of time and energy on strategizing that we seem to forget that the power of the church in the world is the work of God within us. He wants to change us and make us holy – disengaging from the world so that we might reengage with the world for the sake of the kingdom.”

“Love can be discouraging. How often have you poured your life into other people, only to see them walk away – either to go to another church or perhaps even to leave the faith altogether? When we’re weary, it’s easy to develop an attitude that turns our hearts away from love. It’s far safer to project a professional persona and stay aloof. As one friend said many years ago, ‘It doesn’t pay to be bighearted – it only gives people more room to stab you.’ Indeed some of us who’ve chosen to be vulnerable have found our openness used against us. Perhaps because of this, we’ve developed a safer strategy. But ‘safety’ is not a strategy of love.”

“We stand in a long line of people – those who’ve gone on before us and those who will remain faithful after us. God is in control of this history. Christ is the meaning of all of this. He’s the purpose, the goal. He’ll sustain his church until the day he returns to restore the world and make all things new. Our hope isn’t in our accomplishments or in finding success in the church business. Our hope is in Christ, who gives our present life meaning and purpose by calling us to serve him. He promises to return to his bride. That’s us!”

“The gospel isn’t about us; it’s about God and his glory. The gospel is the gospel of the kingdom. The gospel that Jesus taught and that we find in the pages of the New Testament is a gospel that calls us to live under the reign of God. It’s a gospel that demands repentance. It’s a gospel that requires a change of mind to produce a transformed life. There’s no salvation apart from the lordship of Jesus Christ. If Jesus isn’t Lord, he won’t be our Savior.”

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The Jewish writer, Rick Lax, writes about Passion Plays. But it’s the last line that truly indicts us.

“I’m not a Christian. I don’t think Christ can save me, in part because I don’t think I need to be saved. But I appreciate that a lot of people—people like Coey, Patty, Garry and JT—do. They believe that I’m destined to burn in hell for all of eternity if I don’t change my beliefs. So I don’t fault them for trying to change my beliefs, even if they use guilt or fear in their attempts. I’m much more offended by those who believe I’m headed for eternal damnation but don’t do anything about it.”

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“A sermon is not made with an eye upon the sermon, but with both eyes upon the people and all the heart upon God.” – JOHN OWEN

I think the same could be said for a series of messages. That is why we have decided to adjust our teaching/preaching schedule for the next several weeks. Having our eyes upon you and our ears tuned into what you are saying, we’ve come to the conclusion that this adjustment would be in everyone’s best interest. Therefore. . .

Beginning Sunday, April 11th, we will begin a series of messages during our corporate time of worship on Ecclesiology called “What is the Church”. The tentative schedule looks like this:

April 11 – The Nature of the Church
April 18 – The Roles within the Church – Elders
April 25 – The Roles within the Church – Deacons
May 2 – The Roles within the Church – The Congregation
May 9 – The Roles within the Church – Women
May 16 – The Marks of the Church
May 23 – The Purposes of the Church
May 30 – The Purity of the Church
June 6 – The Unity of the Church
June 13 – The Power of the Church
June 20 – The Means of Grace within the Church
June 27 – The Sacraments within the Church – Baptism
July 4 – The Sacraments within the Church – Lord’s Supper
July 11 – The Worship in the Church
July 18 – The Gifts of the Spirit in the Church
July 25 – The Handling of Conflict within the Church
August 1 – The Local Church – Legacy Baptist Church

To make this adjusment we’ve decided to conclude our study of the Gospel of Matthew, that we began in December of 2007, during our pre-worship time from 9:30 – 10:15. Yes, we will be re-establishing our Bible study/Sunday school time. This will be a family-oriented Bible study for all ages. The exact start date will be announced soon.

Blessings to you all. See you Sunday.

He is Risen!

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