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The following is a beautiful article written by Cheryl McGrath (check out her website here).
When Jesus spoke the words “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” He was not referring merely to physical comforts (Matt. 8:20). From the beginning of creation God has actively sought a resting place for Himself among humankind.
In the first chapter of Genesis we see a progressive revelation of the environment that God creatively crafted in preparation for His human creation. In the first five days the Heavens and the earth were given form; light and darkness were separated establishing time (day and night); vegetation to provide food and beauty were provided; the seas and skies were inhabited with abundant life, and then land creatures were created. At various intervals of this progressive creative process God paused to observe and inspect what He had done, and declared it ‘good’. On the sixth day God created humanity in the form of male and female (Genesis 1: 27), and then declared all His creation as ‘very (exceedingly, abundantly, utterly) good’.
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done (Gen. 2:2).
It is significant that God rested only after He had created the human race. It is also significant that within every level of created life, from grass to trees to living creatures and then humanity, God placed the ability to reproduce and multiply (Gen 1:11,22,28).
For what purpose did God create humanity? God was not needy. Within the perfect love community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit there is nothing lacking, for God is completely sufficient within Himself. But the perfect Love that is the essence of our three-in-one God desires to express itself through multiplication. The unhindered Life that flows between Father, Son and Holy Spirit seeks to reproduce itself. This is the nature of perfect Love and perfect Life. It overflows. Love produces love, Life produces life.
But why did God create a new race through which to satisfy this desire to extend the perfect community of Life and Love that already existed between Father, Son and Holy Spirit? He had countless hosts of angels ready to obey His commands. He had various other levels of creation from plant, to sea and bird life, to land animals.
But of all His creation, only humanity was created in His own image. In humanity He could fully express the Life and Love that is His essence within creatures capable of returning that love and sharing that love beyond themselves, thereby expanding and reproducing the perfect love community of the Godhead, generation after generation. In humanity God had created a race among whom He could dwell, fellowship and find His resting place. God could overflow. Continue reading
Article by Loren Rosser
There is an article titled “The Rise of the ‘Done with Church’ Population” that has been sweeping across Internet. The writer simply discusses the increasing trend of people who were highly active in church, including leaders, that are exiting and not coming back. Of course, this subject matter is nothing new to me, having tackled it in the four part video series I co-produced with my friends David Fredrickson and Bob Humphrey titled Church Outside the Walls. I can’t believe it’s been eight years now since we produced the final video in that series and the topic is still completely relevant. In fact, it seems there has been a sudden resurgence of interest in this subject recently. I’d like to put in my two cents about the article.
First of all, let me say, it is well written. I appreciate the author bringing up the subject because I think it’s an important one. One thing I really don’t like is the author’s use of the word “church.” But he is not alone in his usage of the word. When the Bible speaks of church it speaks of those who are called out of this world to follow Christ, period. So how can one be “done with church” unless one is done with Christ? But today, for many, church is a building where one goes to attend meetings. Attending those meeting and being involved in activities held in those locations is viewed by many as being a requirement for those who follow Christ. This concept was completely foreign to the writers of the New Testament, but sadly it is the widely accepted definition of church in our culture today.
My family and I are some of those who could be classified as those who are “done with church.” But I can’t tell you how much I hate that phrase. It completely misrepresents the reality in which we live. We are actually not done with church, but chose to embrace it. We stopped attending because we wanted Jesus plus nothing. We grew so frustrated and tired of all the added baggage. 2 Corinthians 11:3 became so real to us. “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (NASB, emphasis added.) We wanted to be able to build genuine relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ but found it was such a challenge to do so with all the meetings and agendas. Most of the things done in those settings became distractions from loving Christ and one another, rather than motivators. We actually left not because we were done with church but because we hungered for the reality of church!
by Devon Leesley
In my christian experience of many years, you have to look long and hard to find another believer you can really connect with in the Spirit. Even with those who have escaped Christendom, many of them still hold to pride and jealousy, even as in the church system they escaped. Thinking they have improved on their walk with Christ by leaving organized religion, they have taken on a new form of arrogance; that of seeing all things “church” as being hopelessly inundated by paganism… and rightly so, but their sin of pride is disgusting.
I’ve tried connecting with certain brothers on the matter of all the falsehoods only to be snubbed and rejected still. Sounds off topic but I don’t think so. It all goes back to the same old sin… the pride of life. Esteeming oneself above others. I believe in order to be part of the “remnant”, truth and true humility must go hand in hand. So easy to gain an insight and miss the ooze of self importance seeping in to your spirit.
What a battle! God has ways of keeping us small. That should be a constant prayer… if you want to belong to that remnant.
Jesus was called a friend of sinners because; He was! It was not meant as a compliment but as a slur. Who would say such a thing? The religious folks of His day.
That’s my friends Johnny and Lynne Johnson in the picture to the right there… More about them in just a moment…
It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to post anything. There’s been a lot going on in my household over the past few months. First, my wife and I bought our very first home! What an experience! While it has been fun, it has also been a little stressful but God has been so good through it all. Then, this last week, my wife and I have been incredibly ill with some kind of flu bug. This was no ordinary flu either. We have literally been bed-ridden for a week! No energy to even sit up in the living room and do something so mundane as watch TV. We’ve just been in bed the whole time. With God’s help though, I think we’re starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel here. Today is the first day I’ve felt a little strength coming back. Thank God for that!
I know everyone really gets on this New Year’s resolution stuff and “God’s given us another year” and all that (and I’m not meaning to necessarily downplay those good notions) but sometimes, often times in fact, I am thankful for just another day! Who really knows whether God has given any of us another year… We’ve barely started it yet. Every day the Lord puts breath in my lungs and gives me the means to take care of the things I need to take care and that includes my wife, job, and other responsibilities (as well as the joyful things like this website and contact with friends and family and my awesome little puppy), I am just so thankful to Him for that. Every day is cause for praise. Every breath is cause for joy! This is something I have really been thinking of while lying sick in bed this week. I had to get up today to get to the grocery store for some food but every time I’ve tried I would get dizzy and almost collapse. Finally, after praying for about 20 minutes (sitting on the edge of the bed because I couldn’t even stand up) and asking God for His strength in the midst of my weakness, I was able to get to the store and get home successfully. I really credit that small task to His strength because I’ll tell ya, I did not have it in me. I can’t remember ever being this ill any time in recent years. It has been a miserable week in terms of not feeling good, and I am also reminded that there are others who are in worse shape than us and needs God’s strength and love to continue on as well. May be we be more mindful of others as each new day passes and may we be quick to respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit when He calls us to act.
Most all of you who visit this site know that I make a pretty big deal out of “Truth for FREE” (emphasis on the FREE part). It gives me great joy to never have to ask for money or even donations for myself or for any aspect of this website, and that’s still the case today. But I am going to share a need related to some close friends of mine, Johnny and Lynne Johnson, who are going through a very difficult time financially right now. Johnny and Lynne are free believers like us and in need of some love and support from the Body of Christ. Rather that repeat everything I’ve already written for their donation page at Pledgie.com, I’ll just invite you to read it at your leisure and pray about whether or not the Lord might have you share something. I know they have been praying for an answer from the Lord for help and trusting Him and this was an idea I came up with, just before Christmas. My friends did not ask me to do this and have not asked anyone for money in this time of need. I originally posted this on my Facebook page as well and a few people have already responded and they have already been able to cover a couple of immediate bills that they had nothing to pay with.
If God has blessed you with anything on this site and if you have a little extra you can part with, I do not ask for it for myself and certainly do not intend to offer any guilt trip to do so, but please consider blessing someone else today that is in need… even if it’s not my friends… Whomever the Lord may put on your heart, I encourage you to follow through in the grace of God and share God’s love in a meaningful way.
Thank you!!! Well, I’m still not 100% back to health yet, so I’m going to return to my pillow. God bless you guys!!!
In His Grip,