All Posts in Category: (11) The Manifestation of Life

THE FRAGRANCE OF WORSHIP – 1/14/2018

 

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Psalm 63:1-2

 

Jesus I Need You

Hope be my anthem
Lord when the world has fallen quiet
You stand beside me
Give me a song in the night
And Jesus I need You

Every moment I need You
Hear now this grace bought heart sing out
Your praise forever
Beauty for ashes

You find the weak and contrite heart
Shoulder its burdens
You carry it into the light
And Jesus I need You

Every moment I need You
Hear now this grace bought heart sing out
Your praise forever And Jesus I need You
Every moment I need You
Hear now this grace bought heart sing out
Your praise forever Remember love
Remember mercy
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Your loving kindness
Has never failed me
Christ before me
Christ behind me 

 

THE FRAGRANCE OF WORSHIP – 1/7/2018

 

 

 

I believe in …  in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell;
The third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

 

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done,
    and proclaim that his name is exalted.
  Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
    let this be known to all the world.”
Isaiah 12:4

“I’ll take up the lute and thank you
    to the tune of your faithfulness, God.
I’ll make music for you on a harp.    
When I open up in song to you,
    I let out lungsful of praise,
    my rescued life a song.
All day long I’m chanting
    about you and your righteous ways.”
Psalm 71:18-24

 

“O PRAISE THE NAME”

 

The Manifestation of Life – The community of Jesus

 

You are together the body of Christ, and individually you are members of Him.  1 Corinthians 12:27

 

The story line of the The Ten Commandments is from the Bible. God miraculously delivers the Jews from 400 years of bondage for one reason: “They’ll realize that I … brought them out of Egypt so that I could live with them  (Exodus 29:46). After liberation the Jews are immediately instructed to build a transportable tent: “The people must make a Tent for Me, so that I may live among them.” (Exodus 25:8)  When construction was complete, God moved in: “The Glorious Presence of God filled The Dwelling.” (Exodus 40:34) Then God said: “The twelve  tribes of Israel are to set up camp around My Tent.” (Number 2:1)

What was vaguely illustrated in Exodus was fulfilled in Jesus: “The infinite Life of God took shape before us.” (1 John 1:2) and “fixed His tent of flesh among us; and we saw His glory. (John 1:14) That’s why Jesus was called “Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23) After Jesus “moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14) “He chose twelve  disciples to be with Him” 24/7. (Mark 3:14)

 

 

 

Imagine a wagon wheel. There are twelve spokes imbedded in a central hub. The rim unifies the spokes in the hub. The twelve disciples (spokes) were connected to Jesus (hub). The Holy Spirit (outer rim) brought unity by keeping the dissimilar members in alignment. Note: there are no Lone Ranger followers of Jesus! If Peter wanted to follow Jesus, he had to relate to eleven other followers: “You are together the body of Christ, and individually are members of Him.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

You’ve just been introduced to the CHURCH as designed by Jesus! It’s a Community of Life; liberated persons connected to and camped around Jesus 24/7.

Manifestation of life—the church: a service center

God is building a dwelling place. He used the apostles … for the foundation. Now He’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone,  with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. (Ephesians 2:20-22)

With the arrival of Jesus, Father started to build a new home called church.  Jesus is the Cornerstone—“The cornerstone of an ancient building served as an alignment stone for all subsequent construction” (Dr. Dan Hayden, A Plumb Line For Truth). The alignment of the twelve apostles to Jesus formed the foundation. All persons, subsequently connected to Jesus, are “living stones that God is building into his spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:4-5).

Jesus demonstrated the contour of the foundation a few hours before His death: “He got up from the supper table, set aside His robe, and put on an apron. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His apron. Then He said, ‘You address Me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a PATTERN for you. What I’ve done, you do.” “The MODEL for the disciples in their following of Jesus is that of the man who serves at table: ‘But I am among you as one who serves’ (Luke 22:27)” (Hans Kung, The Church).

Jesus, therefore, intended the church to be a service center of sorts. Here are some of its services:

I was hungry and you fed Me,
I was thirsty and you gave Me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave Me a room,
I was shivering and you gave Me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to Me.’
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, 
that was Me—you did it to Me. (Matthew 25:35-36)

Today I filled out a customer survey (hopefully I’ll win the $2500 sweepstakes!). The purpose of the survey was obvious: to determine the level of customer satisfaction with services rendered. From history we know the church scored high in services rendered. As defined above it conquered the Roman Empire in two centuries without investing in any bricks and mortar. Tertullian, a third century author, observed: “The Christians’ deeds of love were so noble that the pagan world confessed in astonishment, ‘See how they love one another.’”

Manifestation of life—foundation of service

Diakonia (Greek word for service) means an activity which every Greek would recognize at once as being one of self-abasement: waiting at table, serving food and pouring wine. The distinction between master and servant was nowhere more visually apparent than at meals, where the noble masters would lie at the table in their long robes, while the servants, their clothes girded, had to wait on them. Diakonia always implied inferiority.

“Jesus, however, gave this notion of service a radically new meaning; at the heart of His message lies His commandment to love one’s neighbor, a love in which the love of God is manifested. For Him diakonia becomes an essential characteristic of discipleship. It is clear that Jesus is not merely concerned about service at table, or care for the bodily needs of others; nor is He simply concerned about certain special acts of love, which can also be summed up in the word diakonia. His fundamental concern is with living for others (Mark 9:35; 10:43-45). This is an essential element of being a disciple: a man is a disciple of Jesus through service of his fellow men

“It is not law or power, knowledge or dignity but service which is the basis of discipleship. The model for the disciples in their following of Jesus is therefore not the secular ruler and not the learned scribe, nor even the priest who stands above his people; the only valid model is that of the man who serves at table: ‘But I am among you as One who serves’ (Luke 22:27). [Envisioned here] is a total existence of life and death service for others. ‘If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him’ (John 12:25-26).

“The root and goal of service is love (see Manner of Life). Service occurs out of love for others as John indicates in his account of the Last Supper. ‘Having loved His dear companions, He continued to love them right to the end. So He got up from the supper table, set aside His robe, and put on an apron. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His apron. After He had finished washing their feet, He took His robe, put it back on, and went back to His place at the table. Then He said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as Teacher and Master, and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life”’ (John 13:1-17).” —Hans Kung, The Church (emphasis added)