Today was a pretty unbelievable day. The morning services were ROCKIN’! And although it seemed to be a "baptist holiday" (our endearing term for those who "call-off" church attendance because of a little rain) we had great services.
If you missed today’s services for any reason please make sure you get the CD from GUEST SERVICES – everyone needs to hear pastors’ message!
The "Desperate Households" series has been unbelievable. Much props go to the teams of actors who have gone all out to communicate the reality of pastor’s weekly message. The skits that we’ve been using to kick-off the message really hit home with most in attendance. I have no idea how someone could watch them and not relate.
I have to say, the place was really alive musically – both services – even though I’m amazed at the way we change stuff up from service to service musically. I am so thankful for a band that can go wherever I lead them without complaint. The spontanaeity we share on stage is exciting and filled with God’s leadership. "Father, thank You for placing such wonderful musicians around me!" (by the way – we missed you, Regan!)
My thought for the week is that we are quickly becoming the kind of church that anyone can come to (regardless of their past OR their present, for that matter) and learn about JESUS – not religion, but the transforming power of JESUS
In the past i’ve had people (from my past) refer to me as "religious". I love JESUS; i love His Word; i love to worship with His people; it’s an honor to serve His church – but i am not a religious man.
DON’T CALL ME RELIGIOUS!
Religion to me is rules – Jesus to me is relationship. Religion to me is "I hope this will make me right with God." – Jesus to me is assurance of Salvation through His blood. Religion to me is going through certain rituals, in certain ways, over and over. JESUS to me is spontaneous and exciting – He keeps me always on the lookout for the next opportunity to be His hands and His feet.
Following is a description of JESUS interacting with the "non-religious" (from the message paraphrase) – note how the religious react -
9Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, "Come along with me." Matthew stood up and followed him.
10-11Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees (religious people of the day) saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. "What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?"
12-13Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders."
I am not religious – I have been transformed by the power of JESUS – I have been changed, I am different; but the difference is that He lives in me, He lives through me, and my life is not the same because I see it through His eyes (when i am "in tune" with Him). I hope you see Him in me and that it inspires you to also have Him live in You. And that’s all i’ve got to say about that…