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Hosts not guests!

05 Jun 2014

Hosts not guests!

We, the Church of Christ; are a faith community amidst a secular society. Here is our true identity, hence we are called "to be in the world but not of it" We are 'The Distinctive (witness) People of God' living amidst those made in the image of God but not yet knowing God. 

Within our identity as Disciples of Jesus Christ; Jesus commissioned us to make other disciples and so further His Kingdom here on earth whilst we wait, watch and work for His great and terrible return (Matthew 28:19) This is an act of faith on our part as well action as "faith without works is dead" says James. 

Our task, therefore, reflects our identity, as once we know WHO we are (Disciples of The Living God) we will know WHAT we are to do (produce other disciples and we do so by way of being a faith community of worship, mission and fellowship. 

We have all heard of the TV programme 'The A Team' where Mr T is central to the mechanics and personnel of the team, well the Church too can be see as such, I like to call us Mr D. Mr D reflects the purpose and challenge of our task:
M is for Mission
R is for Regeneration (Jesus said "You must be born again") and
D is for Discipleship. 
Here is our purpose and task, here is how we fulfil the Great Commission. 

Within the great and privileged "job speck" we are to facilitate the presence of the King when and wherever we meet! By this, I mean that there is a protocol that is exercised in order to have God's presence amongst us so that His will is over our own -  "My will be done on earth as it is in heaven" this way, others encounter the risen Christ and so too commit themselves to His call, purpose and person. This means that when we meet to gather together in "worship" we should expect and experience His presence. Sadly our denominational DNA tends to be the filter of our experience of God over that of His Kingdship; which so many churches do not experience. In short, we neglect to host the King of kings when we gather. In fact, dare I say, that all to often we gather for our intention not His person. 

Disciples are therefore to host God's presence as well as be guests of the King's presence. Jesus invites us to join the heavenly family but He also invites us to share the resources of the heavenly family as we too reflect the family's DNA and so share Heaven's resources with a world that is spiritually in famine. 

Christ has done this by way of making us "Co-heirs" with Himself. We "are no longer slaves but friends" as He has 'placed us in heavenly places' with Him; but, within that invitation comes the responsibility to fulfil the Master's command to act on The Great Commission which comes by way of fulfilling The Great Commandment - 'to love others as we love ourselves' as well as 'love God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul'

Our responsibility towards His commands is to obey - John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands." And so, church life becomes the vehicle for transformational development; we learn in order to become and act more like Jesus. If we do not fulfil our role as hosts we merely become guests who expect the guest to entertain us, whereas if we fulfil our role as hosts we serve our guest. This way Jesus becomes the centre of our attentions not the means to them. 

When a local church learns how to host the presence of Jesus, life transformation takes place on a daily bases. 

May this be said for ASHP. 

Steve. 
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