I Don’t Get Anything Out Of Church

Brainflurry.com - I Don't Get Anything Out Of Church - Grow up from Getting To Giving

“I see no reason to go. I don’t get anything out of it.”

Have you ever heard or said that about church? I sure have.

First, the whole “go to church” thing is deeply problematic. You are the church.

Secondly, to be clear, I’m not referring to the industrial church. I hate the industrial church. It’s objective is to make money to pay people. The objective of the living church is to be the bride of Christ. I’m referring to the latter.

Lastly, “I don’t get anything out of it” is baby talk. It is tragic to “go to church” for years and never grow beyond looking for absolution and seeking the peace that comes from the assurances of salvation. At some point in our spiritual development, these things should be firmly established and we should grow from getting to giving.

Among the reasons “we don’t get anything out of it” is typically there’s just one preacher that’s doing most of the giving. That shouldn’t be, everybody should be giving. “We should no longer be children… but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head –Christ –from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies according to the effective working by which EVERY part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” -Ephesians 4:14-16

We must move on from milk, looking just for what we can get: how I can be blessed, how I can encouraged, how I can be comforted, how I can have peace.

Our Lord did not say blessed are the peace-takers but “blessed are the peacemakers”. Matthew 5:9

So, we must grow to a stage of maturity where we are equipped to give. We must graduate from milk to meat (Hebrews 5:12) and this is the meat, “as He is, so are we in this world.” – 1 John 4:17

Christ who is our example said this, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45, Matthew 20:28

Giving is the mark of our maturity, that we bear fruit and the fruit that we should bear is love (Galatians 5:22).

Our Lord commands, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

So, I pray that our minds would be renewed concerning our approach to church, that we would move from thinking in terms of what we get or don’t, but instead what we can give and that being love. #perfectourlove

The Height Of Church Error: The Dark Gift Of Christmas

Brainflurry.com | The Dark Gift Of Christmas By Paul Luckett

Christmas represents the height of church error and consequently the height of iniquity in the world.

To draw unbelievers we incorporated their practices, even to the extent of creating idols and worshipping them.

We’ve created an entire season, so they’d stop worshipping their idols and worship ours -a demon whose name is More, the hellish spawn of greed, lust and discontent. We worship him saying, “More! More! There’s never enough!”

In service to this idol, we lie to our children outright, unwittingly discrediting The Way and impeaching ourselves as witnesses.

We tell our children myths and fairytales (Santa, etc.) to delight and control them and then expect them to believe our fantastical claims of faith. How, they could reason, is one different than the other?

If it were not enough to defile ourselves with idols and teach our children to do the same, we blaspheme and do it in Christ’s name.

But Christ did not come to give us what we want. We did not get to choose what we would get. And, what He offered we didn’t want. In fact, we were so offended at the Gift that we killed it. We seek satisfaction in our idols but instead find anxiety, burden and slavery. But rather than repent, we double down, thinking the answer is More.

But, so great is His love for us, that while we reject Him and make ourselves His enemy that He desires to give us the things that truly make for our peace – Himself. It is in a relationship with a loving, just and all-wise God that we are made whole because that was the purpose for which we were created. And, God sent His Son, Jesus the Christ, to utterly destroy anything that would separate us from Him -foremost our sin. When we believe Jesus, we are given the right to become children of God and look like Jesus; full of love, compassion and life that we share with the world!

This is the true gift. This is the purpose for which Christ came, to save us, transform us and unite us with the Father through Himself.

Repent. Believe Jesus Christ and receive the real gift.

Holy Savior Day

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #42 – Jannie Thompson

Jannie Thompson
Janine Thompson with Ebenezer youth at old Burger King
Janine Thompson jump rope Ebenezer youth
Ebenezer Youth Group

In Week 42 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for the youngest person I know, Jannie Thompson.

Miss Jannie (as she’s affectionately known around my house) was one of the first people to welcome me when I visited Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church as a college student. If Ebenezer had a mascot, it would be Jannie Thompson. She is the personification of the down-home kindness and warmth that characterizes that fellowship.

I got to know Ms. Jannie mostly by serving with her in the youth ministry. Among the many things I’ve come to love about Ms. Jannie is her enthusiasm for life. Whatever the youth were doing, she was doing. It didn’t matter if it was kickball, jumping rope or racing, she was in it to win it.

She kept us grounded because she is unapologetically real. She is one of the kindest people I’ve met but she will slip off those shoes and earrings on you, if she has to. Because she was so real, our time together as a youth group was real. We didn’t pretend or play church. We wrestled with real problems, discussed what was happening today and talked about how to apply our faith to real life.

But perhaps what I appreciate most about Ms. Jannie was her openness and big heart. There were kids that came to our church hurt, confused and alone but always found a safe place with Jannie Thompson. I personally saw her be understanding, forgiving and take in scores of people into her life where she would love on them and where they would find healing. I was one them. I’m grateful. #52WoG

Until I Get My Life Right

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What I hear more than anything as I encounter people who consider themselves “unchurched”, is a reluctance to come to worship “until I get my life right.” Surprisingly, there is an element of this that is good theology and demonstrates a knowledge of God that many “churched” folks have lost as a result of their religion: God is holy and I must be holy or in “right standing” to enter into His presence. That’s truth.

But, here’s the good news (the gospel): God loves you so much and is so committed to being with you, that even before the beginning, He architected an ingenious Way for you to be in His presence without compromising His holiness. He provided a Savior able to pay the debt required for our sin and thereby making us able to be in right-standing (righteous). Not only that, but when we believe Christ, we’re given a new heart, HIS heart, a seed that grows unto a new spiritual man and empowers us to put to death our former, godless appetites. And, as we undergo the process of being re-made to look more and more like a Son of the Father (sanctification), we enter the presence of God by the blood (the work and person) of Christ. As a result, when God sees you, He sees His Son in whom He is well pleased so that you can dwell boldly in His presence. Hallelujah! #TheDoorOfTheChurchIsOpen

In loving memory of the greatest teacher of grace I’ve ever known, my mentor and friend, Dr. Gregory Wilson Jones.