Tag Archives: run

What Do You Come to Church For?

Today’s message summary of May 28, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Why do people go to church?  Is it a possession that one holds onto?  Ultimately, every person needs to understand what the real purpose of church is.  We can lose our love for the Lord while being involved with church for a number of other reasons.  Somewhere, the church of Ephesus lost its first love…the love of Jesus Christ.

When one comes to church, one should be coming to see, hear and receive.

When you see what God is doing in the lives of His people, you can rejoice!

When you come to hear God’s Word, you come with the understanding that He teaches and also corrects you.  (Some will not come because they do not want to be corrected.)  God wants you to know that you are on a journey with Him, and His teaching will help you along as you go.

God wants you to receive Him.  He desires to catch your attention and hold it with the desire to hear Him speak to you and guide you.

You should want to see what God is doing…not only in your life, but in the bigger picture.  While there is often a focus on numbers in the church, God has done many great things with just a small number of people.

Church is not a place for gossip.  That is the wrong reason to attend a church.  The words reflected upon should be His words.

You should want to hear from God about the matters concerning you and your life, but also what He expects of you.

You should want to receive from God.  He wants you to receive His power, strength and faith (confidence) to do what He is asking of you.

There is a reason to come to church.  God desires to see you continue to grow within the church in these areas.  He wants you to have faith and the ability to step out when things are unknown or unclear.  That is where we see God’s greatest work and accomplishments.

People may argue that John the Baptist did not have a church, but John did indeed have a ministry, even if it was out in the wilderness.

Matthew 11:7-10

As these men went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes?  Look, those who wear soft clothes are in kings’ palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet. This is the one it is written about:  Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You; he will prepare Your way before You.

The wilderness, where John’s “church” was located, was far from town, or what many would consider to be the comfort of home.  Your going to church should be like going to a place where God’s word teaches and convicts you to a place where you learn, grow and develop a desire to fellowship with Jesus Christ.

Church should be a place of solitary for you.  The primary focus should be on Jesus Christ.  It should be free from restraints.  It fulfills a desire of quietness in your spirit.  Church can be your desert place (the wilderness), where you are alone with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Church is to be a place of education–teaching needs to be taking place, and effective teaching does take some time.

Your mind, within the church, is to be separated from everything in life and focused on what God is saying, understanding what you are hearing, and what you are receiving from God.  What you receive is what you are going to leave with.

If you’re always in a rush, you won’t be able to hear God speak to you the way He desires to.  Church is the place where you can slow yourself down and put aside those things that can distract you from Him.

A reed could grow twelve feet tall and be paper thin, and when the wind blows, it just lays down.  It goes with the wind.

The wind, represented here by religion and government, could have caused John to be indecisive or to be shaken.  To waver or to show doubt can cause one to be unsteady.

The religion was the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

The government was King Herod and his sinful life.

John stands against these two powerful forces.

Note that the gospel of Jesus Christ must be upheld within the church setting.  It’s not enough just to call yourself a Christian.   It is about living as God calls you to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Complaints about the church:

  1. It’s not relevant.

John was relevant according to his message.

  1. It lasts too long.

How long do you sit through a movie?

  1. Church is boring.

Is it boring because it is not what you want it to be?

  1. I don’t like the way church is being run.

It’s your place to determine how church is being run.

  1. It’s the same routine each Sunday.

It is all in your approach to being educated in the Word.  It is more important to see Christ in your life,                  and understand that He never changes.

 

Psalm 122:1

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

 

Psalm 73:16-25

When I tried to understand all this,

it seemed hopeless

until I entered Gods sanctuary.

Then I understood their destiny.

Indeed, You put them in slippery places;

You make them fall into ruin.

How suddenly they become a desolation!

They come to an end, swept away by terrors.

Like one waking from a dream,

Lord, when arising, You will despise their image.

When I became embittered

and my innermost being was wounded,

I was stupid and didnt understand;

I was an unthinking animal toward You.

Yet I am always with You;

You hold my right hand.

You guide me with Your counsel,

and afterward You will take me up in glory.

Who do I have in heaven but You?

And I desire nothing on earth but You.

 

The church should be providing information to you about how to live life in these perilous times.

We go to church to hear the message that God has to give to us.

 

Matthew 3:1-6

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Wilderness of Judea and saying, Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near! For he is the one spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, who said:

A voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

Prepare the way for the Lord;

make His paths straight! 

John himself had a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then people from Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the vicinity of the Jordan were flocking to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.

 

Romans 10:14-17

But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!  But all did not obey the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?  So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

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The Incorruptible Crown

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:
A professional athlete earns a living with his accomplishments, but he can’t take it with him when he passes on, yet Paul speaks in scripture about the incorruptible crown…the crown that never fades. It is not just about salvation, but it is about fighting the “good fight.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
24 Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. 25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. 26 Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. 27 Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.You are not running or doing something to be saved (that’s already taken care of through the sacrifice of Jesus and the shedding of His blood). You are to run for the incorruptible crown that recognizes your true service for God.All Christians are in the race to serve Him. We are all pursuing a prize. The question remains whether all of us are using the tools provided through training and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We need the training to be able to run effectively for the prize. Our goal is to be victorious in the race, and not to leave anything out of our efforts.

Our training is a strict training. It is a struggle, and sometimes it can be agonizing and painful. God’s grace, nonetheless, surpasses all discomfort and pain that we, as Christians, will experience.

You are to train in order to contend with adversaries and be prepared to fight. The opposition wants to keep you from living in righteousness.

You are to live under self-control and to self-govern yourself. These are to bring your training into action to resist your opposition while learning to love God more and more while keeping His commands.

For athletes, it was necessary to abstain from unwholesome food, wine and sexual indulgence.

Paul states in 1 Corinthians 9:25 to observe the world–it runs for a crown that fades away.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Our works will follow us. They have an eternal, lasting value.

Revelation 14:13
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: The dead who die in the Lord from now on are blessed.”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them!”

We serve for a crown that will last forever and will not fade; as a result, we do not run aimlessly but to please God. All of this is done while we face a raging war from within:

Romans 7:23
But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.

Ephesians 6:12
For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.

Don’t allow yourself to be distracted with things that take you off of the focus of running for the prize.

1 Timothy 4:7
But have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness.

Your eyes are to remain fixed on Jesus.

Hebrews 12:2
…keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.

In running the race, you must be:
1. Pure in body
2. Sober of mind
3. Willing to endure

We train the body to be controlled by our mind through self-denial and self-discipline.

2 Corinthians 10:4b-5
We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.

Galatians 5:16, 22-23
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

We run this race to win in that our accomplishments for Jesus Christ will not fade away. It is the incorruptible crown that we strive for and that will ultimately glorify God.