1. If you are still looking at people within the church as they once were – crippled and broken by sin – your heart is crippled and needs to be transformed
2. If you are seeing people within the church as they now are in Christ – your heart, once crippled by sin, is beginning to be transformed and changed to a heart of praise and wonder
And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:10
Heaven is filled with once-crippled sinners who were unable to praise God; but our brother came and demonstrated His love for broken and crippled people. in doing so, he rescued our hearts and restored us to the Father, enabling us to praise Him for healing us.
Celebrating can be peaceful or boisterous, private or shared; but it leaves a lasting impression. The gathering place for our family celebrations when I was a child was in my grandparents’ cottage on the coast of Northern Ireland. My grandparents had a “good room” which was kept for special occasions. The fire would be kindled, and the room would be full of family and friends.
My aunt Sally would keep us children entertained by a game called “Hiding the Thimble.” One of the kids would hide the thimble while the others were out of the room. When they came back in, it was a mad dash to be the one to find the thimble. If you have ever played this kind of game, you know the secret: never look in the direction of the hiding place if you know where it is. When the thimble was found, everyone in the room shared in the celebration. O how we children would look forward to any excuse to get into the “good room.”
After a family visit to Ireland one year, our children couldn’t wait to play “Hide the Thimble” when we got home. Why? It was because they had experienced the “good room” and Aunt Sally, who just loved to get all the kids around the fire and then show them the thimble.
Having a time when the church can gather and celebrate can build great memories for all involved. It’s true that this should be part of every worship service, but another way a church can have “good room” moments like this is when they have set goals and have been anticipating seeing God wonderfully meet their needs. The day comes, and the celebrating begins. The tambourines and the trumpets come out (maybe even literally!), and everyone can have a great time together. A church that sets goals together can celebrate together. What are some goals your church celebrates? Let’s talk! Share the Love…
Ask God to take the fear of the king of this world that would hold sway over your life and replace that fear with the LOVE of the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
I grew up in Northern Ireland where eighty per cent of the people attending the little church I attended every Sunday fought for fifty per cent of the pews. Well, they did not fight, but everyone knew their seat, and they were all in the back half of the long narrow church.
The pastor’s wife sat about three rows from the front, and then there was another lady about half way back. Then there were the rest of us. Our row in those days was one row from the back on the right side as you came in. We sat one row in front of my grandfather, who by now had the right of passage to sit on the back row. Every now and again I was able to sit with him on the BACK ROW. Now that was a good Sunday at church!
The pews were wooden, and the cast iron heating pipes for the church ran along the wall. On a cold winter morning, the prize seat was the one against the wall. One would suffer through the service cold rather than move to a wall seat more than half way up the church. We kids would just try to be the first one into the pew on a cold Sunday morning!
Maybe this is where my interest in analyzing church seating was born – from sitting at the back of the church on those damp auld North Antrim coast days by the Giant’s Causeway. What is your church seating practice? Let’s talk! Share the Love…
What edge has God brought you to that seems like there is no hope for deliverance?
- Is it with a family member?
- Is it with a co-worker?
- Is it with finances?
- Is it with a spouse?
Weary people are encouraged to rest in God’s provision. Reliance on one’s own strength is a sure recipe for destruction.
By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. Hebrews 11:29