Relationship with Jesus / Matters of the Heart


The Church that Jesus Builds - Part 1

The Church that Jesus Builds - Part 1
"You want to know what I've learned this weekend?" the man said as he drove me to a Midwest airport early one morning. We'd just spent an incredible weekend together with a house church he'd helped foster and another group of believers who joined us when they heard I was in town. The latter were deeply conflicted about their current involvement with a congregation that sounded abusive. "I've been selling the wrong thing!" he continued.

"What's that?" I asked oblivious to what we were talking about.

"I've been selling house church," he said shaking his head with a sigh, "instead of Jesus." Obviously he wasn't talking about ‘selling' anything, but I love his discovery. Almost everywhere I go people are preoccupied with finding the right way to do church. It seems our hunger for church outstrips our hunger for Jesus.

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The Church that Jesus Builds - Part 2

The Church that Jesus Builds - Part 2
Though I don't expect to see a perfect expression of the body of Christ on the planet before Jesus returns, that doesn't keep me from beholding her glory nonetheless. I have witnessed again and again all over the world the miracle of people sharing the life of Jesus together in growing compassion, wisdom, care and freedom. I've watched God connect people who had a profound impact on each other's lives and had great joy in doing so.

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Windblown: What Life in Him Looks Like

Windblown: What Life in Him Looks Like
Every day new visitors are coming to our site. In order to expose them to some of our best articles, and to create fresh discussion among those of us who have been active on the site a long time, we will from time to time repost an past article like this one. This article has been a favorite of many people. We invite you to read it for the first time or read it again. Take a moment to add your thoughts and commentary and let's learn together how we can honor and magnify Jesus and join Him in building His kingdom. He was a religious leader who sought Jesus out in the dark of night. He knew Jesus’ miracles were proof that God was with him and he wanted to be part of his kingdom. But he had no idea what it would demand from him.

Perhaps Nicodemus wanted some instructions to follow, new rules that would let him in on the life Jesus lived. But Jesus didn’t offer any. He simply told him that he needed to be born all over again. The idea sent Nicodemus’ head spinning as he tried to conceive how he, an old man, could be born a second time. Jesus must have smiled at the thought.

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Expressing Christ in Organic Church

Expressing Christ in Organic Church
I’ve found that when people hear about a church that gathers without a designated leader to present a prepared sermon or teaching, it is difficult for them to imagine how else the church would gather. The pastor-pew format is so ingrained in today’s church culture, it is hard to picture anything else. But there are, in fact, organic churches that meet with no human person designated as her leader, where all of the saints gather together and share the riches of her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and allow Him to be the head of the church meeting.

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Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ

Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ
Christians have made the gospel about so many things … things other than Christ.
Jesus Christ is the gravitational pull that brings everything together and gives them significance, reality, and meaning. Without him, all things lose their value. Without him, all things are but detached pieces floating around in space.
It is possible to emphasize a spiritual truth, value, virtue, or gift, yet miss Christ . . . who is the embodiment and incarnation of all spiritual truth, values, virtues, and gifts.
Seek a truth, a value, a virtue, or a spiritual gift, and you have obtained something dead.
Seek Christ, embrace Christ, know Christ, and you have touched him who is Life. And in him resides all Truth, Values, Virtues and Gifts in living color. Beauty has its meaning in the beauty of Christ, in whom is found all that makes us lovely and loveable.

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Why House Church Isn't the Answer

Why House Church Isn't the Answer
Every day new visitors are coming to our site. In order to expose them to some of our best articles, and to create fresh discussion among those of us who have been active on the site a long time, we will from time to time repost an past article like this one. This article has been a favorite of many people. We invite you to read it for the first time or read it again. Take a moment to add your thoughts and commentary and let's learn together how we can honor and magnify Jesus and join Him in building His kingdom.

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Just How Sick We Really Are

Just How Sick We Really Are
It has recently dawned on me that we really have no idea whatsoever what living in true community is. Perhaps the most telling symptom is found in the response so many of us receive when we speak of multiplying groups. It is quite common that people do not want to reproduce a group because they value the relationships they currently have and are afraid that if they start a new group they will lose the relationship. A recent review of my book, Search & Rescue, even mentioned that Life Transformation Groups foster short-term relationships because they are to multiply frequently and discipleship must involve much longer relationships than LTGs promote.
Well, this is actually a glaring symptom of a much more serious issue: we do not have very good relationships! If our relationships cannot endure maturation and development over the years then they are weak and anemic.

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Rekindling Passion

Rekindling Passion
Every day new visitors are coming to our site. In order to expose them to some of our best articles, and to create fresh discussion among those of us who have been active on the site a long time, we will from time to time repost an past article like this one. This article has been a favorite of many people. We invite you to read it for the first time or read it again. Take a moment to add your thoughts and commentary and let's learn together how we can honor and magnify Jesus and join Him in building His kingdom
Can you remember the last time you awoke in the middle of the night, not to anxiety or fear, but to Jesus' invitation to spend some time with him? Or when last God's presence was so real neither of you needed to say anything and the minutes raced by as if time itself no longer had significance? How about the last time being obedient to God landed you in hot water because someone misunderstood or because, "that's not the way we do things around here"?

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The Nut Test

The Nut Test
Every day new visitors are coming to our site. In order to expose them to some of our best articles, and to create fresh discussion among those of us who have been active on the site a long time, we will from time to time repost an past article like this one. This article has been a favorite of many people. We invite you to read it for the first time or read it again. Take a moment to add your thoughts and commentary and let's learn together how we can honor and magnify Jesus and join Him in building His kingdom.
"You mean I'm not nuts!" No statement has been spoken to me more often by such a wide variety of people than this one.
Sometimes it's a question. Sometimes it's spoken with great joy, other times with quiet relief. I've heard these words in virtually every state of the union, and from countries half way around the world. Every time, I hear them, I am blessed to be there.

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Jesus or the Church

jesus_or_the_church.jpgI have heard so much lately whether in bookstores, blogs, or in conversation regarding ways to do church. (Or the should I say the programs or atmosphere of services.) We question and discuss and write about ways we can enhance and put into action plans that will touch people’s lives, especially those who do not know the wonderful Savior. And I read how house churches in China are shaking that country, many who are uneducated (some who are), but regardless it is another Book of Acts all over again.

We here in the West, or for that matter north, south or east need a revelation on what twelve men had that they could shake the known world and rattle the most powerful empire at the time. They lived with passion, power, and presence. It backed-up and validated the message they were bringing. They had no problem with the issue of death for a Savior that lived in them every second, because they had already died to what they wanted and what they thought. He was their thoughts, and He was what they wanted. My question is, do you have a problem dying for Him if that is what He would want? That in itself is a sobering question.

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About the Site

All across the world, people are gathering in small groups to serve and worship God, be family, and encourage and affect each others lives. These gatherings are called by many names including simple church, organic church, and house church. Whatever you call it, the people involved value incarnational ministry to the lost, living radically for Jesus and each other, and are willing to get rid of anything that gets in the way of being fully devoted followers of Christ.

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