Who are the church? Answers from the Bible sound radical and almost far-fetched. The Founder of the church says we are His body, and the light of the world, the salt that enhances life and at the same time, purifies everything it touches. We are supernatural people, born with the DNA of the Creator of the world living on earth to bring Heaven's rule and government to our world; and so I could continue, extolling the wonders of our full salvation. Our job description during this short life is to manifest the Lord Jesus Christ in His fullness to an unbelieving world so that they see the Father and are rescued from their sin and rebellion.
To sum up; who are the church? Christians who have trusted Christ for salvation and who are an entirely new creation, here to change the world!
Sadly, a recent Barna report said, "The church and good Christians like us can be and probably are subtly influenced by the attitudes all about us as taught in schools, blasted over the media, even infiltratingSunday sermons! The result is to find solutions for problems that sound good instead of cooperating with the Holy Spirit for His plan". Unfortunately, much of the church is stuck in a religious pattern that is far from what we are intended to be. As such we shall never be world changers.
Let's take a long hard look at our city. San Antonio needs the church! But not just more buildings and people going to Sunday meetings, we need the church in action - cooperating with the Holy Spirit for His plan - the church functioning as the change agent in society.
We are endowed with specific gifts through which we can bring change. Among the lists of gifts in the bible we also find abilities described. Here lies an endless opportunity for every believer to be fruitful. As each person rises in faith and lays hold of gifts and uses them for the common good, collectively we will change our city and bring glory to God. Bold faith without obedience will never produce the works that change our world. We need faith, obedience and action! Each component part is essential.
In Jesus’s day, the zealots wanted to over-turn Roman rule, they were revolutionaries. Their attitudes affected society, one of whom was named among Jesus's disciples, Simon the Zealot. The zeal of these revolutionaries was misplaced; they were looking for Jesus to be king of an earthly kingdom. But there is a true zeal that was beautifully manifested in the life of Jesus. It is said of Him that He wrapped Himself in Zeal! And Jesus Himself said, " Zeal for your house consumes me". We need to ask, when last did that description fit me?
I believe we live in days when the church must again be characterized by zeal as it was in the early church. Their godly zeal manifested the fullness of Christ - every aspect of the risen Christ. They preached the word with authority and lived His beautiful life as a witness. The testimony of the power convinced skeptics and sinners alike; the sick were healed and powerful miracles endorsed their ministry. Zeal empowers faith and obedience, and the works of Jesus are the result.
We live in days when a zealous church, filled with passionate boldness and people full of the fiery Holy Spirit is rising. In nations, all over the world, Christians are coming to Christ in very hostile environments. Persecution is the way of life and yet filled with boldness and obedience to the Holy Spirit, their lives testify to the risen life of Christ.
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Just like Peter in Acts 4, we too must cry out for this boldness to go again and again against every work of darkness. We are here to bring light! It is difficult for our western church to understand a hostile environment, we are so used to being accepted.
Each one of us must ask the Lord for the power of the Holy Spirit and for His fire to fall upon us. Then, we will walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit living a life displaying the fruit of the Spirit and going about doing good like Jesus. "The works that I do you shall do also and greater works than these shall you do because I go to My Father." It is time for greater levels of faith, total obedience to His leading and willingness to step into the impossible - like Peter walking on water. We have His promise, it is time to believe!
1. PRAY for the zeal of the Lord to come upon Christians so that we take definite action to advance the purposes of God in every aspect of life in San Antonio.
2. PRAY for a desire for souls to compel us into the vineyard of the city.
3. PRAY the Church will truly believe God means what He says, that IN HIM, we live, move and have our being!
4. PRAY Christians wil not be impacted by the world but rather, urged on by love, will go out and change it to conform to the word of God.
5. PRAY God will open the eyes of Believers to truly see the needs of the city so that we can meet them.
6. PRAY Believers understand that the gifts given for use by the Body are primarily for the blessing of those around us.
7. PRAY no Believer will rule themselves out of active participation in serving the purposes of God in the city.
Meeting every second Wednesday. For more information, www.saclf.org.