Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Many times I have read the book of Acts and wondered what it would be like to live in community where God's Spirit was moving and the people had everything in common, and they sought and worshipped Him regularly.

Their experience was not relegated to Sunday mornings. What they lived was not contrived or orchestrated. They did not plan out services and hope the Holy Spirit showed up to fill them.

They lived and dwelled in the awe of God.

They hungered after Him. They celebrated the filling of the Holy Spirit. They saw Him move in power. They saw lives change directly as a result of obedient hearts beating as one...as His own.

I find myself wondering what it will take for the body of Christ today to come to the place where all pomp and circumstance are laid aside, where the borders and boundaries of denominational tags are dropped. Where pretense and expectation based on individual fulfillment will be displaced with the recognition and expectation that unity in Christ what is truly important.

Where recognizing that Christ alone is the way to Salvation. Nothing added, nothing subtracted.

One does not need to read far in the New Testament to realize how out of sync we are. When will unity come? What will be required to precipitate the kind of unity Christ prayed for in John 17? How it must have anguished His heart to recognize this day was coming when we would so separate ourselves from one another, and act as if only our way was the right way.

No wonder a lost world has little interest in our offerings. They seldom resemble Christ, and are most often empty of His power.

Yet, we are compelled in His Word to walk in His power, and to live as He lived.

It says "Anyone who claims to be in the light, yet hates his brother walks in darkness." 1 John 2:9 How dark is this darkness that we do not recognize who our brother is so that we can love him. We discard them verbally based on what church they attend. We stiffen up when they enter a room believing them to be the enemy...oh we may not say so, but our actions would certainly reflect it.

We live our lives as if there is no truth to the fact that in heaven we will all have to get along. That ethnicity won't matter, that denominations won't matter, styles of worship will be unimportant.

If we do not love them now, how on earth do we expect or believe that we are "walking in the light?" We are walking contrary to His word.

BJ recognized this and prayed and begged for unity. His experiences on the mission field showed him what Acts chapter 2 living was like. Everyone had everything in common. They lived together, ate together, worshipped together, studied together, encouraged and exhorted each other. They even rebuked one another (in love) when necessary.

We lived the same thing this summer and I am tremendously moved by it! It has become part of who I am. I long for it! I do not want to live without it.

I don't get that at church. I love my pastor. He cannot make this happen.

It will only come from a people...THE CHURCH...who are completely surrendered to Christ and willing to lay down selfishness to embrace the Jesus of the Bible. He is not a flannel board depiction that we can pull out when it is convenient for teaching. He is the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes to the Father, but by Him.

When will we begin to love like Him? What are we waiting for? Padded pews, air conditioning and designer coffee do not usher in His presence. Lives spent for Him do.

Lets go and empty ourselves for Him.



At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to give you an update on Lydia. She was doing fine. Sunday they took her off the ventilator. But yesterday they found more infection and had to do surgery.They also removed her gall bladder. She's on 3 different antibiotics and they won't know for a couple of days what type of infection she has. Please continue to pray. Also for her parents, Randy and Andrea. We did find out that the tumor wasn't cancer.PTL!Thanks for praying, Max

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strive to know what God wants me to do. I read what you wrote and I see something.

"One does not need to read far in the New Testament to realize how out of sync we are."

Definitely. I read and know we have lots to learn.

I pray for you, Higgins Family, everyday. Hope God is working with and in you. Thank you for everything on this website. It's taught me lots, and I learn new things everyday. I feel like I have so much in common with BJ, yet I myself never knew him. I only learned about him and this website through MercyMe. God Bless them, and you Higgins Family.

Sincerely, Leslie

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Max. Continuing in prayer for Lydia.

Brent, a hunger for HOME. That was the thought I had as I read your post. I'm not sure what you described will ever be here, but as you said labels, expectations, preferences will be swept aside for HE will be sufficient for all. So, we hunger for what will be even as we work to accomplish His will on earth. God's Peace.
Mark \o/

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Have to agree with Mark, I don't think we will see this come to completion until we are all HOME. The only time I've ever seen this in my lifetime, was when BJ was in hospital. Everyone rallied around regardless of denomonation or tag and joined together as one voice. Oh how sweet it would be if this were an everyday occurance.

In His Love

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Pray for BJ said...

Jesus prayed that we would "come to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me(Jesus) and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:23
Acts 2:17-21 foretells of a time when His Spirit will be poured out on all people, and the young and old alike will prophesy, dream and have visions. "I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs in the earth below." v19 I believe a time is coming when their will be a new unity. It has begun in Argentina of all places. Catholic, Jew and Protestant have fallen down and worshipped Him together...recognizing Jesus as Lord and the only way to Salvation. We must be sure we are doing all we can to usher Him in, and not withdrawing in frustration or accepting what our world is currently dishing out and causing us to believe is inevitable.

I do not mean to imply that is what is being said. I just want to be part of the solution and not contributing to the problem with my actions and thoughts!

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote: We must be sure we are doing all we can to usher Him in, and not withdrawing in frustration or accepting what our world is currently dishing out and causing us to believe is inevitable.

You have a much broader view of the world from where you 'live' Brent. I am guilty of withdrawing in frustration, especially in my church when we let such little things, like paving the parking lot, get in the way of proclaiming Jesus!! And I do tend to 'wear out' as the world grinds it's ways at me 24/7. That's why I appreciate you and your perspective showing me, it doesn't have to be that way!! Look here, it's different!! I really do appreciate the encouragement Brent!
Mark \o/

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, your message could not have come at a better time. I had just prayed for an affirmation in my journey, and I logged on! You beautifully and articulately described exactly what was being revealed to me, yet I could not describe or articulate it! Once again, Brent, the Spirit moves through your gift of writing!!
Ali says hello to the Higgins family also --- we love you all!! Thank you so much for sharing!!


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