Friday, May 6, 2016

Healthy Church, Holy Living

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Thanksgiving I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."  II Timothy 1:1-5

Yesterday as I was challenging our mothers - and we have some incredible moms - the thought came to me that Lois and Eunice were able to do something that few generations of believers have been able to do. What was that? They raised up a generation of believer that was more zealous than theirs!

Isn't that what we should be doing? Shouldn't that be our goal?

Obviously, each generation of believers should aspire to raise up a more zealous and devoted group of new believers. But it rarely happens.

At FredWes we are going to strive to do that. We dream of passing the torch to a new generation who will turn up the flame!

How will that happen? What does it take?

First, It will take a healthy church.

A healthy church is one that is committed to having these important pieces in place:

1) God's presence in our worship
2) God's power in our people
3) God's purity in our standards
4) God's purpose in our decisions
5) God's priorities in our ministries

Second, It will take holy people

Holiness is the will of God for every believer. Holiness refers to a believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit and is walking in the Spirit. A holy persons has surrendered his will to the will of God and has allowed the Holy Spirit to cleanse the sinful nature and therefore, completely fill his heart mind and spirit. A holy person is motivated purely by love for God and love for others.

Have you been made holy? If not, why?

Third, It will take hard-working people.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  Galatians 6:9

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."  Hebrews 12:2-3

Doing the things that create a healthy church and holy living are hard work! They are hard work because they go against human nature. They require a total commitment to God and a daily discipline, humility and obedience. You commit to doing those godly things today and then going after it again the next day. And it requires the even more difficult task of demanding those same things of the next generation.

A daily discipline of prayer, Scripture reading, serving, preferring others, and living out the love of God is demanding. Living in a continual state on holy dissatisfaction can wear you downBut, if you allow Christ to dwell in you through the Person of the Holy Spirit, He will enable to do and to become all that He has called you to do - all the things that develop healthy churches and holy people.

Lois and Eunice prove it can be done. It IS doable. It isn't easy. It is uncommon. But the tragic state of our culture shows that it must be done. We know that God wants it to be done. So, what is keeping your from doing it? 

Will you commit to do your part in raising up a greater generation for God?