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Seeking God's Face

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Greetings Brothers and Sisters in the mighty name of Jesus Christ! I wasn't sure what this forum was for, but it said that we can post what's happening in our church so, here goes....


Our church has come to the end of itself...finally...PRAISE GOD! We've tried the programs, the books, the videos, the social events, the contemporary services, etc., etc. We have tried some of the most poplular books out there with structures based on "steps" to whatever your spiritual goal is at the time.


What have we discovered in all of this, you might ask?! That JESUS IS ENOUGH!!! It's not Jesus plus anything...it's just JESUS! That is it, that is all. As a church family, we have seen the sin in our trying to add anything to Jesus and repented and asked God's forgiveness.


Our youth group is not the typical youth group. The youth study directly from God's Word without all the extra distraction of retreats, camps, baseball games, etc. Now, I'm not saying these things are bad in and of themselves, but we have found that our youth are growing by leaps and bounds spiritually now that the distractions of adding Jesus plus fun are gone.


Our Sunday morning service is a believer's service as we are delving deeper into God's word and our pastor is preaching the Truth! He is not sugarcoating or omitting anything that is found in God's Word. We are beyond worrying about offending first time visitors with the black and white Truth of the Bible. The time is short and the Truth in its entirety needs to be preached! How can you convince someone they need to be saved if they don't even know or believe they are lost? This can only be done by preaching the Gospel which in today's world is found offensive by many! The law is used to show us our sin/sickness so that we might find salvation/cure in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ! Right now, our Sunday morning study is in Romans...good, meaty stuff!!!


Our Sunday night service is a prayer service. We spend that service on our knees and faces seeking God's face. We also pray for one another, our community, our state, our nation, and other nations! We learn more about the other countries that we sponsor missionaries in or send people from our church on mission trips to so that we know how to pray for them.


Throughout the week, we meet in small groups at one another's homes spending more time in praise, worship, prayer and the Word. These are not social events. We use this time to draw near to the Lord as a group, seeking His face and will for us. We come together to learn more Truth from God's Word and to stir one another up in our walk with Christ.


God has blessed our pastor and elders with the understanding that all of our efforts in the flesh are worthless and in vein. God has been merciful to our church and shown us our error and sin in trying to add anything to Jesus and the Gospel. We are praying for a pouring out of the Holy Spirit on our church family as well as all Christians in our nation! We want to see a move of God in our nation like they're seeing in S. Africa and other nations where all they have is Jesus..not Jesus plus. The American church has become a church of luxury and shades of grey while thousands, millions are lost, dying and going to hell daily...God forgive us!


Oh, God! Search our hearts and reveal to us our sin! Give us a heart for the lost Father! Pour out your Holy Spirit on us Father for Your glory and Your kingdom's sake! Grant us boldness, Lord, not to water down the message of the Gospel to keep from offending others. How can we say we love our brothers when we do this?! Grant us the love for others that You have, Jesus! Help us to realize that if we do love our neighbor as ourselves, we will not feed them a sugarcoated version of Your Word. Oh, God, it's not about us...it is all about You! Thank You, Father, for Your mercy and grace and love that endures forever! AMEN!


In His Love (which is so much better than mine)....
 
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JESUS IS ENOUGH

Amen sister: thanks for the great testimony about your church...its good to see men of God get into the word, and get a hold of Jesus Christ and him alone for salvation... and Holy Spirit teaching, leading, drawing in the power of the lords will. God bless you all
 
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It's not Jesus plus anything...it's just JESUS! Glrory to God! Refreshing message,thank you for sharing!
 
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kindsfater said:
What have we discovered in all of this, you might ask?! That JESUS IS ENOUGH!!! It's not Jesus plus anything...it's just JESUS! That is it, that is all. As a church family, we have seen the sin in our trying to add anything to Jesus and repented and asked God's forgiveness.

Our Sunday morning service is a believer's service as we are delving deeper into God's word and our pastor is preaching the Truth! He is not sugarcoating or omitting anything that is found in God's Word. We are beyond worrying about offending first time visitors with the black and white Truth of the Bible. The time is short and the Truth in its entirety needs to be preached! How can you convince someone they need to be saved if they don't even know or believe they are lost? This can only be done by preaching the Gospel which in today's world is found offensive by many! The law is used to show us our sin/sickness so that we might find salvation/cure in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ! Right now, our Sunday morning study is in Romans...good, meaty stuff!!!

Oh, God! Search our hearts and reveal to us our sin! Give us a heart for the lost Father! Pour out your Holy Spirit on us Father for Your glory and Your kingdom's sake! Grant us boldness, Lord, not to water down the message of the Gospel to keep from offending others. How can we say we love our brothers when we do this?! Grant us the love for others that You have, Jesus! Help us to realize that if we do love our neighbor as ourselves, we will not feed them a sugarcoated version of Your Word. Oh, God, it's not about us...it is all about You! Thank You, Father, for Your mercy and grace and love that endures forever! AMEN!
In His Love (which is so much better than mine)....
Amen sister. This is what we need in all our churches. Praise God for what is happening in your church. :love:
 
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Yes!!! PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL GOOD THINGS FLOW!!! Thanks for the ecouragment, brothers and sisters! It's all GOD and nothing that our church has done of its own power...it's ALL GOD! AMEN!
 
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Yet the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Indeed, the Father is looking for people like that to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth! John 4
 
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kindsfater said:
Our church has come to the end of itself...finally...PRAISE GOD! We've tried the programs, the books, the videos, the social events, the contemporary services, etc., etc. We have tried some of the most poplular books out there with structures based on "steps" to whatever your spiritual goal is at the time.
What have we discovered in all of this, you might ask?! That JESUS IS ENOUGH!!! It's not Jesus plus anything...it's just JESUS! That is it, that is all.

OK my question is what do you do when your church hasn't got to the end of itself yet?

I agree totally with what is being stated, however I am attending a church (and more than attending in that I am involved in a number of the ministry going on in the church) that is still trying the Jesus Plus ideas.

Oh they aren't really apostate or I wouldn't be going there, the bible is still central and it isn't like they are teaching false doctrine from the front but there are distinct Jesus Plus Religion tones all over the place.

I think that the extras are working them selfs to their final end (meaningless meaningless) but how do you go about helping them along. Any advice on keeping involved enough to be a help without compromising myself or how I can helping silly Jesus Plus ideas go to their end would be encouraging.

one of the things I am doing is being part of a servant leadership team with the evening service, this gives me quite a lot of pull as to what happens in this meeting so how do I use it?

All Godly counsel welcome!
 
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Ok I am a bit curious what is the plus part? I have been thinking about this for a few days and I am curious to what the plus is.

I am not doing this to be pesty I am doing this out of wonderment.. because to get technical which would be legalistic I know...but please hear me.. would not talk Jesus be a extra?


I am so right on for not a water downed message please hear that for sure!!! No sugar coating.. my thought well more like my question is what is the plus?


Thank you
Joyfully~ Jlu
 
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Theophilus said:
OK my question is what do you do when your church hasn't got to the end of itself yet?
I agree totally with what is being stated, however I am attending a church (and more than attending in that I am involved in a number of the ministry going on in the church) that is still trying the Jesus Plus ideas.
All Godly counsel welcome!

Honestly? I know that it was just God that brought our pastor, jr. pastor, youth pastor, music minister, elders and teachers to the end of themselves...but it began with our pastor. It is just something that God has to reveal to the leaderships heart. In the meantime...PRAY, PRAY, PRAY and continue to seek God! Ask God to reveal to the hearts of your church leadership the error and sin in trying to add anything to the Gospel or Jesus. Also, praise God and thank Him for giving you discernment and revealing this to your spirit-man. Ask Him to continue to guard your heart, mind and spirit...to give you a leading if he wants you to say something to the leadership of your church and then the word, boldness and love to speak when He presents the opportunities. Ask others whom you know in your church who have received this Word from God as well to pray! Outside of that, anything that you would try to do in your flesh would be just that...in the flesh and most likely to fail.


I hope this help?! I will join you in prayer concerning your church! It sounds like He's doing a work in your church already and maybe He will use you to spread the good news to your church fam....THAT JESUS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH! God bless you, brother!
In His Love
 
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Jesuslovesu said:
Ok I am a bit curious what is the plus part? I have been thinking about this for a few days and I am curious to what the plus is.
I am not doing this to be pesty I am doing this out of wonderment.. because to get technical which would be legalistic I know...but please hear me.. would not talk Jesus be a extra?
I am so right on for not a water downed message please hear that for sure!!! No sugar coating.. my thought well more like my question is what is the plus?
Thank you
Joyfully~ Jlu

I hear you Sister! God bless you! The plus part is trying to add anything to the Gospel or anything to Jesus (ex. Jesus plus programs, "step" books, coffee houses as mentioned in a post somewhere else, etc.) and having these become the focus instead of Jesus/the Gospel/God's Word.


We live in a world that is into the shades of grey color pallet which means sometimes the church has to find "gimmicks" to bring the people in in order to preach the Gospel which is usually just (as you said) a watered-down version of the Truth because once we've got them in, we don't want to run them off!
For most churches, it's a numbers game and sadly, in the world we live in, teaching and preaching the Gospel and Jesus is not enough to bring 'em in! We have to offer them more...Jesus plus _____! Jesus and the Gospel are often found offensive and that doesn't exactly attract those who are looking for a church that's more of a help-them-feel-good-about-themselves-good-time-social club which is what the majority are looking for.


Thus, it has become a common practice and necessary in most churches to offer the people Jesus plus _________; whatever will attract 'em, bring 'em in and keep 'em coming back for more! The unfortunate side effect of this tatic is that the people are not really getting fed from the Word in it's entirety (sp?!)...only the parts that won't offend...so we have churches with pews that are filled with spiritual babies whose flesh desire for fun, self-enhancement, etc. is being fed but not the spirit-man...thus no spiritual growth! Sad, isn't it?! A baby filled church like this will not have the desire, much less be equipped, to go out and share the Gospel which is something God expects from all of us.


So, churches are fast becoming nothing more than self enhancing, feel good, social clubs. How often do we see church billboards exclaiming a study at the church of the newest Christian book that's on the best seller's list ("Ten Steps to Becoming ________ )? Too often! Whatever happened to just teaching and preaching straight from the Bible?


It's a popular thing now for churches to bring in consultants to help them with their latest issue (typically church growth). When did seeking God in prayer for these things become not enough? Unfortunately, I know a young woman who's father is a church consultant in our state and he is not a Christian. He believes in "a God" that he has conformed to his flesh rather than the Almighty God that is described in the Bible. This man goes to thousands of churches across the state consulting with them to help them with whatever their current goal is. Scary, isn't it?! Turning once again to the flesh for the answer rather than God...YIKES!


When a church becomes more wrapped up in the newest book, the newest "7 Steps to a Better You!" program, the newest craze, social events, videos, etc. instead of keeping its focus on Jesus and the Gospel, that's a sin! When did it become necessary to add something to Jesus and the Gospel? When did Jesus become not enough?


Now, don't get me wrong...church baseball teams, potlucks, concerts, etc. are not "evil" or "wrong" in and of themselves...unless they are replacing the preaching of the Gospel and taking the focus off of Jesus! It shouldn't be about what can the church do for me...it's about what can the church do for God!


Let me give you some examples of how our church tried to add to Jesus because our faith was so small and we didn't believe that He was enough.


Our pastor's desire was to see growth in our church. He prayed about it, he asked us to pray about, and he lamented that he wanted to see more people in our church on Sunday mornings. Well, this became his focus and thus the church's focus. Now, I'm not telling you anything that he wouldn't tell you himself. Well, instead of continuing to seek God in prayer and having faith in the promises of His Word, we began to try to increase our numbers ourselves in the flesh thru different means.


We tried casual, contemporary services to attract the college students in our town. We tried a "Friday Night Live" program that was also geared toward younger people...full of awesome P&W by our church band but very little of the Gospel or Jesus if any at all. We would go to different venues and towns with our P&W team to jam out which was always awesome, but produced little fruit and didn't bring any new members to the church. We tried a study of the popular book "Wild at Heart" on Sunday nights to increase Sunday night service attendance, but as soon as we were done with the book, the numbers dropped again.


These are just a few of the examples of how we were trying to add to Jesus and the Gospel to help along our ultimate goal of church growth. What a laugh! We were trying to help the Lord grow our church instead allowing Him to do the work in His way and in His time...OY!


This was all done in our flesh and altho it may have produce a slight increase in numbers for a time, it was only temporary as most things produced by the flesh are. Those who were originally attracted to our church due to the plus activities began to drop off as soon as we began to get back to the Gospel and preaching Jesus and Him crucified. It wasn't fun anymore.


Well, it's been sometime back that God revealed the sin and folly of our ways and we have confessed and repented as a church family and have gone back to seeking God's face regarding all things concerning our church and preaching/teaching the Gospel and Jesus...sans plus!
Since that time, God has actually brought a family to our church with 10 children! WHOA!!!! Our youth group more than doubled in size overnight! PRAISE GOD! Our numbers haven't increased much outside of that but the spiritual growth among our members has been AMAZING and we're trusting in God to bring the people according to His will!


As for your comment regarding Talk Jesus, I have found that the conversations, fellowship and posts here are Jesus centered. As long as this is the case and as long as He remains the focus, I don't see anything wrong with it. However, if Talk Jesus ever begins to become our focus to the point that we're here more for the socializing rather than the encouraging, praying, edifying and stirring up of the saints...well, then, we have a problem.
I hope this helps to clarify the Jesus plus idea?! Keep your focus on Christ and Him crucified! God bless you sister!


In His Love
 
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Thank you very much ! I thought that is what you where saying so right on!!


I believe my church is getting ready to transform its kinda cool... Here too it started with our Pastor.


Once again thank you for answering ~

Love in Christ
Bobbie
 
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When did Jesus become not enough?
Would that every man and woman to whom He has said "Follow Me"
would ask themselves this question!

Mat 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying,

Who is this?


It is Jesus!

And look at the multitudes HE drew ...upstaging all the grand religious parading of His day without a single prop! The productions of men need props, the powers of Heaven do not!

Luk 4:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

Luk 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
 
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AMEN Coconut!!!! YES! It's so good to meet brothers and sisters who get it!!! I enjoyed your Spurgeon post under the "House of Coffee" thread also! Even back then, somebody was "getting it", huh?! PRAISE JESUS!!!!

You are very welcome Bobbie! I can honestly say, myself and most likely others in our church wouldn't have seen the error of our ways if God hadn't revealed it to our pastor first! Praise God for the move that's happening in your church as well!

Love you in Him sisters!
 
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Sometimes we may think, with regret, that it would have been better and/or easier to have lived during Jesus' days. We could have learned to "walk with Him" and be taught by Him, personally, but in human reality we would have still tried to find/add other things to/in our lives, families, and churches to try to "keep us satisfied." We aren't promised to be satisfied, sufficient, nor popular in our Christian walk. We are to be "peculiar" people and "separate" from the entanglements of the world...not following trends, fads, fashion, nor "every wind of doctrine" that blows in among the Christian realm. As kindsfater revealed, too much emphasis is given to books, activities, particular ministries of the church, and "things". 1 John 2:15 instructs us, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." We, as Christian, want ourselves/churches to "look good" to mankind and seem to forget the all-seeing EYES of the FATHER, who is "beholding the evil and the good" and will be the ONE, to whom we will be ultimately accountible.

I do not remember the name of the one who posted regarding how to be of help to/in our churches, I think we must: 1) totally yield ourselves to the Lord, personally...confess any/every sin the Lord brings to mind, repent, pray and fast. 2) If we are working within any group encourage these same actions,...be assured that some will join you. 3) Pray, pray, pray...seek GOD'S wisdom...claim verses of Scripture like James 1:5, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Matthew 7:7-8, Jeremiah 33:3, etc. These are simple yet profound. If just a small group of ladies/gentlemen at this site will covet together for our churches, it is yet to be seen what GOD can/will do in them. May GOD bless!!!

Because of Calvary,
Diane (TDS52)
 
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TDS52 said:
If just a small group of ladies/gentlemen at this site will covet together for our churches, it is yet to be seen what GOD can/will do in them. May GOD bless!!!
Because of Calvary,
Diane (TDS52)
Amen, amen Diane!!!! I agree! Covenanting together for our churches is an excellent idea! Our church fam is praying for a revival in our nation but we believe more churches are going to have to go thru what we did in order to see that come to fruition...but GOD is able! Amen?! AMEN!

I am actually getting together with another woman from our church tomorrow/later today (YIKES!!! It's 4:39 am!!!), Lord willing, to pray for our church as well as the churches of our nation! We plan to make this a weekly date! I'm excited to be praying with her!

Thank you for your encouraging remarks! It stirs me up to see posts like yours and gives me that extra push to keep seeking God's face!
 
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Praise God! for the churches that are involved, wholeheartedly, with the Holy Spirit swaying others to come in through the narrow gate and not through exercising machines and worldly music and lesson books and crafts and plays and recreational rooms and sports and entertainment, and by any and all things that just tickle the ear, etc. But through the pure words of the Bible, Holy Spirit-filled sermons, Psalms and spiritual songs, and the worshipping of Jehovah God and, Jesus Christ, His Son!

We need more churches like this!
 
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This one is in reply to post by jesuslovesyou.

Ok.. You're confused about what is the "plus" part. I think any excess baggage that's added to your faith system, your ministry or worship which does not fall in line with God's Word makes the PLUS part. Jesus said " Take My yoke upon and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find REST for your souls. For My yoke is EASY and My burden is LIGHT." Matthew 11:29. Jesus said this for you. The life that He intended for you is not burdensome and legalistic.
Obeying God's word is the easiest and the most joyful thing for a believer.... it is supposed to be. And all that matters to God is you obey His word. "Fear God and keep His commandment; for this is man's ALL." Ecclesiases 12:13
Therefore anything that is cumbersome and legalistic.... is not from God. God's ways are simple and easy to understand. "I have come that You may have life and life more abundantly" John 10:10. Life with Jesus is fun and exciting.... every bit of it. Why bother to spice it up with something else?? JESUS .... The Bread of Life .... is so yummy. "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8. You don't have to add anything to that. HE IS SO GOOD> HIS MOUTH DRIPS HONEY>
The moment you feel your church or pastor is excited about numbers and statistics, pray about it. Jesus didn't worry about numbers...For Him 1 , 2, 12 and 5000 were all the same. If your church is lifting Jesus high, God will draw men into your church. But again I say, the effectiveness of a church in not based on numbers. I go to a church of 50 - 80 members. I've been to churches where thousands gather. God moves in all places where Jesus is glorified. I prefer my small church ...coz I can fellowship with all the others.
Don't use any new tool for ministering, if God hasn't specifically asked you to do that. It would be futile. Man's wisdom won't work. "Without Me (Jesus) you can do nothing" John 15:5. Check everything with God's word.
There are pastors, preachers and churches who/which go hyper about a lot of stuff just coz a 'man of God' mentioned it. No man of God has the freedom to say anything contrary to the Bible. So it is important to check everything. A lot of false doctrine have crept into the church. Jesus warned about it. The word of God warned about it. Even now a lot of legalistic ideas are being promoted by big-time men of God. A recent one is one that speaks about abstaining from food that God has given freely to partake with thanksgiving. Christian TV is promoting books on that stuff which says "eating that is bad and eating this is worse". That is terrible. 1 Timothy4:1-5 speaks of demonic doctrines like this that we are to be mindful of.
There are churches which do anti-campaigning agaisnt some blasphemous books and movies. I think that is unnecessary unless you want to give additional publicity to that stuff. Instead, utilising that time for looking into the word of God would make more sense. C'mon...what else is there for us to do better that that. Jesus is the Word that became flesh. He is also the Alpha and Omega. The First and the Last. Meaning He is everything. He is all that you need to know. Paul said " I determined not to know anything among you except except JESUS CHRIST and Him crucified." 1 Cor 2:2. In all that you do... be it preaching, counselling, prophecying, worshipping, praying, eating, drinking, playing, travelling, working.... let everything be JESUS.
The unwanted stuff gets added when your priority chages from Jesus to something else. If He is on top and you discern everything with God's word, there won't be any "plus" or "minus". But you will grow to be like Jesus.
Bottomline. Study His Word and like my pastor says, filter everything with the Word of God.
God bless!!
 
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The full gospel can be preached without a fire-and-brimstone focus. I think that unsaved people know in their heart that they are condemned. They don't need that screamed at them. They do need to know that there is hope for them; that while He hates sin, God loves them and longs to bless them.

At our church, we take God very seriously, but we don't take ourselves too seriously.Our small groups socialize in addition to Scripture study. We have fun together. An awesome atmosphere of mutual respect and love exists between and among our pastors, administrative staff, and we members. It's wonderful! People are leaving old-fashioned congregations and coming to our place because they want they want church to be enjoyable and, most of all, to hear the whole story; to be taught the Full Gospel of Jesus Christ.


SLE
 

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