“On the next Sabbath almost the whole city assembled to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, blaspheming and contradicting what Paul was saying.”
Acts 13:44-45 MEV
In my life journal devo today this stood out to me…the second time I have journaled about these verses this year! So, here’s my thoughts.
Paul and Barnabas preach and the Gentiles asked them to preach to them on Sunday. When nearly the whole city shows up, the Jews were jealous because there crowd was larger. Jealousy…there will always be haters when God shows up and the church grows. The religious inside and outside were jealous
Church growth can cause jealousy in the heart of the religious in the church and the religious outside the church. Growth is exciting and when you are part of something that’s not growing, it’s easier to hate than to celebrate. The Jews were so jealous that they stirred up people to fight them. They stirred up people to drive them from the region. We need to celebrate what God grows. Celebrate what God is doing in the kingdom.
Church growth us not about an individual, it’s not about a certain brand of church, it’s not even about the type of songs that are sung. Church growth is about JESUS being lifted up and drawing people to the kingdom. Let’s celebrate what God is up to in the kingdom.
When God starts something, it May not sit well with every one. The church is destined to grow in spite of the haters. A growing church is the desire and Plan of God. Jesus did not die so the church could be weak and small…he died so the church could grow and be filled with Power. He died so that everyone could be reached with the Gospel.
Lord help us to continue to strive to reach the lost. Help us to see beyond what’s inside the church and see the people we are destined to reach . Grow your church in such a way that it silences the haters.
Are are we mishandling the presence of God in our weekend expericnces?
“But do this to them, that they may live and not die, when they approach the most holy things. Aaron and his sons will go in, and appoint each one to his service and to his burden. But they will not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die.”
Numbers 4:19-20 MEV
The presence of God was not handled carelessly. Whenever they were to love the tabernacle, they were given direction as to how to handle the holy things. They were to cover the holy articles and then the Kohathites were to not go in and see it uncovered, but rather wait until the priests set it up to be carried. Aaron’s sons would handle the holy things and then they would come in and carry it. The priests were to handle it and the people were to carry it out.
How often do we mishandle the presence of God? Or better yet, we get so comfortable with Gods presence that we don’t take greater care at handling it, or putting his presence at the center so the people can carry it out of the service. So many times we are concerned with them carrying an announcement out, or carrying a program out, or even carrying out our message. Why not take greater care or intentionality in helping the people carry the presence of God out. Make Jesus the center of it all. If a few people died because they mishandled the presence of God, then we would take greater care of the transfer. The truth is…people are dying. They are leaving our service not with life, but rather death…they are carrying out things and not the presence!
Lord help us to carry your presence and as a leader, help us to set up our own experi need that when people walk out, they walk out carrying the presence of God. Help us to make Jesus the center of all we do!