Thursday, 18 March 2010

I.D. 7 Passion for the Church

Last night I enjoyed teaching I.D. 7 Passion for the Church. Two more sessions to go! It was really good to spend time thinking through the role of the Church in the plan of Jesus Christ. Andy was unable to make the evening so Dan Partridge stepped up last minute. Dan is someone who I have grown to love, trust and respect very much. I thought he did a great job last night. I look forward to serving with him more and more in the future. We went through many scriptures and some helpful quotes...

“We tend to think that although Christ loves the worldwide church, local churches have no special place in his affection. But the book of Revelation shows Jesus not as one vaguely in the midst of the church, but walking among the individual lamp stands. He knows each local church intimately. He commends one and warns another. He notes steadfastness here and apathy there. Each is an open book to him. His longing for a bride is seen in his concern and ambition for each congregation. Christ loved the church and gave himself for her’ (Eph 5:25). She is his special delight in all the universe. She is his joy, his preoccupation, his passion, his darling bride. In all creation one thing fills the heart of Christ — his beloved church. We need to rediscover the incredible value and significance of the local church in God’s plan and perspective. She is not to be ignored and despised; she is to be honoured and cherished. Each lamp stand is not plastic but golden — of peerless worth to Christ.” Terry Virgo: A People Prepared

“The Lord has chosen to live in this house while he carries on extending it. Have you ever lived in a building site? We once extended our house and the noise was unbelievable. The dust was everywhere. The mud was walked through the house on wet days. Altogether a most inconvenient place to live! But it was worth it, because we had a vision for the end product. Church is like that. So often it looks a mess, and is a mess! But God has chosen to live in it while he extends it. He’s prepared for the inconvenience but are we? Some people are disillusioned with church. It’s not what they hoped for. Their expectation is for a ready-furnished Wimpey home in the Spirit; just walk in and relax! But that’s not the way the Lord has chosen to build his house.” Tony Morton

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