Thursday, October 29, 2015
God's Word is too rich to be ignored!
Yet constantly His precious bride puts aside His way of life and his appropriate garment, to adopt the ways of others and dress like them. Constantly in the OT, the chosen people of God are rebuked for their desire to be like other nations. Following their tendencies, even after the cross and with the offered help of the Holy Spirit, His people look to the rules of those around them to their own detriment.
How many churches are cracked and broken by a schism in a business meeting?
How many carry grudges and have been wounded by harsh words or hurried votes?
How many members neglect business meetings because sad memories of previous fights erupting or manipulating incurred?
How many other members agree to anything proposed just for "the sake of peace"?
And the world?
Jesus warned..."all who see it begin to mock..."
Our small group offers a memory verse each week to correspond to the lessons to be studied. The one for this week feels untethered. Wanting to grasp the meaning, I sought the Scriptural content and found Jesus in a "dinner conversation". He had just observed guests vying for positions, honor, and control and opened a dialogue with heart probing, rhetorical questions. One of which was:
"Which one of you, in making plans, does not follow procedure and ADJUST his life accordingly?"
His leading stories show the possibilities his disciples could possess in Biblical Business Meetings/Gatherings because control vying would humbly bow to 'following' a Sovereign Leader. The clothing provided (Luke 24:49) described as the "Power at work within you" (Eph 3:20) could adjust thinking to Kingdom Rules of Conduct and the Leader's Sovereignty.
In Luke 14: 27-34, I believe I found the Real Reasons God Calls His Body to a Business Meeting is a step by step process that brings unity and saltiness.
1. Desired Proposal - items, wishes, desires, needs are brought before the group to be considered.
2. Debt Projected - questions erupt over the costs, labor, time and a prepared board would discuss the projection they created on paper and answer questions patiently to the listening members.
3. Determined Position - Leaders would give their opinions, persuasive arguments on benefits as they state their position on making a move to go forward, table it, or refuse it because of the projection.
4. Deliberate Power - equipped members would discuss how it could be accomplished, the tools needed, the funds raised, and the schedule of a finished project.
Then, they would not rush a VOTE, but call for..
5. Delegate Prayer - members would be asked to take the time to "seek God diligently" (Heb 11:6) so that when they come back together, any move they make will be made in FAITH. This time allotment would give time for real prayer, soul searching for heart adjustments needed to accomplish project in unity and peace. The Holy Spirit would be sought individually and also in corporate agreement, asking for guidance and God awareness.
6. Disciple Prepared - real conversations (encounters) with God (immersion in God's Word and prayer) would reveal any individual "crisis of belief" and needed spiritual adjustments. Conversations with each other could encourage Kingdom focus, especially when "seeing" causes doubts and expressions. Even TEAM (togetherness, empowerment, accountability, & mentoring) would be considered as the whole body moved forward in considering the proposal and what would be needed for accomplishment.
The spiritual process of "growing in grace and knowledge of the LORD Jesus Christ" would lead to...
7. Delicate Partnership - real conversations partner us with God and would allow HIM to work, faith to grow, and hearts prepared for the sacrificial opportunity or what each one is "giving up".
Partnering with God gives opportunity for the Holy Spirit to teach each one the principle of "LETTING GO....LETTING GOD"
The memory verse for this week in text: "anyone who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple" would be practiced as they came empty-handed, all eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:1,2), willingly committed together to follow the King, The whole process would be adjusted to Kingdom work, with each giving up everything he has, to FOLLOW Christ's LEAD as a true disciple.
ALL would have adjusted.
Some would learn to offer.
Others would learn not to hinder.
ALL would "give up" control (what he has).
Amazingly, NT "EACH OTHER"S would have prominence in the BODY because as members "let go", spiritual eyes (Mt 13:11,16) would see the need to "bear one another's burdens" while "bearing his own cross" (Lk 14:27).
Establishing, equipping, and encouragement would build up each other in unity of faith. (Eph 4)
Just think of this awesome scenario: A biblical business meeting could be LED by the Holy Spirit who wants to take us through the steps of knowing our:
Call of God....."What is God asking of us?"
Conversation with God....."What is the clear (straight) path of the Lord?"
Commitment to God...."Has the Holy Spirit of Peace brought unity to our group?".
Community of God....."working together (each others) and enhancing the "flavor" of everyone.
And all would say "THIS IS OF GOD!" in SALTY unity. (Luke 14:34-35)
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (vs 35 should remind us of Matthew 13:11,16)
The results of a biblical business meeting...
rather than the warning of mockery, this procedure has the promise of:
those who see it will "know that you are my disciples". John 13:34