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HEAVENLY THOUGHTS

Where is the Church? Acts7:48-53


Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. 

Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’ “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, ...Acts 7:48-53

Think about this Scripture for a moment.  "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart, you always resist the Holy Spirit..."


Now think about this scripture for a moment:  "For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building." 1Corinthians3:9

I recently started a part time job where I have the opportunity to hear about the troubles that people are going through.  I listen intently as they share their situations.  Many are gripped with fears, lost hope, grieving, despair, sickness and disease.  They have lost their homes, are living in their cars or are one paycheck from living on the street. They tell of how they were doing good until a husband or wife was diagnosed with cancer or a tragic accident happened and the costs of medical bills and hospitals drained their savings and all that they had worked for is gone. Here they are, many of them late into retirement years with virtually no income on which to survive. There are those who have lost their jobs, their cars, and have nowhere to go.  One woman lost everything in a house fire two days before I talked with her. She was overwhelmed at the loss of all that she had, her home and belongings.  There are those who are victims of crime, domestic abuse, or even those who are on rehabilitation for drug use or in a transition that are seeking some sort of assistance. There are many who are disabled and in need of special chairs or vehicles to make their mobility and life easier, so they can get a job and go to work.  However, they are rendered unable because of circumstances. 
I hear story after story from people in various stages of need.  
They are a people searching, reaching out for help from government agencies, churches, etc,. They are being turned down and turned away because they "do not qualify" for help. They either have too much or too little money and assets to get any help at all.    
So many even have family members who  have turned them away,  brothers and sisters, parents, or even friends offer no support.  They are left lost and in despair, depressed and overwhelmed by afflictions that they never thought they would become subject to.

Here is my question:  Where is the church?
 
Where are the brothers and sisters in Christ who wholeheartedly obey the words of our Lord?  
Are we not the Church, each one an independent church for our Father in Heaven walking daily as Jesus walked in love and obedience to His Father's words? 
Does our Father call us to be selfish, hoarders of our own money, refusing even to take in a family member or even a stranger in their time of need...to lift them up, to give that which we have so that another can live? 
Is it not our actions of love and giving that show the love of Christ to those who do not yet know him?
Are we to be the judge of a persons circumstance and decide that they may or may not be worthy of assistance?
Do we stand in a superiority because we have not suffered?

Or do we humbly seek to give of ourselves, our finances and our homes...or even the shoes off our feet to one of God's children in need? 
Do we  fall onto our knees in prayer with this person and ask our Father to intervene?
Do we humbly come alongside the broken hearted, the grieving, the diseased, the fearful and those who have lost hope...And give of ourselves to the fullest extent of who we are? 

 Jesus said, "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:35-40

Who are we as His church, as a people of His own heart? 
How do we act?
How do we treat others? Are we truly doing the work of our Lord?
Or are we standing with pride and judgment on our fellow man, refusing to see their struggles, their pain?

Psalm 82:3-6 really says it all... "How long will ye judge unjustly...Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.  Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are God's; and all of you are children of the most High.

I ask again...where is the Church?
Our Father tells us in so many ways....We are the Church, for it is in each of us that He dwells. 

As He shows us once again:

Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’ “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, ...Acts 7:48-53

This is my prayer for each of us a God's children.  I pray that we are not a stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears,  always resisting the Holy Spirit. But rather a people who will feed the hungry  giving food and drink.  Welcome the stranger. Clothe the naked. Visit the sick. Go to the prison.  For it is in these things that we will hear the word of  our Lord as He says,  "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." 

I pray that each of us seeks to be:an independent church for our Father in Heaven walking daily as Jesus walked in love and obedience to our Father's words? 

Love and Blessings to all in Jesus Precious Name.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:7-12


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