Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 17, 2016: The Chameleon Church

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 108  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of the hesitant walk of a chameleon and it’s ability to change colors … and THEN THIS LINK  to hear Chris Tomlin leading in worship and singing Here I Am To Worship,… declaring confidently, with the body of Christ coming together to worship the God of the universe

Highlight Passage:  Acts 2:46-47 [NKJV] … 
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.  
… The early church grew in spite of persecution and doubts.
Highlight Context – Acts 2:42-47 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… The church, right after Pentecost, marched forward, though carefully in persecution, but confidently, growing steadily.

Reference Passage #1 - 1st Corinthians, Chapter 1 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  ...  
… By the time Paul was planting new churches throughout the word on his journeys, the church began to falter, as we read when he wrote to the church he had helped found in Corinth.

Reference Passage #2 - Hebrews 10:19-25 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK ... 
… God exhorts the church to move forward - in faith - with confidence in the Gospel and in the body of Christ

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Lawrence Darmani, creates an interesting word picture in his devotional entry for me this morning, comparing the modern-day church to a chameleon’s crawl (see the attached photo and the first You Tube video above). Darmani pictures today’s church, like the chameleon, walking hesitantly through the world, changing colors as needed to blend into the worldly colors it encounters.

The early post-pentecostal church, however, … though moving forward cautiously after Pentecost, due to Roman persecution, walked confidently in their faith in the Gospel and Christ, meeting daily and sharing the Gospel message with others in the known world at the time (see the highlight passages from Acts, Chapter 2 above). And they grew steadily and robustly in their walk.

However, by the time the Apostle Paul was writing many of his epistles to the early churches, many of which he helped found, some chameleon-like hesitancy had crept into the church, fostered by false teachers and Jewish legalism. And so, as one reads in the first chapter of 1st Corinthians, linked above, Paul was urging the early church to unite in the Gospel of Christ. And we read in the letter written by the Author of Hebrews [see Hebrews 10 above], the early church was being exhorted by God to gather in unity as the body of Christ and encourage one another.

But now, in this post-modern era, we see a body of Christ, acting like and walking like the chameleon … blending in with the world and walking so hesitantly, trying to avoid being seen as different from its surroundings.

 My friends, we need to take in the exhortations of Paul and the Author of Hebrews … to march forward CONFIDENTLY as the body of Christ, standing out as different - WAY DIFFERENT - from the world, and stepping forward, marching to the drumbeat of the Gospel, doing all we can to brazenly follow Christ (see my oft quoted passage in Luke 9: 23 - look that one up yourself!).

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … help Your body to come together and walk confidently in your Kingdom-building gospel truth. Amen  

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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