Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant!
This is what I want to hear Jesus say to me when He welcomes me into Heaven...oh, yes, that I want to hear with all my heart and have every reason from the Bible and in my faith to believe it will come true...Matthew 25:21, NKJV: "His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'"
(Thank you so much for this lovely depiction of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ welcoming a Believer into Heaven, godisreal.today/picturesofjesus)
As Christ followers, even when life can be daunting at times, we remain true believers in Jesus; we praise Him in all things and stand firm.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18~~~Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)
Exodus 18:23~~~If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace." (ESV) (Very interestingly, The Israel Bible commentary states the meaning of this Scriptural verse is that as Isaiah 1:27 says, "Zion shall be redeemed with justice".)
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (NIV)
Today is a year to the date, Sunday to Sunday in one year that our church moved into the great building on Vista Drive, in Shawnee, Kansas. I realized that I must finish this posting and publish/share it today to celebrate and to tell the story of how Christians are mighty and powerful, only in Him! Because of Him, the LORD, we are able to keep our faith and to have the strength, never waning from the Salvation that only Jesus can give, that we have accepted. God will never force His Salvation upon anyone. Indeed, the Holy Spirit draws you to God. Once we believe and are true Jesus followers/disciples, then we just keep getting stronger and stronger! Why? Because we have God on our side, in our corner, walking with us, making the way for us on the path that is best for us.
As I was driving home from church that Sunday last December, I was feeling uplifted about our new building! It was the very first day we had been in the sanctuary for worship service and, naturally, we were continuing with KidzLife (Sunday School) at our wonderful, spacious church site! The layout of the rooms and areas seemed to have been made just for us. We had acquired this "just perfect" church place through a very caring, businessman friend of our Pastor Chris where the two knew one another from a shared civic group. Relationship! Yes, that is a good part of our walk with the Lord at Community Life Church, Shawnee, Kansas, U.S.A.
These relationships of which I speak are 1) our most important relationship is with God including worshiping Him- through love, honor and thankfulness; 2) our relationships with each other such as Bible study and being in fellowship, and the learning and the doing to be great disciples of Christ; and 3) our relationships to the people in our mission areas ~locally with a school where people tutor children and pray for the staff or help folks with very needed yard work such as helping a widow or older folks who are unable to do a house project, etc.
Internationally, we also give of time, talent, and funds, including actual physical help in re-building and helping to strengthen pastors at an orphanage and school in Haiti or to support some of their physical needs such as much-needed lighting and water systems, etc.
Our church folks have gathered clothes, then sorted them to help a great lady of faith, Pastor Alice of True Light Resource Center, Kansas City, Missouri U.S.A. Her spiritual gifts- in heart and mind- enable her to love and teach folks about the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Who God is, and how much He loves us! She offers assistance for people who come to the church such as clothing, resources, help to get back on one's feet and toward goals- as she shows them the hands and feet of the Lord (the Body of Christ) from herself and other believers.
There is something quite unique, special, and amazing within the Christian church community. When one of us goes through a serious or threatening time, such as illness, the passing on of a loved one, loss of job, and so forth- we are all in solidarity to support our suffering fellow sister of brother. We may be set back a bit for a time, but we remain solid in our love for Jesus Christ and remember the Scripture, Romans 8:28-29~ "And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Back to our own building where we are the church, too! We rent one-half of the building. There is a very welcoming church area that helpers in the church had created...walls and rooms already formed, and as the Lord would have it for us, everything was working well (space, design, arranging/re-arranging) for the sanctuary to worship and to hear sermons, the kitchen and small banquet area, a more gym-like area for fun and games, ladies' nights, etc. There are marvelous class rooms for the children to learn about God's love for them- the Father above; Jesus, the Son of God, their best friend, Who lives in their hearts; and the Holy Spirit Who guides, protects, and comforts them through life. There is an area for small groups and prayer, foyer where we can sign children in to classes right down the hall with bathrooms handy and also where people can gather to have coffee, and larger areas to have ladies' nights, conferences, lunches after worship. Our church is a place of worship and learning about Jesus and our faith in God is a dream come true!
Our church has worked through difficult times, and we will yet again! Such is the nature of humanity; the problems can press in at every corner it seems, and yet, we press on toward our goal, our Lord and our Savior, Who is the Lord of lords and the King of kings, Jesus Christ of Nazareth!!
Truly, since the beginning of Community Life Church, we have had challenges, joyous and happy times, seen spiritual growth and programs that fit "where we were" as a church family. God has remained faithful, always! Likewise, we want to be learning and growing in the Lord God, it has always been the same, really: God, first at the top of our focus and time spent with Him, then on one side- the fellowship with each other, worship services, and Bible studies; then, the other side of the 3-focuses, which is the outward growth and help, missions, helping people in our community and individual spheres of influence...
Hmmmmm, Jesus said, you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength... No matter how arduous, even grueling, the strife or challenge, no matter come what may: the good, the difficult, and, yes, even the ugly~ the one thing I love about true Christians as I have moved amongst them and even in my very early 20s when I was on the fringe~ Christian people have an abounding love for the Lord that makes them exclaim, "God is good!! All the time, God is good!" When things are going wrong, left and right, and seemingly on every side, we proclaim- Joy and Love in our Jesus Christ! He does make all things new~! We can do all things in Christ~!
I have marveled at this strange and yet very wonderful aspect of Christ-followers...I remember way back in my early 30's, I was invited to Christian women's gatherings by a very nice and welcoming woman who worked at our newly found car insurance company. Whenever I dropped by, this good lady of the Lord would invite me to an evening talk with Christian women, to a dinner with same, etc. It was either at this point or thereabouts that I decided to take a sister-in-the-Lord at her invitation and to go to a praise and snack gathering one afternoon. There was a presentation of singing and worship, reading from the Bible, small discussions, and our Scripture for that day was: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV), which says, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus in you."
At the time, it baffled me. How can one rejoice when things are not so good? I had much to learn and still am learning and maturing in faith, but now I have grown to understand that we are not happy about our present circumstances in these moments and times, but we know that God is working in them because He loves us so very, very much and is working for us.
Before, during, and after a crisis of life, many believers in Christ Jesus will proclaim that our Lord is the Almighty Who Sustains and Loves of us...loves in agape love, you and me. He is our most intimate and personal Savior, the Lord Jesus Who created us and all that is in the universe. We, only, are made in His image!
Be a true believer in Christ, the Messiah, because He is Who He says He is! Jesus go with you today and all the days of your Life. Blessings for the road :)