Sunday, December 04, 2011



Are you in? Are you in far? And, are you inviting others in?

What are the benefits of being in, being in far and inviting others in? The benefits are all summed up in the person of Jesus. Over the years we have come to understand the following:

FIRST-Religion cannot regenerate a person's heart-not Christianity, not Islam, not Judaism, not Buddhism, not any.

SECOND-Churchianity cannot regenerate a person's heart-not the presbytists, nor the episcolics, nor the bapterians.

THIRD-Only Jesus has the power to regenerate and fill a person's heart with life that eternally satisfies.

Jesus is not into converting you to a religion, but wants a personal relationship with everyone on planet earth. Religion is mankind trying to avoid going to hell in order to go to heaven. Relationship is mankind saying, "I've been to hell and I don't want to go back!" Jesus offers Himself. It's like man says: "Jesus, I have a problem. It's me!" And Jesus says: "Man, I have the solution. It's me!"

He offers Himself as our SALVATION. Salvation is not what many make it out to be-a membership card into heaven or proof of fire insurance to keep you out of hell. Salvation is so much more than that! Check out this partial list of what salvation is:

1. To make wide-freedom from stuck, from distress-free to be! 2. God will come through on your behalf-wait and see mighty deeds! 3. Safety & Security-to maintain life unafraid of numerous dangers! 4. Healing-emotional/physical well-being-Wholeness! 5. Constant loyal love-genuine love that seeks restoration! 6. Destroys purposes of evil forces-You can count on it! 7. Distinguishes Himself as the God of gods! 8. God's unconditional love in action-He is relentlessly courting us! 9. Proactive presence of God among His people! 10. Death is a doorway to the presence of God! Only one who can save like this is worthy of our devotion! His name is Jesus!

God isn't calling you into Christianity, churchianity or some unique spiritual club. He is calling you into the fellowship of Jesus and His people. Believers in the 1st century "were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (Acts 2:42). God wants us to do the same today.

Listen in on Jesus' prayer about the fellowship: I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came from you.

They believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world but for those you gave me, For they are yours by right. Everything mine is yours, and yours mine, and my life is on display in them. For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world; they'll continue in the world while I return to you. Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life that you conferred as a gift through me, so they can be one heart and mind as we are one heart and mind. As long as I was with them, I guarded them in the pursuit of the life you gave through me; I even posted a night watch and not one of them got away, except for the rebel bent on destruction (the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).

Now I'm returning to you. I'm saying these things in the world's hearing so my people can experience my joy completed in them. I gave them your word; the godless world hated them because of it, because they didn't join the world's ways, just as I didn't join the world's ways. I'm not asking that you take them out of the world, but that you guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world. Make them holy-set apart for a mission-with the truth; Your word is truth. In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I'm consecrating myself for their sakes so they'll be truth-consecrated in their mission.

I'm praying not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me because of them and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind-just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they'll be as unified and together as we are-I in them and you in me. Then they'll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you've sent me and loved them in the same way you've loved me.

Father, I want those you gave me to be with me, right where I am, so they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me, having loved me long before there ever was a world. Righteous Father, the world has never known you, but I have known you, and these disciples know that you sent me on this mission. I have made your very being known to them-who you are and what you do-and continue to make it known, so that your love for me might be in them exactly as I am in them (John 17:6-26).

He wants you in! He wants you in far! He wants you to be inviting others in! Make fellowship a verb in your life!