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Getting the church healthy!!

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Getting the church healthy!!!

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.
INTRODUCTION
Good Morning, I am so thankful that you are here this morning, we have a great day and night planned. We believe that God is going to bless you over and over again.
We have been praying and believing that each one of us will be receiving from the Holy Spirit, the vision and direction to help us in this wonderful ministry that our Lord Jesus Christ is allowed us to be part of.
Well, just want to talk little bit this morning about Southpointe and what God did here!!
I believe that God’s plan is so large that we can’t comprehend the full scope of it. But that God does allow us to have pieces of it as we journey forward.
In Dec. 1990, I was appointed by district to Old Southside Assembly of God on 29th street. The church was in a big mess, I didn’t know how bad of a mess it was until the day after I said, I would be the pastor of Southside.
The church had split two times in the last year and it was $600 in the red. Attendance was around 25 people and the first week we lost around 20 plus of them.
We started with nothing and God beginning to bless within a two year we had grow to around 150 people.
Started looking for a new building, because we had the people but we didn’t had the money. It was tough, find merge into old Good News Assembly on 7817 Holly Ave.
We had received some national honor for the General council as one of the fast growing Assemblies of God church in the top 100 list.
This is what I have found that many people will tell you that when a church is in trouble then you must go marching and be a strong dicator. My way or the highway.
But it has not been that way for me. Yes, I had to stand my ground on what God told be to do. And I did but because giving encouragement, love and directions to the people in old Southside being a church that had lost pastor after pastor, I stay there for 16 years and left because it was the timing and the will of God.
We left and when this church in Southeast Oklahoma, Haworth First Assembly of God. Stay there right around 3 years and when from 190 to around 300, we had a bus ministry that was busing in 250 kids every Wednesday night, youth ministry that when from 30 to 150 youth.
Our last Easter service, we had 650 plus. God was good! This was a church that had potential but it was staying in the inside of the four walls of the church building.
It was just need some encouragement, love and directions.
After leaving there, we went to ET and was there a year. I have a wonderful time there! I made many life long friends but it was just a season of preparation for what God had planned. Southpointe.
The district asked me to consider going back to at that time was Unity Assembly of God.
We did, and have around 12 people from that church of 150. Again finance was not great and the resources was not good.
But we started encouraging and loving and give directions.
So with the history all out of the way. Let’s get started!
Apostle Paul was the man that knew all about making church grow, I believe that for a church to be able to grow that church must be healthy.
And we find in the writings of Apostle Paul that many times He would write letters to the churches dealing with issues and problems.
But as I was preparing for this conference, I started study on the letter that Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus.
This letter was not to confront any heresy or problem in the church but it was to strength and encourage and give directions to the church.
But what I believe is that this letter was not just for the church of Ephesus.
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God's holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.
The words “ In Ephesus” are not present in some of the early manuscripts.
Many believe this letter was to be a circular letter, because it was to go out to all the churches.
Because Apostle Paul mentions no particular problems or local situations, and He offered no personal greetings.
So if Apostle Paul was wanting this to go out to all the churches should it not be something very important for us to study on, and to see the message that he is delivering to the Churches?
So let’s do a summary this morning on this letter.
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God's holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.
Now if we remove “in Ephesus” It would read like this: I am writing to God’s holy people who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.
What a honor, what words of encouragement that Apostle Paul is writing out to all the churches.
God’s holy people who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.
What would it do for your church, or you as an individual to know that your Pastor, your teacher, your mentor think of you in that way, you are God’s holy people and you are a faithful follower of Christ Jesus?
If a church is going to grow then it must be healthy. But it is not about the programs, music, lights, coffee shop, bookstore, youth ministry, children ministry, all the stuff that we see in many churches today but is your church healthy?
So can have all the stuff but not be healthy.
The health of the church is like the health of a human body. What do we think we are? And often time what we think we are comes from what we are told that we are.
Apostle Paul was telling all the churches thru out the letter.
We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
We must get the people to understand who they are and who victory that we stand in.
you see, our identity as The church of the living God stand in the victory of Christ.
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power
that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms.
Now He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.
God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made Him head over all things for the benefit of the church.
And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself.
Many churches have been beaten down not just by the enemy, but by other people telling them, you will never be anything but what you are now.
Their mentality must change and realize that God has great things, because what Christ did on the cross, we can stand in victory because that same power that rise Jesus from the dead is abiding in you and in your church.
Many people and many churches identity has been stolen and we as leaders need to bring that healing back into their lives, We need to encourage them by remind them who are they are in Christ and whose power and authority that they are operating by.
God's purpose in all this was to use the church to display His wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
This was His eternal plan, which He carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence.
A church get healthy when the church is encouraged. And the church is told who they are and who’s they are.
2. The church will be healthy when they know the love of God.
I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
We must come to a place in the life of the church to know about the love of God, not just organizational part of church.
We know how to raise our hands, we know when to bow our heads to pray, we know when to say amen, we even know about get outside the 4 walls of the church.
But do we know about the real love of God?
We know how important it is to be a giver, we know about serving, but do we know about the real love of God?
So many churches are organizational part of the church and not the real love of God.
Now look what Apostle Paul is saying to all the churches, my prayer is that from God’s unlimited resources you will receive power within your spirit man.
And then your roots will grow down deep into God’s love and it will make you strong and keep you strong.
God’s love is wide enough reach out to every corner of this world,
God’s love is long enough to continue the length of our lives,
God’s love is high enough be reach the greatest heights of our celebration,
God’s love is deep enough to reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair and even death.
But the key point here May you have the power to understand, it says all God’s people, May you have the power to understand God’s love. and May you experience the Love of Christ..
We see the trinity operating thru this: The Holy Spirit abide in our heart, Understand the love of God, and experience the Love of Christ.
And the whole purpose is that we might be made complete in life and power of God.
For the church to be healthy, the church must understand (in other words have the knowledge) and experience the love of God.
It is not enough just to understand but you must experience the Love of God.
It is not head knowledge but it is heart knowledge also.
A combination of both.
Oh Pastor, we really love each other at our church, but it is not just your church. It is God’s church.
God has chosen us to be Christ’s representatives on earth and Apostle Paul challenges us to live lives worthy of the calling we have received.
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love.
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.
The privilege of being called a member of the body of Christ, this holds some big responsibilities:
Always be humble and gentle, patient with each other, know that everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone is ever going to be perfect so we must accept and love other Christians in spite of them.
We should be patient and gentle.
Teach the congregation that if someone get on your nerves with their actions or their personality than instead of dwelling on that person’s weaknesses or looking for their faults, pray for them or spend time with them and see if you can learn to like them.
Again this go back to something that is very important, as leaders we must not just have the knowledge, (the understanding), but the experience.
You must lead the way by your example and the people will follow.
But verse 3 is the important to look at:
But verse 3 is the important to look at:
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
There is one body, unity does not just happen, we have to work at it.
Often times, they will be differences among people that can lead to division but instead of concentrating on what divides us, we should remember what unites us.
One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God!
We must make every effort to keep unity in the body of Christ.
To build unity we know that it will take the Holy Spirit, which is a major role but we have to be willing to be led and to do our part to keep peace.
And you can do that by focusing on God and not ourselves.
So Apostle Paul ties this all together in Chapter 5 telling us to live as Children of Light and to live by the Spirit power.
So be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise.
Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.
Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
Then in end it in six chapter telling us to put on the whole armor of God.
But understand, you must not just understand but you must experience it.
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