I love the Church.
I love who we are. I love what we do. I love the ONE we serve. I love our shared experience of GOD and the consequence of GOD's gracious invitation to join HIM in HIS mission of redemption, reconciliation and restoration.
Mission and evangelism is what the Church does, and the Church is the result of its mission and evangelism. The Church would be extinct in one generation without its mission and evangelism, and new Christians would die without the Church in less than one generation because their salvation and wholeness is personal but not private.
ACTS 16 tells the story of two Christians, Paul and Silas, who went together into Philippi for the Church's mission and evangelism. They rescued a girl "in the Name of Christ," which prompted the people of Philippi to riot in the streets. The restless mob, out for blood, hauled Paul and Silas into the marketplace where they were stripped naked, severely beaten with rods and thrown into prison. They were bloodied and bruised; in the dungeon's depths, their feet were pinned to wooden stocks.
So much for the glories of "Mob Rule." And so much for the oft-repeated lie, "Be nice to people and people will be nice to you." The Golden Rule commands, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." OK. But you better think twice before believing the ethic of reciprocity requires kindness in return for kindness.
Jesus said you are to "Do to others what you want them to do to you."
This command sums up the essence of GOD's LAW. HE did not say your kind actions will compel others to act kindly toward you. Offering generosity, mercy, righteousness and kindness "in the Name of Christ," can get you a brutal beating, during which you have no way of knowing if you're being beaten half-to-death... or killed.
There is no virtue in Mob Rule: no justice, no reason and no kindness.
What do you do with a violent mob?
Paul and Silas responded to injustice, prejudice and torture with a Christian concert. They prayed and sang hymns to GOD as the other prisoners listened. The earth quaked. The prison doors were opened. The Jailer and his family were converted. The Philippian Church was born and the doorway to Europe was opened for the Church's mission and evangelism.
The music of GOD's Church shakes things up.
Don't forget to listen to the music, even if you're the one singing it.
Dr. Bob reminded the church this weekend, "Jesus told HIS disciples, 'Don't let your hearts be troubled.'"
"I'll sing your praise, louder and louder..."
Mark Waltz: Welcome to Granger Community Church
"It's like we're blind, but we see too much. You know what I mean?"
"All Creation will bow as one; lift their eyes to the Risen Son... "
"Let our voices rise and sing for all He's done!"
"Jesus came and died and gave HIS life for us."
"Black Friday, the wonderful holiday when people trample each other for things they don't need, just hours after giving thanks for the things they already have."
"I'll lift your NAME, higher and higher..."
"They're just trying to butter us up so we vote for them again."
"I realized I didn't bring Jesus into the room; HE was already there."
"Did you know they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? It all just needs to stop. And yet, like, we all just need to get it started."
"If we can't be happy then you can't be too."
Everything is Amazing! And Nobody's Happy: Redefining the Win
"It is just crazy out there now."
Philippians 1:27 - Only one thing concerns me: Be sure that you live in a way that brings honor to the Good News of Christ.