Last night we hosted our Welcome To The Destiny Family event for new members. I had requests to post the ideas I shared. Here ya’ go:
When we are born we are all born into the universal family of humanity. When we receive Christ we are born again and become part of the universal church of believers. God’s plan for us is to be born into a loving, caring family in which we grow, mature and learn to care for others. This is the plan for us as Christians as well. We should identify with a congregational family where we grow together to become more of what God has purposed us to become.
At Destiny we believe God’s presence is for real life. This is our core phrase and most primary declaration. Experiencing God should be coupled with expressing God. Having a wonderful experience in God’s presence should produce something to be walked out in our lives on a daily basis.
Fruitful Christians make disciples. Making disciples is simply making a difference in the lives of others by sacrificially loving, serving and giving. This is the example Jesus set for us to follow. As a believer of Jesus you should be able to point to people that you are discipling. This is easier than you may think. If you are turning the page to grow in your knowledge of God’s Word then who do you know that you could invite to do this as well. This creates conversation over lunch with co-workers about the things of God and their lives are influenced by your faith and relationship with God. Who are you inviting into your life on a personal level relationally and who are you inviting to experience your Destiny family at events or church services?
As a church family we understand that our mistakes are frequent and our love is imperfect. However, our spiritual well-being is still tied to our willingness to walk out our relationship with the church as the bride of Christ. The enemy wants to bring about division any way he can. In any family when a family member gets offended they disrupt the rhythm of the family and disconnect emotionally. In your church family you’ll be tempted to disrupt and disconnect as soon as you find yourself unhappy or upset.
Jesus said in Luke 17:1 that it is impossible not to be offended. It is not a matter of if you will be offended. It is a matter of when you are offended. And when you are offended you must make it a point to get better rather than getting bitter. One man went to the doctor after being bitten by a dog. The doctor determined that the man had contracted rabies. Upon hearing the diagnosis the man reached for pen and paper and began furiously writing. The doctor clarified saying this was not life threatening and he didn’t need to write a will. The man explained that he wasn’t writing a will but he was making a list of the names of people he wanted to bite before he was cured.
Holding on to offenses and frustrations hinder your quality of life. Let it go and live again! Church tension has always been a part of the church all the way back to the birth of the church in the book of Acts. We see complaining about the needs of the people being neglected. It’s easier to make a point than it is to make a difference and complaining is easier than being constructive with a concern. This letter was written complaining about the music. “What is wrong with the inspiring songs we grew up with? Last Sunday was unnerving. The tune was unsingable and distorting.” This wasn’t a letter I received at our church. This letter was written in 1890 complaining about the song, What A Friend We Have In Jesus.
Several years ago we had a family attending our church who was a family in need. In response we actually gave them a car and filled it with gas and with several bags of groceries. Interestingly about a year later they told me they were leaving the church and their reasoning astonished me. They said they just couldn’t attend a church that did not help families in need. Ironically they drove off in the car we had given them after they explained this to me.
Later I would discover that they had been moved to help the homeless. When they noticed the needs of many homeless people they began to ponder what we were doing as a church family to help homeless people. When they realized we didn’t have a program to address this need this was when they decided to leave. The fact is that they were carrying the burden for our church to make a difference in this area. Instead of taking that burden on as a ministry expression of our church family they found it easier to just accuse their brothers and sisters of not caring. Your concern is a clue to your call! Don’t let the enemy use the very thing that should drive you to ministry to drive you away from your church family.
Any creative spark or idea is a threat to the enemy. We see how God responds from the very beginning when the enemy brings darkness, chaos and confusion to the creative work of God. Notice there appears to be chaos that took place between verses 1 and 2. The common theological idea is that this is when Lucifer was cast out of heaven and he brought chaos to God’s creation making the earth formless and empty.
Gen 1:1-3 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. NIV
God’s response to confusion and chaos was to hover and speak light. To hover is the idea of a mother bird hovering over her nest protecting the young and fragile lives in the nest. When people start gossiping or speaking negatively about others we should hover and protect people from this conversation by doing what God did. God spoke light in the place of darkness. Finding something enlightening to say about the situation is very helpful in shedding a better light on the matter.
In life we all experience creative events like a new job, a new house, getting married, having children, etc. These are all creative sparks that are commonly met with chaos in a fallen world. It’s interesting that Paul writes to the Corinthian church “…But those who marry will face many troubles in this life…” (1 Cor 7:28) NIV. He’s simply saying that when the devil sees the creative spark of God in marriage there will be challenges. We must learn to hover and speak light in order to protect what God has purposed to come to pass.
Trees don’t struggle to produce fruit in the sky. Trees struggle to find moisture and nutrients in the dirt. Our struggle is always discovered in getting our roots established. It’s the willingness to work through the struggles that bring about great strength in our lives causing us to ultimately fulfill Isaiah’s words about being oaks of righteousness established by God.
Isa 61:3 …They’ll be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor NIV
Welcome to the family! Together we will leave the world a better place.