Jesus, when He was talking about teachers of the law and Pharisees had this to say:
“… they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi’. But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi’, for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’, for you have one Father, and He is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher’, for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23: 6-12
Jesus made it abundantly clear in this passage that He does not like or approve of people being called by the titles of Rabbi, father, or teacher. I am also certain that this goes for the title of Pastor also. Jesus does not want us to elevate some people in the church over and above others. No, Jesus says we are ALL brothers. All titles in the church are counter productive to the cross.
It is also clear that Jesus does not want any of us brothers to exalted. In the church there should not be special seats or parking places for anyone. In fact no one should be viewed as special or exalted over and above other believers. Because Jesus is saying that we should all be equal sibling brothers and peers in the true church.
The calling of every follower of Jesus is to be a servant to all. No one in the Body should have a special position or job that places them in some separate elevated place over other believers. No one should EVER be exalted except God Himself.
The concept of us all being servants, siblings and peers under ONLY Christ is easy to see and understand through scripture. Jesus makes this point extremely clear. If this is true then why do the vast majority of modern “churches” have exalted leaders called Pastors? Have you ever asked yourself a question like that? Something is wrong, very wrong, in the modern “church”. So we all need to ask ourselves the question…….Do we want to do things man’s way, or God’s way? God’s way says we are all Priests and Ministers that serve the church and reach out to those who have yet to know Him. In the true church EVERYONE is a leader who shares when the Spirit leads them. The whole Body is supposed to work together in concert so that God is exalted. In the false “church” most things are a one “MAN” show. I don’t think it can be any clearer than that. True humility does not seek a platform or pulpit. It seeks to serve from within the Body, not from above it.
Love and …..
Kirk Out !
P.s. To be clear, “Brother” is a generic word used in scripture to identify both females and males who follow Christ and are part of His Body.
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ”Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.” Matthew 4: 18-22
Just a short and simple blog today. What I see in this passage is that when Jesus calls our response needs to be “immediate” and “at once”. It doesn’t matter what we are doing at the time or who is with us. When Jesus speaks to us we need to drop everything else we are doing and respond to Him in that very moment.
I have to admit that I am not always good at responding exactly when He calls. Sometimes I am far to involved in what I am doing and I choose to put Jesus on hold. Not a smart thing to do, but I am willing to admit it and work on changing my ways even more.
I really should know better because there have been many times when I did respond in the moment that He called to me. Then later the circumstances confirmed that I made the right choice. There have been several times that while driving I heard Jesus tell me to “Turn right now” or to “take another route”, only later to find out that there had been a terrible accident on the road I was taking before He spoke. It may sound too simple or spooky Spiritual, but this is really the way He works in our lives at times.
I have learned through experience to respond immediately to His voice, even though what He says may seem insignificant in that moment. I have told this story before, but I think it really fits here right now too. While I was in college after a Resurrection Band concert I had promoted that night I made a food run for the guys who helped haul equipment. I was in the Burger King drive thru waiting to order 5 whopper meals when Jesus spoke to me and said order a 6th meal. It was only four bucks more so I did so and was obedient, not knowing why The Lord wanted me to change the order. When I got back to the dorm I set the 6th meal up on top of the bunk bed while the five of us ate ours. Five minutes later a guy named Tim stuck his head in the room and jokingly asked where his meal was and I was able to point to the top bunk and say, “it’s right up there.” He ended up eating with us and when the conversation turned to the Lord, 20 minutes later Tim fully accepted Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. That’s right, because I was obedient to the voice of the Lord at the BK drive thru someone got born again.
It is very important that we are faithful in the small and seemingly insignificant things. Because ” We know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him.” ( Romans 8) EVERYTHING MATTERS! We need to practice and learn to hear His voice because He doesn’t always shout or put it up on a billboard. Responding to His voice in a timely manner could mean the difference between life and death. ”His sheep hear His voice and obey.” We need to always be totally open and available to Jesus whenever He may choose to call us.
Love and ….
Kirk Out !
P.s. I guess it turned out not so short or simple
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1: 3-4
We cannot even fathom how much God really loves us. It says here that He has given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness. In Christ we lack NOTHING. Stop, pause and ponder that for a moment? I mean WOW! Through knowing Him we are made complete. This speaks of more than just believing in Him. This is about intimately knowing and experiencing Him in your daily life. Many people know ABOUT God, but that is not at all the same as truly knowing Him and His heart, will and ways. This is not about what we know with our intellect, it is about knowing in Spirit and Truth, with our complete inner being. Most people worship God from afar, but this is about worshiping Him from within, totally up close and personal. It is time to trust in, cling to, and rely on Jesus for everything. He gives Himself to us and in turn we give ourselves totally to Him. Relationship is everything and He presents Himself to us and all we have to do is surrender and respond to His glory and goodness. Jesus stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. So go ahead open the door and let Him in!
Is it possible that the vast majority of the people in the “Church” or religious system today do not really know Jesus in HIS fullness? They have been taught information concerning Christ by Pastors and preachers, but they have little to no experience of feeling HIS presence or touch in their daily lives. When scripture talks about us KNOWING Christ, in the Greek text it means that we will KNOW Him as in intimately touching Him and being touched by Him. To experience Christ in this deep, rich and rewarding manner requires in depth personal relationship that goes far beyond being told mere factual information and instead goes to the very heart of God Himself. Jesus said that His sheep KNOW His VOICE and obey. This means a very literal hearing and comprehension of Christ’s actual Voice. It is NOT just about what we READ in scripture or what the Pastor’s voice conveys on Sunday mornings. WE are talking about the actual clear cut, real and actual voice of Jesus speaking directly to our heart, ears and inner being. Do you hear His voice? If not, fall on your face and sincerely seek Jesus until you do really hear Him!
If we walk with Him we get to live in His promises and participate in His divine nature. If His nature lives within us then we get to escape the corruption of the world. We will still have to deal with corruption, but it will not come from within us and it will not overtake us and overly burden our lives.
I find it interesting that the corruption in the world is caused by evil desires. Please notice that it is not caused by evil deeds, although deeds follow desires. If His divine nature truly is allowed to live within us then our desires will line up with His will and not be evil. We should not be overcome with evil, we should overcome evil with good. This is only possible by The Christ living in us being greater than the world within us. After all, Christ in us is THE Hope of glory. Wise “men” still seek to KNOW Him and long to hear His Voice each and every day.
Love and …..
Kirk Out !
“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is among you, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5: 1-3
Leadership was never supposed to be a really big deal in the Body of Christ. In fact it is something meant to be extremely simple and easy. Those who are older and more mature in the faith are supposed to help watch over the Body. NOTICE… it says to the elders AMONG you. True biblical leadership comes from those willing to be among the Body, not over or in charge of it.
Jesus is the one and only true Shepherd of His Church. He alone is The Head and the rest of us serve as various parts of the Body. Some in the Body are eyes and ears and it is their function to watch over the rest of the Body of Christ. This is not complicated stuff. God always uses those who are open and willing to serve. When The Spirit is allowed to flow freely among the Body each part does its work without the need for titles, platforms or positions.
True elders do not serve for money or reimbursement. They also do not serve for prestige, meaning they are not concerned about prominence and influential status or wealth. They simply serve because they are needed and called by God to help the Body of Christ grow up into the Head, who is Christ Jesus.
True elders NEVER Lord over anyone at any time. They understand that their calling is to be examples for the rest of the Body. They do not use titles or seek position over others in the Body. Because they realize that there are NO positions to be had in the true Body of Christ. They use their gifts from within the body and do not want to be elevated above their mutual sibling peers in Christ.
Healthy families listen to their older members and appreciate the wisdom that comes from having lived longer in this world. The church in its purest form is a fully functioning healthy family consisting of co-equal brother and sister peers that are under only The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Those more experienced in the ways of The Lord provide guidance and wisdom as The Spirit leads. When God’s family gathers at His table for fellowship everyone sits on level ground and no “man” is elevated above the table. I do not know of any natural families where some members sit on a platform above other family members when they gather for a meal or fellowship. There are very few if any monologues that occur within a family. The family norm is open dialogue and even when older siblings share their story there is always room for questions and further conversation.
I know some people think I am over simplifying the role of leadership in the Body, but I do not believe that even I can state how simple it really is. Sure leadership is important in the Body, but it is important that we lead as Jesus would have us lead and not as the world or the traditional “Church” would. If ANY “church” has traditions, positions, Clergy, and programs that violate Christ, the Priesthood of all believers and the teachings of The Holy Spirit; we should really pray and seek God as to what our response to them should be. Speaking for myself, I cannot serve the whore. I was born, raised and reborn outside traditional religion and that is where I now make my bed. When led I have warned “churches” and Clergy about the error of their ways, but from now on I will yield to The Spirit and stay outside of the traditional camp until I receive further guidance. What should you do? That is between God and you. I pray you make the right decision my friends.
Love and …..
Kirk Out !
P.s. I love the people, but hate the institution of Babylon that holds them captive.
“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4: 7-11
How exciting? If the end was near when Peter wrote this passage over 2000 years ago, then it is really getting even closer and closer everyday. Talk about a perfect circle? When I pray I become clear minded and more self-controlled. That is why I pray immediately whenever I start having PTSD flashbacks.
As always with God, Love comes first and we need to share that love with one another. Nothing is more important than love. When we love we open our hearts and when we offer hospitality we open our lives and homes to one another. Jesus wants us to be extremely close to one another. We should be sharing our entire lives with one another. Do you realize that the phrase “one another” appears nearly 75 times in the New Testament?
Everyone in the Body of Christ has God given gifts and we need to use them to serve others. Does your fellowship give you opportunities to use your gifts? The vast majority of traditional “churches” give very little opportunity for those other than The Pastor to really use their gifts. The open and relational fellowships I partner with, always give opportunity for everyone to share and use their gifts. If you are not being encouraged to use your gifts in your fellowship; I strongly encourage you to find fellowship elsewhere with other people.
When we do share and speak we need to make sure we are in The Spirit and not the flesh. If we are in The Spirit it is as if we are speaking the very words of God. God wants to move or speak through every single member when we gather. So please make room for everyone who fellowships with you to share their diverse gifts with you? Everyone has a portion to share in our gatherings. When we share our gifts we need to do so with the strength God provides and not with the arm of the flesh. Just let The Spirit flow through you and don’t try to make anything happen. When we surrender to His leading He gets all the glory and the Body is built up in Him.
I hope this blog made sense today. I was having some flashbacks while writing it, but I pressed on through and I hope it turned out alright.
Kirk Out !
“Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you brothers, to do so more and more. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4: 8-12
Several things jump out at me from this passage. First and foremost is that the Thessalonians were taught directly by God the ways of brotherly love. We are talking about direct revelation here and it is very clear that they heard this from God Himself and not from a human apostle, teacher, preacher or pastor. We can learn many things from God directly if we seek Him. What they learned about love did not come from a bible or another human being. I think far too often in the Body of Christ we look to and depend upon human messengers instead of looking directly to God for His voice and instructions. The Holy Spirit is fully capable and should be our primary teacher in all things. Wise “men” still seek Him and they do not need to wait for secondary revelation from a book or human teacher to lead them in the ways of Christ.
Secondly, how we live our lives is extremely vital to how we are received by others. We should be hard workers that are focused on doing our best while quietly minding what we are doing. If we stand out it should only be because of Jesus being in our lives. We should be humble and not seek to draw attention to ourselves as we go about our daily lives.
Finally, we work and live upright lives so that we will not be dependent on anyone else. Paul, Silas, and Timothy gave this instruction to the Thessalonians and better than that they modeled upright behavior by working hard among them laboring and toiling night and day. Paul and the guys were not dependent on salary or gifts. No, they made their own money and did not even take anyone’s food without paying for it. I believe that being self supporting missionaries (tentmakers) is a New Testament model that all in the church should follow. Serving the church should never be about money. More important than money is that we should all work and be active in our communities so that the witness of our simple daily lives may be seen and respected by outsiders. Simple witness and evangelism is something that occurs most often outside of our church meetings. If you want the Jesus in your life to impact the people God has placed in your lives then you need to live Jesus style in your workplace and community everyday. If your only workplace is the church then I think you miss much of what following Jesus is really all about.
Kirk Out !