Dream word – NEW
“David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.” NKJV
The making of righteous reputations
I know that I have already quoted my most favourite preacher, Dr J Vernon McGee, saying that, “God created the garden and man the cities, but the devil made the small town!” Dr McGee spoke this way, deeply out of his experience as a small town pastor of many years, and he knew this fact to be true, that once you had a bad reputation in a small town, the people in it, rarely allowed you or your family, your kin, the possibility of change. The truth of this observation has stuck with me for years and manifested itself most disturbingly in far too many churches of small town mentalities, where the people of God are not allowed the experience of profound, journeying change. So often then, these now stunted folk of not so good reputation, simply move on, at best acquiring a reputation for being spiritual Gypsies and at worst, never entering a church again.
Yes, unfortunately far too many of our old churches are often filled with old misery guts. In Britain I have experienced them as “The Tea at Three Brigade,” and in the USA they are “The Prissy and Precise, Religious Matadors of Mice!” Both these sorry, regulated regiments, full of fear and led by cardboard cut out men, or women trying to be men, adore niceness and respectability more than any manifestation of raw righteousness, running red in real people who are being lifted out their deepest and darkest pits, by the ripped red sash, of Jehova Tsidkenu Himself. Yup, they don’t much like that, for when God lifts a person from a pit, there is an awful lot of grunting, and a disturbing amount of groaning and many times, many, many times, a falling back in the sludge from whence they came. No, a crashing back from whence they came and sometimes with great curses from below toward the God who through His people was trying to pull them out! Yet, God Himself, covered with sweat, dripping great drops of blood, still peers over the pits edge, cajoling those broken legged thieves below to lay hold of Him and His redemption, again, and again, and again. Sanctification is a messy affair you see, and the flower of real righteousness is a many thorn embedded rose. In such a flowered garden, the old small town mentally, will not work at all. No, it really just won’t do.
Though many local churches often act like such small towns of restriction, they shouldn’t, for they are more, much more than that. Local churches should live out what they truly and twice fold are, in being first, a foreign outpost of the Kingdom in a very dangerous land and secondly, a superb suburb of the city of God itself! In other words, the gold of God’s goodness should pave the streets we walk upon. We should be looking for change in people, hoping and praying for it, believing God for it and rejoicing in it when we see it. New names, new possibilities, new beginnings, new horizons, new gifting, new hopes, new dreams, new destinies, all fresh and bursting out of a new and constantly renewed people. That sounds like an exciting place to be! Yes sir indeedy, that sounds like just the place for me!
We are the makers of our local churches. We are the people of God who can begin today walking on the streets of gold. What a holy effort of faith it shall be to see people for whom they could be, and then speak to them in the future tense, concerning the righteous reputations of heaven, which are theirs in reality and will be theirs in experience, by the mighty changing power of Jesus Christ the Lord. Christian, tomorrow and forever and ever amen, may I encourage you to have the faith and the vision to deal sometimes in peoples past but much more in people’s futures! Let’s stop all the movin’ on and encourage much more movin’ in!
Listen: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV
Pray: Lord, help me to see both myself and others clothed in Your righteousness, both loving in it and living in it, amen!
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