The ROCK
Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 

 


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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • Dec13Sat

    Hear the Bells Ringing

    December 13, 2014
       Keith Green sang a song called the Easter Song. I know, it’s Christmas but you can’t have one without the other. Here are some of the lyrics. Here the bells ringing, they're singing that you can be born again. Here the bells ringing they're singing Christ is risen from the dead. The angel up on the tombstone Said He has risen, just as He said Quickly now, go tell his disciples That Jesus Christ is no longer dead. Joy to the word, He has risen, hallelujah He's risen, hallelujah, He's risen, hallelujah Hear the bells ringing they're singing that you can be healed right now Hear the bells ringing, they're singing Christ, He will reveal it now. Casting Crowns sing I Heard the bells on Christmas Day   - Do you hear the bells, they're ringing? (Peace on earth) The life the angels singing (Peace on earth) Open up your heart and hear them (Peace on earth) Peace on earth, goodwill to men.
                The other night we were watching a Christmas movie called a Christmas Miracle about a group of people stranded at a little country church during a snowstorm. In the story a group of people ended up at this little church because of a pileup in a snowstorm. All had something they were dealing with such as marriages falling apart, a pastor walking away from God, giving up on a dream and a little church that had lost its purpose. One of the couples had a boy with Autism. Ok so I am not going to explain how the one man’s wife got to the church with supplies from the nearby town or how their little boy with autism walked to the church from that nearby town and how this group could not get to the near-by town. I am not a movie critic so lets move on. As the boy was walking to the church to see his stranded dad, he got lost as he approached the church.  As they all were searching and just about the time the little boy could go no further, the minister ran to the old church and started to ring the bell. Oh yah, the little boy loves bells. And all is well. Not only did they find the boy in the snowstorm, over the night they all confronted their issues in that little church. A year later the church is full with its new minister and broken marriages healed, dreams fulfilled and songs sung, (just happened that one had a guitar and could sing really well). During the anniversary service, the little boy rang the bell saved him.
                Even though the story was a little slow in its presentation, it showed that the bells are still ringing for the lost and hopeless. Yes, being found is more than being stranded in a church or following a ringing bell. You must return to the Lord with repentance of heart. This return would see a total change in the church as we know it. There are so many people who call themselves Christians who are lost and hopeless. If the church was doing what it was supposed to do, miracles, signs and wonders would be following all who believe and people being saved would be totally transformed. The church is supposed to be a place of refuge but there is much refuse to get rid of. Hezekiah repaired the temple and “Removed all defilement from the sanctuary.” People should come and cry out sanctuary, sanctuary and be transformed but because of the desecration in the church this is not happening very much. It should look like this. Luke 4:18The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” This still is our mission but it can only be fulfilled in the power of the spirit. At this point we are missing the anointing power of the Holy Spirit. The church should be a place where someone or something is protected or given shelter. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” The church is not a place just to come and be entertained and stay the same as you were. The old should be gone and the new come but that only happens in the power of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Just because some churches have people flocking to them so people can check the box –I went to church, does not mean it is necessarily on the right path.  It is to be a place made up of people who have been transformed and are being transformed.
                The body of Christ is supposed to move under the headship of Jesus Christ. When we return to the heart of worship we will see this happen once again.  Micah 4:1 (The Mountain of the Lord) 4 “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.” Now people are streaming to churches that meet their needs and desires. The churches have even designed themselves that way. They ask themselves what can we do to make ourselves more palatable to the people around us. But often that palatable message is lukewarm and Jesus said he would spew you out of his mouth. We have already talked about sugar coating (they called it seeker sensitive for a while) the gospel and yes it is obvious that it works but it is not the gospel so in the end what will they do; where will they be? I personally believe that no matter where you are located or whatever lack of skill set you have, if you proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy spirit, and wait on him before you go, we will once again see the gospels and Acts in the church. We will no longer see a difference between what we call church and scripture. They will be one. People will be saved, transformed, healed and free. They will not fear or worry as so many Christians do now.  Psalm 27:3Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”
                The bells must ring again (no I am not talking about those in the bell tower). The truth of the gospel must once again ring out. In order for that to happen we must change our ways, return to the truth and stop following man. Isaiah 2:22Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?”
     
    Prayer: Lord once again make your church a refuge for the lost.  Joel 2: 12Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and relent  and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.” Psalm 119:114You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.Psalm 130:5  “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”