Just in Case You Wondered, I Noticed.

I noticed today.

I noticed the pew you usually sit on.

I noticed today that it was empty.

I noticed.

I couldn’t help myself but look. I was so excited to see you…I asked around. Maybe you were sick, maybe you were on vacation, maybe you had to work…

I waited.

I hoped.

But…the pew stayed emptied.

The service began at its normal time.

You know the drill: welcome & announcements, the choir sang, congregational singing began – all pointing us in worship and praise to God. It was glorious, but I was distracted.

I had to look one more time.

  • Maybe I missed you.
  • Maybe you slid in the back.
  • Maybe you were running late – hey, that happens to all of us.

I scanned the crowd.

Your presence was simply, gone.

I had to try; I had to stop my mind… “Refocus” I told myself. “Lord” I asked, “please help me! My heart is grieving.”

Your absence left an emptiness inside me.

  • You see, my friend, you are not alone.
  • Matter of fact, I am not alone.
  • We are never alone.
  • We influence.
  • We impact one another – for the good or for the bad.

Now before we go on, I must be clear, my refocusing was my problem that I needed to take before the Lord. But there is something that you need to know — when you are not here, I notice. Others notice. And I will tell you why.

  • You may not think you impact.
  • You may think your presence is insufficient.
  • You may think no one cares.

Think what you will, but let’s clarify what you really are to your local body of Christ, your church – VITAL!*

YOU ARE A VITAL PART within these four walls we call church.

  • It doesn’t stop there – collectively as we minister together outside these four walls.
  • Oh, but wait there is more…your walk in Christ is not a ‘Sunday thing’. Your life is to be used VITALLY for Christ 24/7.

You see, we can’t as a body of Christ, when you don’t.

  • You are our Sister-in-Christ.
  • You are our Brother-in-Christ.
  • Together we are Christ’s body – jointly knitted together by God Himself.

When one doesn’t fulfill their part, the body cannot fulfill its God-mission as a whole. That makes you VITAL!

I noticed!

  • I longed for your presence.
  • I longed to worship and serve God alongside my Sister-in-Christ.
  • I longed to worship and serve God alongside my Brother-in-Christ.
  • I longed to grow and repent alongside you.

But that didn’t happen. Only you know why…

So…

  • The next time you decide your presence won’t be noticed…
  • The next time you think your worship or service to God will not be missed…
  • The next time you think God will not observe that you played church—hooky and did something else instead of worship Him…

Be assured, noticed will happen.

Not from judgmental or criticism spirits, but rather from spirits of love.

  • Because God is in love with you! God adores you!
  • Because I love you!
  • Because your church loves you!
  • Because the God-gifts you bring are just that…yours.
  • Only you can use them or fulfill them. No one can fill your shoes. No one wants to fill your shoes. Your shoes are yours and that’s how God designed it! So, don’t play church—hooky! Go fulfill.

1 Corinthians 12:12-28a

12 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the many parts of that one body are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are slaves or free, and we have all been made to drink of one Spirit. 14 The body is not one part, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has established the parts, every one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 So there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, those parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those parts of the body which we think are less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor. And our less respectable parts are treated with much more respect, 24 whereas our more respectable parts have no need of this. But God has composed the body, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacks it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that the parts should have the same care for one another. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and members individually. 28 God has put these in the church:

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}


*Yes, I hear it already, “But Colleen, you don’t know my church story.”

My friend, I could write a book on churches–from both sides of the fence. I have spoken to numerous women who have quoted the same statement.

May I ask you a question?

Does that give us any excuse to disobey GOD’S Word?

  • The answer, my friend, is No!

We cannot stand before God one day and say, “Well God, I didn’t obey you because of those church people over on 2nd Street. You know what they said and did.” It won’t work.

The question is now what?

  • Are we going to obey God, trust Him and biblically apply His Word to our lives helping us to rid through “the stuff” or not?
  • Or will we continue to allow our flesh to fester?

Rise Up! or Have You Aborted?

  • Yester-years are precious memories when filled with Christ but never an excuse to not obey God’s Word today.
  • The great commission is now, not yesterday, it is not tomorrow…it is right now!
  • Obedience to Jesus Christ is now, not yesterday, not tomorrow or when I fulfill my fun…it is now.
  • There is not one of us who can stand here in complete surety guaranteeing their next breathe, yet much more guaranteeing their next day of life; we have but now.

Soul, ARISE!
Church, ARISE!
Today is the mission!!

  • May we be consumed with the praise, honor, and glory of Jesus Christ alone and not ourselves.
  • May we lift Him up and let the world know all about our great God!!!
  • Rise up, oh man of God!
  • Rise up, oh woman of God!
  • Rise up, oh teen of God!
  • Rise up, oh child of God!
  • What is done for eternity…that is what will stand.

What’s your mission look like?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

*Ephesians 5:22-33*

For the past several weeks, I have been slowly taking in Ephesians for my daily devotional time with the Lord. There is so much in Ephesians, I am loving it. Some I will share later, some thoughts are in the works, but today we are going to look at Ephesians 5:22-33. Now I am no scholar and I am sure that many others could write more on this subject better than I, but I’d like to just share what the Lord has allowed me to learn this time around reading through Ephesians. Lord willing, next time through my understanding will deepen—I pray it will!

In our home, when we come to verse 22, my husband usually teases me somehow, especially when we are having our couple’s devotions together. He will be silly in some form or other and will slowly read, “wivvvvvvvves, submit yourselves unto your own husbands…” We laugh, talk, and have a wonderful time in the Word together, but the Truth is still there and I know it, and he knows it!

When reading through verses 22-33, I’ve read through this section of Scripture many times before and I almost breezed past them, because “I know” that portion of Scripture. Pretty proudful of me. Earlier this week, I was studying the verses above them and kept breezing past 22-33, but by the fourth day my soul was so convicted I had to sat down and read verses 22-33 word by word like I never read them before. This is what my notes looked like when the Lord got done with me that day.


Ephesians 5:22-33

We read these verses and so often we either fly past them (like I did), don’t quiet understand them, or get turned off by them because of the “S.” I must admit, when reading verses 22-33 we have this whole back and forth “subject—head” thing going on here. We could get quiet confused, but in its twists and turns, likes and comparisons, we are given mysteries unsolved from above to follow. God’s plan.

We are given examples between wives being subject to your husbands; husband being the head of the wife; Christ being the head of the Church; Church being subject to Christ like the wife is to be to her husband—and how do they all fit?

Then it flips back to ‘husbands love you wives’ with an exampled explanation to follow:

  • Love just like Christ loves the Church.
  • Like how He gave Himself for her (the Church).
  • So that He (Jesus) might sanctify her (the Church)—How? By cleansing her by the washing of the His Word (not our opinions) It is His Word that makes the Church holy. Why? So that He (Jesus) might present to Himself, the Church.
    • In all Her glory
    • with no spot
    • no no wrinkle
    • in other words—without faults or flaws
  • But that She (the Church) would be
    • Holy
    • Blameless

Then we are back to Husbands…

Husbands ought to love their own wife as their own body. As much as the husband loves himself, he needs to love his own wife. He is commanded to love his wife.

No one hates his own flesh. None of us hate our own bodies. We provide for ourselves. We take care of ourselves. We feed for ourselves. The comparison is just as deeply as Jesus’ love for the Church–so ought a husband for his wife.

Everyone, including men, nourish and cherish themselves (the sales commercials know what they are doing) but Christ’s love, is what love truly is, it is pure, vast, and beyond what we know of love to be…maybe we should take more notes on His love language and start practicing.

Just maybe…God knows what He’s been talking about. Maybe it is time to listen and start obeying! Just maybe…

  • That would change us.
  • That would change our marriages.
  • That would change our children.
  • That would change our homes.
  • That would change our churches.
  • That would change our communities.
  • That would change our state.
  • That would change our country.
  • That would change our culture.
  • That would change our society.
  • That would change our world.
  • That would change generations to come.

Just think, it wouldn’t be so bad wouldn’t it…?

If you are married, thinking about getting married, engaged, or single…hear these wise words, “a man leaves his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

  • Husband love (cherish) your own wife—like you love yourself.
  • Wife see to it that you respect your husband—you were created to completed not compete. God created him to be the head of your home. Let him lead. Pray for him to lead.

Conclusion:

  1. Is God first in your life? I mean really first? Not just first on Sunday morning, but first everyday of the week?
  2. As a WIFE, who is your next human relationship? It should be your husband. If it is not, why not? Spend some time with the Lord in prayer and search your heart as to why your husband is not your primary human relationship. Seek out your Pastor’s wife or a trusted godly woman that you could seek godly counsel from.
  3. As a HUSBAND, who is your next human relationship? It should be your wife. If not, why not? Spend some time with the Lord in prayer and search your heart as to why your wife is not your primary human relationship. Seek out your Pastor or a trusted godly man that you could seek godly counsel from.
  4. CHURCH—is Christ first? Sounds like a funny question to ask a church, but is He first? Churches all across America are losing focus on whose church it is, who we serve, what are great commission is, and prefer to stand on tradition, opinions, and arguments, instead on the Word of God and Christ. So Church, I ask you again, is Christ first in your Church? Christian, is Christ first in your life? You affect your Church?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Church on Fire!!!

Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The church is God’s body, not ours, lest we forget. The greatest victory for satan (devil) is a carnal christian, a lukewarm believer–one who lives like the world but calls themselves a “christian.”

  • The devil laughs at us believers when we act or live like the world because we have chosen to live in defeat rather than in victory (he knows it and laughs). In other words, in these cases, the devil “acted like your friend” and turned out to be your worst nightmare. You rejected the Truth (God) that could have set you free!
  • The Lord grieves when we act or live like the world when we are indeed His child. This is not what He died for. Unlike the devil, who is bent on our destruction, the Lord is looking and longing for our return back to Himself–restoration, redemption, relationship.

So, let me ask you a question. One is bent on your ultimate destruction and cares absolutely nothing about you; roars this world looking for whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). The another is bent on restoring a relationship that was broken in time past (Genesis 3) but through sending His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus (John 3:16) (see page “Eternity”: inchristiamshe.com/eternity) has made a way to restore mankind to Himself because His personal love for man is beyond our comprehension. A personal relationship with Christ is possible regardless of who you are, what you have done, or what your social status is. None of that matters to God. All that matters is you!

So church, God is on fire for you. Are you on fire for Him?

  • You are not your own, you have been bought with a price, so therefore glorify God in our body and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:20).
  • Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works , and glorify your Father which is in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Burn brightly my brothers and sisters in Christ for Him alone as a body of believers. May you be a vessel in the Master’s hands to the praise of His glory.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

the Perfect Church?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}