February 2016 Newsletter
“As for the saints who are on the earth, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” -Psalm 16:3
Christian maturity can often be measured by how much we love the body of Christ. It’s easy to say we love God when we’re disconnected from people. But as we encounter people’s sin can we still love them and imitate Jesus? That’s the real telling factor. Are we a friend to the least of these? Are we inconveniencing ourselves for the sake of others? Are we pulling out the gifts and calling of others so that the whole Church is edified? These are the questions Loretta and I have been asking lately.
This has been an exciting month for a few reasons. First, I’m learning a lot in school that is preparing me for the physical therapy program I want to enter in the fall. My Medical Terminology class consists of a ton of memorization of Greek and Latin terms such as rhabdomyosacorma (malignant tumor of striated muscle). It’s really fun learning all these terms and putting them together to speak in the medical language. My second semester is off to a great start. The second reason this month has been exciting is because of the emphasis the IHOPKC community is placing on growing as a Church family. Every sermon last month was about loving the Church, growing in community, being vulnerable, and coming together in unity. It’s so exciting to see the leadership of IHOPKC pushing this more than ever. As a mission’s base, our goal is not to replace the Church, but to serve the Church. This is one of the reasons the International House of Prayer exists. Part of our mission statement is “to work in relationship with the wider Body of Christ to engage in the Great Commission” (ihopkc.org). In fact, I think that’s one of the things that makes IHOPKC so unique. There are so many different streams of the Church looking to this ministry for courage. At the Onething conference in December, we saw Charismatics, Baptists, Catholics, and Evangelicals together on the same stage. That doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with all of each other’s doctrines but it does mean we lay down our differences so that Jesus is glorified and the Gospel goes out to every nation.
IHOPKC is more than just a mission’s base though. We are a Church family and as such, we are committing to grow in our love for one another daily. This is the last reason this month has been so exciting. Our personal friendship group is really becoming a family. We are slowly becoming more vulnerable with each other and are starting to invest real time in building relationships. If someone in the group has a need, we want to meet it. If someone in the group needs prayer, we want to pray for them. If someone in the group has a word, we want to hear it. If someone in the group has a gift, we want them to use it. This is what Paul said in his letter to the Church at Corinth, “Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification” (1 Cor 14:26). It is only together that we can walk in the fullness of God’s purposes. We need each other. It’s exciting to see different parts of the Church realizing this. The Bride of Christ is beautiful, despite her weaknesses. We are the “excellent ones” in whom is all God’s delight.