We can change the world around us!

What is ‘Church’?

Church is where most believers go to assemble with their brothers and sisters in Christ. However, church is not limited to a building. Church is not a ‘sanctuary’ that we go to, church is us.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

As a result of the work of Jesus on the cross, we are fully forgiven from sin and then fused into union with Christ. We are brought into a new way of being human, as sons and daughters of God. Every believer on the planet was born-again into a new spiritual family.

The Ministry Center, or our local church is where we gather together in worship and learn about our identities as sons of God in the context of family.

However, what happens there was never meant to stay within the four walls of our local worship center.

Miracles, prophesying (for those of you who need clarification; it’s simply speaking over a person how God sees them), fellowship, dreaming big, and loving is not to remain in the building that you happen to meet in. It happens where you happen to be!

If we don’t learn who we are and that we can change the world around us, then there’s potential for us to believe that ‘church’ is the only place where we can experience freedom and safety. There’s a problem with that thinking, it cripples people.

The ‘sanctuary’ isn’t our church, it’s inside of us. We are the sanctuary. We carry the presence of God.

As some of you may know, I love baseball. Just a few years ago, I was playing in the minor league farm system for the Los Angeles Angels. I played for two seasons, then was released of my contract. Often times I reflect back on those years as to what I did right, or what I did wrong. Clearly, I would love to have made it all the way to the major leagues, but I didn’t.

To be vulnerable and honest, I believe that it wasn’t my lack of talent or ability that got me released. It was my mindset.

In my immaturity as a son, my perspective was that the baseball world was a dark place. Every player there who didn’t happen to go to church was (I’m exaggerating some) someone who could potentially be my next ‘project’. My teammates were guys that I needed to fix, or get that one on one time with.

They weren’t already approved or forgiven in my mind, because they didn’t partake in the religious activity that I did. Therefore, they weren’t accepted in my mind by God, because I didn’t accept them. Did I enjoy them? Yes, most of the time. It was more like I tolerated them, but in reality they tolerated me! I still have some former teammates that I talk to from time to time. The funny thing is, because I was so religious in my thinking, I often times felt so overwhelmed by the darkness there. Church! Where’s the church?! Where’s the chaplain?! I need to get out of ‘here’, and go ‘there’! Lord help!

So many of those guys walked in more of a renewed mind of freedom than I did!

Since the status of my heart and mind depended so much on my performance, whether it be spiritually or physically, freedom came only in snippets! I remember one of my Dominican teammates, Luis Jimenez, would chuckle as to how wound up I would be when I failed. He wanted to see me free, because he was free! He could see the religion all over me, he would do whatever he could to make me laugh and to offend that religious spirit. He was a riot, thank God for Luis. Love that guy.

My point is this, let’s become more mature. How about we no longer regard anyone according to the flesh? Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:16 this.

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

Just as Christ is raised up and seated next to the Father, let’s look at the people in our world around us differently. If there’s a person who claims to know Christ but acts hypocritically in their lifestyle, treat them as though they are already like Christ in love. When they find out that is not who they are, they will realize in Christ they already are free and it will manifest! If there’s a person who doesn’t know a thing about Jesus, treat them as a person totally forgiven and absolutely adored by the Father in heaven. Build relationships with no agenda! Love people well!

How about we find ourselves just as comfortable in our spheres of influence as we do when we’re around our fellow believers?

What if ‘Church’ happened where we happened to be? Is this how we change our world?

Equipping you to conquer,

Ryan Groth

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Are you enjoying your new nature yet?

FOREVER CHANGED

One of the most mind blowing and transforming pillars of truth that I have received from God the Father is the gospel (good news) as it relates to our new nature.

OLD MINDSET

However, most of my experience in my christian walk felt like I had two bulldogs on the inside of me, one white and one black. The white bulldog was the good boy on the inside of me that wanted to please God, and the black dog was the evil side of me that wanted to disobey God. I heard this from a pulpit somewhere, and I was taught that the more I feed the white dog God’s word, worship, and church services then I would be starving the black dog so that he won’t have any power. Then the same idea went with the other end of the spectrum. When I wasn’t feeding the white dog, and maybe watching a rated R movie or something, the black dog was growing in stature! It was a constant battle between my desire to be a holy young man for God, versus the dirty rotten evil sinning young man that I am! Now let me ask you, how does that line up with the gospel definition of good news?

Well they say that the good news is that grace led you up to the cross, you’re going to heaven! But, from here on out it’s up to you! Get ready, because the christian life is going to be really tough! 🙂 Sounds silly, but sadly that’s the truth of how most of us heard the gospel.

THE GOOD NEWS IS BETTER THAN I THOUGHT!

The true revelation came when I heard that God isn’t watching every little move I make, ready to add or take away blessing based on how I was doing.  God is actually pleased with me, just as pleased as he is with Jesus. Really? He loves me that much?  Sure enough, because of what Jesus did for you, you have now become different.  Imagine that.  The old black bulldog died, and actually doesn’t exist anymore.

Galatians 2:20 NLT: My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

What a relief that was!  No wonder it was so frustrating, trying to kill my old man and desire to be holy at the same time.  I don’t have the power to kill my old sinful self in my own efforts, Jesus had to do that FOR me and AS me!

GIVE UP TRYING, AND JUST BELIEVE.

Romans 6:7,8 NLT: For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.  And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.

Here’s a few more thoughts on this glorious good news!

  • We can enjoy the “new nature”, we must also understand that our “old nature” is dead and buried! It’s finito, no mas, terminated. Period. The END.
  • Grace didn’t only lead to up to the cross, but actually empowers you to engage in “Christ’s nature” in you from now through eternity!
  • You can live a holy live, and grow from glory to glory into the image of CHRIST!
  • Your sin nature is gone, but you still have a sin habit.  Remind yourself daily of how God now sees you, and watch the spirit renew your mind.
This message is changing my world.  If you like this post, stay tuned.  More good news in on the way!
Stay encouraged,
Ryan