The Wasserkirche Butterfly


There is a church in Zurich Switzerland called the Wasserkirche.  Even if you don’t speak German, you can probably guess that this translates to “Water Church.”  It is an interesting name to an equally interesting place.

This church started construction in the 10th century but was not completed until 1486.  At some point in it’s spotted history it actually was a place for cult gatherings.  In fact, during the Reformation it was seen as a “house of idolatry.”  In 1634 it was converted into a public library.  Finally in 1940 it was renovated and converted back into a place for Christian worship; back to it’s roots.

Today, an enormous butterfly hangs from it’s rafters.  What an odd item to adorn a church sanctuary.  Or is it?

Several years ago I wrote a poem called “The Butterfly” because to me it symbolized transformation.  The metamorphosis that occurs when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly is nothing short of miraculous.  It shows God’s amazing power to transform.  So this church has been totally transformed.   It has gone full circle from a place of worship, to a place of idolatry, to a place of learning and finally back to a place of Christian worship.  The butterfly is a symbol of this amazing transformation that only a great God can bring.

He Is Changing Us


We are Christians
We bear His likeness
He is changing us day by day…

God cares …
… for the careless, 
making them careful.  
Care destroys carelessness.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

God gives hope …
… hope for the hopeless, 
making His children hopeful.
Hope destroys hopelessness.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. – Psalm 62:5

God gives us rest …
… for the restless, 
allowing us to be restful.
Rest destroys restlessness.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

God gives power …
… to the powerless, 
making them powerful.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. – Ephesians 1:18-21

God shows Mercy …
.. for the merciless, making them merciful.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. – Matthew 5:7

And He gives grace …
… to the graceless, making them graceful.
Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, – Ephesians 3:2

He minds …
… the mindless, making them mindful.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

He helps …
… the helpless, making then helpful.
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:2

You Look Different


Hi there!

You, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.
 
Let that thought sink in for a moment. The Spirit of God lives in you and you are not in the realm of the flesh.

If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 

All believers, including you, have this Spirit inside, a Spirit of Christ.

If Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 

Christ is in you, the Spirit of God is in you, can you feel it?

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you.

You just read Romans 8:9-11 as it relates to you. You are a work in progress continuously being transformed into God’s image.

God sees you with His big beautiful redemptive eyes.
God looks real good on and inside you.
You do look different today.
Feel good about yourself.
Take heart.

Jesus is Lord


Jesus is Lord!  There, I proclaimed it.  

Let’s be clear, I didn’t just write it, read it or say it, I proclaimed it. Monstrous difference.

This proclamation that Jesus is Lord means more than we often give it credit for.

  • It means that I’m not in charge of running my life anymore 
  • It’s a proclamation that there is a sovereign, all powerful, all knowing King over me
  • It’s a proclamation that I’m not the owner of my life 
  • There is One who sustains life who is bigger than me
  • It’s a proclamation that I need someone to run my life 
  • I need someone to surrender my life to
  • I need someone to bow before and worship
  • I need someone to acknowledge as Lord
  • I need someone to guide my life.
  • I need someone to look up to.

Proclaim it with me.
“Jesus is Lord.”

Indeed.

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

Paul’s Prayer for You


If the Apostle Paul were here, this is how he might pray for you and share God’s blessings with you.  I know this because he prayed this to a church bursting with Ephesians.

May God, out of his glorious riches, strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
May Christ dwell in your heart through faith.
May you be rooted and established in love,
May you have power,
May you dwell with all the Lord’s holy people,
May you grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
May you know this love that surpasses knowledge
May you be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
– based on Ephesians 3:16-19

Now that’s a benediction!

And I will add,
May the beauty of Christ be seen in you,
May you be with Christ
May you become more like Christ
And may you live for Christ

And again from Paul, but this time from Ephesians 1:

He chose us.
He adopted us.
He predestined us.
He gave us His grace.
He redeemed us.
He forgave our sins.
He lavished God’s grace on us.
He made known His will to us.
He marked us with a seal.
He guaranteed our inheritance.

That, brothers and sisters, is how much favor we have with God.

May the beauty of Christ be seen in you!

The “in” in “Sin”


The “in” in “sin“.

Yes, it’s part of the word sin.  What we struggle with most seems to be inwardly focused.

  • What’s in it for me?
  • Adultery starts on the inside, in our hearts and minds.
  • Murder also starts on the inside.
  • Jealousy, inside
  • Pride, inside
  • Idolatry inside
  • Hate, inside
  • Lust, inside
  • Prejudice, inside
  • Anger, inside
  • Greed, inside
  • Worrying, inside
  • Revenge, inside

In our hearts, in our heads, in our mouths, in our deeds; sin starts in us.

We need help on the inside, we need to let the Holy Spirit work on us from the inside.  For us believers, He’s already in there anyway.  This is the reason why we pray in church that the Holy Spirit transforms and renews our hearts and our minds.  This is such an important prayer because it leads us to repentance.

You can spot people who have an outward focus can’t you?  They are kind, compassionate, considerate, generous, caring, loving, forgiving, patient – as a matter of fact they tend to act like Jesus and they use their gifts of the Spirit in so doing.  Incredible how this all comes together isn’t it?

Let me share this prayer with you which is a gem of traditional worship:

Lord God, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may hear and believe your Word.  Cleanse our minds and renew our hearts that we may live for you here and hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. (Christian Worship, Evening Prayer, page 56)

The Recipe to Build Your Faith


The Recipe to Build Your Faith

Ingredients:
Goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love. 

Directions:
Add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  Stir gently.

The Result:
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Source of this Delicious Recipe:
2 Peter 1:5-8

The Guardian of My Heart


I have a guardian who watches over my heart and my mind.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7

Why does our Pastor say this to us every single Sunday?

Here’s why….

He will guard your heart and your mind against:
Anxiety
Doubt
Worry
Fear
Distress
Lust
Jealousy
Angst
Anger
Sorrow
Shame
Depression
Temptation
Hate
Confusion
Obsession
Addiction
Brokenness
Desperation
Guilt
Unworthiness

Think about that if you’ve heard Php 4:7 one too many times!

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