It’s Living Jesus-Life Together, not having an endless meetings

17 09 2017

“Discipleship” in today’s implications is based solely on ‘teachings.’ Teaching for a purpose of having the ‘right doctrine’ that leads to more mere knowledge about God. Example, on Discipleship Lesson 3: Prayer. But teaching a group about prayer doesn’t lead them to pray. To learn how to pray is to pray. God will give you the work, and the work will teach you how to do it.

“How do you do teaching Molong?” someone ask me. Although, the tune is obvious: if no one is teaching, then the disciples doesn’t grow. But Jesus is the Vine, we are not. How do we do teaching now in a family-community context without ‘going to church’ but being one?

Well, I don’t do ‘discipleship’ but I do make disciples. We go out and walk and make friends and make disciples. We don’t stay and sit and soak and sour in a religious box. I don’t do “Bible Study” but we do discuss and study the Bible, we don’t do “prayer meetings” but we do pray a lot. We don’t do “meetings” but we meet a lot because it’s a family. And because it’s a family, there are ‘fathers and mothers in the Lord’ as well as ‘children in the Lord’ and because you don’t raise a son or a daughter by the book but you teach him/her how to cook, how to clean, how to plant, how to read and write, how to weld, how to sew, how to fix the light bulb, how to paint, how to make a table, how to create something, how to invent something, ….. that’s how we do ‘teaching’ here.

All happened in the house, in a family atmosphere where there are “hundreds of mothers, brothers, sisters, houses, possessions, persecutions and even eternal life!”

When a native tribal leader was asked, “What did the missionaries did to you?”

“Well, they taught us about God” was his quick reply. And with a sad face he added, “but they never taught us how to live.”

I would rather teach the person how to cook an egg than teaching him how to do Sunday school on Sunday’s. Christianity is a way of life, not a series of religious meetings.

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Note: the real you

12 09 2017

Church doesn’t have to look like ‘church’ with a steeple, a service or someone’s preaching at the people. We have had a lot of those already around and honestly it’s enough. Enough enough that Christians can hop in to church-to-church buildings of their choice, a ‘name’ of their choice, a ‘style’ of music their choice and without forcing themselves for discipline to change their lives. Enough enough also that non-Christians aren’t willing to go in and join us. And even if some of them wants we still have enough to welcome them. Sure.

But Church can be the real you with your spouse and children sitting together on a table and enjoy each others affection and yes, on a Sunday morning. Share God’s Word as you sit, eat, walk, and lay down (Duet 6:4-6).

Or it can be a skipping of a nice meal at your favorite restaurant and use the money to be a blessing to another family who is in need of food. Or, skip a good coffee to buy a widow’s medicine sometimes would give you a better release of headache or bitterness at someone.

Or like a young guy named Albert here who took a risk to lose not having his ‘personal’ devotion every morning in order to gain a widow next door. He reads and pray together with them. That’s more like ‘relational’ discipleship than ‘personal’ one. Or a couple of orphans here who took a risk to lose their coins last night and raised $24 in order to help some widows to receive what they need today.

“Love your neighbor” is the second greatest commandment which is the same as the first commandment. (NLT)

Church is what Jesus told us to do, for all that we do inside that church building wouldn’t make us a church God wants us to be until we get out and do something for our brethren. ‘If’ worship is singing on Sunday morning then what does it do to the other person?

Oh well.





A baptism and a dream…

1 09 2017

“Why Jesus says, ‘Seek first the kingdom’” I ask John, a conscious young man in his 20’s , “and didn’t say ‘Seek first the King’?”

Without hesitation he quickly reply “Because it is where the King is found.”
I was surprised how he got that revelation.
Of course, The King can be found in the people He rules. He cannot be found in the people who do not respect Him as King. The people who has no king lives a life of ‘doing what is right in their own eyes.’ Eats from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, not from the tree of life.
The King, Jesus, is found in the people where His laws are obeyed. His people is not lawless. The King has laws that govern His kingdom. Many Christians believed we only have to obey two laws: love God and neighbor. If you are Australian and you come to my country and I let you drive my car, but since your country is driving on the left side of the road you ought to obey your laws there here. So here you are, in my country, driving on the left side of the road, not for long you will hear people yelling at you “Right, right, right!” And you replied to them, “love your neighbor! love God! let me drive in the left side!” Simply two laws cannot run a country.
The Kingdom, is where His domain is. The people who live the kingdom life that when people who are outside the kingdom sees them, then they will know that they have a king. They are living not as kingless people. “They must a king” when they see them “because they are not living life as they want to live and to whom they want to please.
One night I have a dream and it is like watching a movie. That there are two kingdoms: one kingdom has a king but the other one has no king. The kingdom that has no king ‘knew’ well enough that their king is still coming to reign over them. And while their king is away, they have to behave as if they have a king. And so they live.
On the kingdom that has a king, knew this other kingless kingdom and thought how vulnerable the people are. This king has a brother and at the same time his adviser. “Why don’t we entice them? Let’s invite them for a game and if they lose we make a bargain?” The king was pleased with the idea, “And what is the bargain?” the king inquired. “That we rule over them!” The brother replied.
And so it happened, the kingless people accepted the offer. At the end of the day, they lose and so submitted themselves to another king to rule over them. In the dream, I saw a platform was set up for an inauguration: the transference of their loyalty from their king who went away for awhile to king of another kingdom. The king came with his army, and the executioner. Anyone who does not submit to the king, his head will be cut off in front of the king and the people.
As I saw this scenes in my dream from a rooftop, I was in a rooftop. There was a pole with a rope, I glide myself going down and ended my foot in front of the platform. “This is not your king.” I shouted at the top of my voice, “Your King is still coming! You know better than that. Do not submit yourselves to this King!”
In my dream, I saw myself rescuing people from the executioner. I actually killed two of the kings soldier and save a couple of people from them. And so as I spake of these words to the people I pointed my finger to a house where the people I’ve rescued saying, “Let’s join them!” But the people relied, “No, that house is burning with fire.” Implying in my dream means ‘full of the holy spirit.’
But the people refuses to go inside the house. My dream ended.
Christians have accepted the game that Satan wants us to play. It is called religion. The opium for religious people. At first, they should have not accepted the offer to gain whatever that ‘other’ king has promised. They should have had continue living the life of the kingdom, behaving as if the King is present with them in the spirit which gives life – to live the kingdom life. The Holy Spirit was not given to you to do religious work. It was given for Jesus to rule over you. So, as my friend Daniel Zeigler in his ‘not-for-sale’ book Right Here Right Now he says:  Any ‘church’ that isn’t based on each member having Jesus rule in their hearts as King is not the ekklesia we read about in the New Testament. In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter if you have the most informal, friendliest, least traditional life-style of any religious assemble on earth. If the kingdom of God isn’t within you, what you have isn’t the kingdom of God.
So begin asking God for it. And position yourself to be a part of it by submitting your own heart to His reign. Then call others to do the same.
And by the way, that young man John after hearing the gospel of the kingdom message was baptized the same day, that night at 8:30.




Make followers, not leaders

19 08 2017

We are commanded to ‘make followers’ not ‘train leaders.’ When Peter ask Jesus about being a ‘follower,’ what he’s got is a simple answer ‘You follow Me.’ (Jn.21:15-22).

‘Equipping’ is developing people learn how to serve, as in the command to ‘serve one another.’

‘Equipping the saints for the work of ministry.’ (Eph.4:12) ‘Ministry’ here is a bad translation. The original text used the word ‘service’ rather than ‘ministry.’ So, rather than asking ‘what is your ministry?’ that leads to ‘specialization’ of gifts and you answer ‘I’m a worship leader’ or ‘I’m doing kids ministry’ or ‘I’m a singer so I don’t do evangelism’ which it doesn’t really make sense in a biblical perspective. What does make sense is ‘how do you serve your brother? Did you washed dishes today? Have you brought food to the table of our widows? Did you buy milk for the orphans that we have? Feed and take care of Jesus’ sheep, that is.

The more we serve one another the more we deny ourselves, take up our cross daily. We are admonished: ‘let each of you look out not only for his own interest, but also for the interest of others.’ Phil.2:4.

So, are you a follower or a leader? Can’t be both or else you be called an ‘oxymoron.’ Sometimes I challenge those who loved to be called ‘leaders’: if Jesus commands is to make followers then you become a leader, who made you?





Make followers, not leaders

19 08 2017

We are commanded to ‘make followers’ not ‘train leaders.’ When Peter ask Jesus about being a ‘follower,’ what he’s got is a simple answer ‘You follow Me.’ (Jn.21:15-22).

‘Equipping’ is developing people learn how to serve, as in the command to ‘serve one another.’

‘Equipping the saints for the work of ministry.’ (Eph.4:12) ‘Ministry’ here is a bad translation. The original text used the word ‘service’ rather than ‘ministry.’ So, rather than asking ‘what is your ministry?’ that leads to ‘specialization’ of gifts and you answer ‘I’m a worship leader’ or ‘I’m doing kids ministry’ or ‘I’m a singer so I don’t do evangelism’ which it doesn’t really make sense in a biblical perspective. What does make sense is ‘how do you serve your brother? Did you washed dishes today? Have you brought food to the table of our widows? Did you buy milk for the orphans that we have? Feed and take care of Jesus’ sheep, that is.

The more we serve one another the more we deny ourselves, take up our cross daily. We are admonished: ‘let each of you look out not only for his own interest, but also for the interest of others.’ Phil.2:4.

So, are you a follower or a leader? Can’t be both or else you be called an ‘oxymoron.’ Sometimes I challenge those who loved to be called ‘leaders’: if Jesus commands is to make followers then you become a leader, who made you?





On worship…

31 07 2017

While driving Albert and I saw this church building in the highway "Modern New Testament Church" and I said to myself while Albert is listening "What? Is there such thing as 'modern' NT Church? How does that look like today?"

And Albert saw another wordings, (it is traffic anyway so we read it all what it says in the signboard), and he said, "That '10:15am to 11:15am praise and worship,' that is singing for an hour right?" He has no traditional baggage for 8 years now being a disciple.

I smiled moving my head left and right saying back "Worship is not singing Albert."

I compose praise and worship songs back when I was in traditional church for years. Here's a chorus lyrics:

We lift up our hands
We lift up our voices
Declaring the You are King in this place
We lift up our hearts
Lord pour out Your spirit
We're singing a song of praise
To seek Your face.

I then realize how stupid these lyrics could it be. Is this what we call worship? Lifting our hands and voices and sing how good great He is? Well, might be. Sounds biblical. And most of our song lyrics for worship are like this, right? Nothing wrong with it right? But what does it do to the other person?

The first word 'worship' appears when Abraham offered Isaac. He offered his dream, his future, his vision, he offered what gives him hope and excitement every morning. "Oh my son, you are God's promise to me have many many many children! Yes, I will become great!" But he willingly laid down at God's feet.

What is your 'Isaac?'

Are you willing to lay it down at Jesus' feet? I'm not asking you to sing. Please sing what you want. But are you willing to obey those words that comes out from your mouth?

Obedience is the highest form of worship.

Check out Romans 12, if offering our lives as living sacrifice is our reasonable worship then the question is 'how?' How to offer our lives as living sacrifice? By 'lifting our hands and voices' in singing? In John 4, the question of worship is not 'when' or 'where' but 'how?' The Samaritan woman ask the wrong question.

So how? Read the whole chapter. If whatever gift you have, use it to help your brothers and sisters in the Lord. If he or she is sad, then be sad "mourn to those who mourn". If he or she's happy, be happy "rejoice to those who rejoice." If you are suffering "be patient in tribulation." "If you're enemy is hungry? Give him food. Thirsty? Give him drink." And there's a lot of more to do with your brothers and sisters. Worship has something to do with your brethren. It has nothing to do with singing.

Singing is singing. Worship is worship. "Sing unto the Lord a new song." Sing, if it leads into worship it is acceptable. If it does not lead into worship, it is still acceptable. Unlike so many Christians in their churches that when the singing is good they say "oh the worship is great." But if the singing is bad, they say "our worship today isn't good."

My friend, we are so good at worshiping Jesus but not so good at obeying Him. We are great singers but not great followers.





Daily Meetings

26 07 2017

There is another kind of 'church meeting.' It's Hebrews 10:24-25. It's a kind of meeting that came out of relationship. It is the by-product of our relationships.

It's guilt-free. "Is Monday night fine with you?" A brother ask.

"No. Tuesday would be fine" was the response.

"Ok. See you then." That's it.

Not based on schedule or routine. "We should always meet on Wednesday night at 7pm." And if we could not for some reason then we cancel it and do it next week, same day and time and place.

Not based on program, "Our topic tonight is about Grace….next week is Love." But our God-life itself becomes the topic. "You know I read something this morning,…and it makes me think…" someone might share.

"A brother talk to me about what I did is wrong" another sister opened up, "and it help me see myself how selfish I am…"

"You know what, earlier today as I went walking to the market I almost hit by a car," one exclaimed, "but thank God it didn't hit me at all." A testimony, but you know it's not the 'religious way' like "I want to thank God that I almost hit by a car,…(put up a smiley face with a little bit of reluctance to speak because you have to find the right words and phrase and yes religious terms) praise the Lord, I want to give all the glory to Him." The person cannot normally speak.

"I had a vivid dream last night,…" a single mother said, "what do you think is the meaning?"

"The saints in our community just sent some help to another group of saints in another city" another brother shared, "they help a widow sister there to have her own room. And they needed more help."

"Where can we send something? We want to help" said a couple who's doing some business.

Sounds familiar?

It may not be because we have not realizes it or value it as 'spiritual life' because Christianity for us is not 'living'. This is a relationship-based meetings, not meeting-based relationship. When we truly know each other and have become family to each other then our relationship is not 'maintained' by meetings.

When I went to India and a friend pick me up with his car full of saints. "Molong, tell me" he ask "are we church? Right now, this car is full of Christians."

To be safe I said "I'm not sure. Maybe?"

"No." He said straight "because we just knew each other. We do not have relationship with with each other."

Church is about relationships. Many churches have people yet lack relationships. Church is not just because you have relationships with the people there but because you also serve one another. Many churches have people and relationships but does not serve one another.