Belong – Believe – Become

Culture is defined as the unwritten rules of behaviour within any social group. We use basic terms such as language, custom, food, dress, religion and festivals to best understand culture. It is the way we see things and naturally behave without giving it much thought, in common with others of our group.

Every community has culture whether or not the people in that community realise it, and what is of immense importance is that it can be good and life giving or the culture may be one that’s negative and toxic.

7798613_origAs part of the Church of the Lord Jesus, we also have a culture that’s borne from the Word of God and the influence of the Holy Spirit but is also not independent of the behaviours, attitudes and mannerisms of the people in the Church. To a large extent we determine the spiritual and social barometer of the Church as the Holy Spirit and the Word works within the lives of individual saints.

The early Church in the Book of Acts stands as an indelible model of Apostolic culture today that was both dynamic, bold, passionate and transformative. This is what we must strive to emulate in order to have an atmosphere of a revival and life giving culture. The very first characteristic is the unity of the Church. Acts 2:1 tells us that, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”

Unity is the keystone feature in any thriving culture and in the Church. It is brought about by the love of Christ in our hearts for one another; producing an environment of acceptance and non-judgemental attitudes towards those in our church and all who come in. Though culture is often natural and unwritten, we can however build and change our culture intentionally to where people are welcomed with love and celebration as part of our family. In the process, souls are added to the Kingdom of God. The old paradigm of ‘Believe, Become then Belong’ must give way to a culture of:

Belong – Believe – Become

Acts chapter 2 began with Unity and it ends with these words:

“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47 NKJV

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.

Everything Matters

Upon first glance, and a surface read of the book of Ecclesiastes, we are immediately struck by a foreboding and pessimistic perspective of the author about the weary futility and utter meaninglessness of life on earth. The repetitive qualities of nature, history and our human existence itself underscores a depressing outlook that we can neither refute or honestly deny.

52482What this deep consideration does ultimately give rise to however, is that life without God is utterly meaningless. The good news is that we can live for God, and with God, in the richness of a real and dynamic relationship of faith with our heavenly Father.

As the Righteous Judge; morally perfect and upright in all his adjudication, He brings meaning to every aspect of our lives. The mundane, day to day activities, our behaviour, and the decisions that we make all have meaning. His presence and abundant life that He gifts to us fills us with true joy and purpose. The fact that our actions and words have eternal consequences, and thereby ultimate meaning, brings us the joy of the Lord that becomes our strength.

Ecc 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.