We Are the Church and Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #21

We have been on a fantastic journey over the past couple of weeks. What has made this great is the conversation that has been swirling through the comments. I hope you know that if you leave comments here, they are not overlooked. You matter to me and so do our conversations. I love that I am getting to know you and your hearts. If you comment, will you do me a favor, will you come back, and check my response. If you have anything to add, please do. This is not meant to be one-sided where I post and you read. 

Friends, The Battle Ground and 3 Tips To Finding a Church to Call Home leads us into this week's post. These last two weeks have evolved into more than expected. I am writing in response to comments in a way that is intended to be healing and for the purposes of making us all stronger as a whole.

I started this blog to encourage the body of Christ. As believers, we are the body. We as the body are to be edifying, which means to build up and make stronger. I started Sitting Among Friends because I love to be able to sit down with you and have meaningful and biblical conversations, such as this.

I want to clarify two terms and I will try to be careful not use the two interchangeably. The word church as in the meeting and assembling of God's people and The Church, which is the body of Christ as a whole, Christ being the head.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15

I grew up going to church. I have seen many things, both good and honestly, bad, but I love church. Attending church and having fellowship with other believers is vital. We were not intended on going through life and our journey alone.

If we look at the ministry of Jesus, as soon as he began, he started gathering people, his disciples, and they journeyed together.

Let's be honest, did Christ need them to do His work? Does He need us to do His work now? Christ can accomplish His purposes with or without us. He wants us to be a part of it. So, in the gathering of the people, the assembling of His disciples (both then and now) shows us, He wants this to be a journey where we are in fellowship and in communion together.

One comment I received from a gentleman was stating that it does not say in the Bible that we are to attend church. I believe there is a large and growing population of people that would consider themselves Christians or believers and feel the same way.

I would like to address these thoughts beginning with these verses from 
Hebrews 10:24-25 which says Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing to a near. 

In or out of a church building, we are The Church. I understand the thinking that the church is not a building, it is a people. That is true. However, this does mean because we are everywhere we forsake or neglect meeting and assembling together. 

It also does not mean we have the option to excuse parts of the Bible because we are angry, upset, hurt, belittled, or any other thing that someone has hurled upon our hearts. 

Friends, God is a mighty healer, He is the God of all comfort, He is the Prince of Peace. If you feel any of these things apply to your story, you need to bend a knee to Him today. You need to straighten out the hurt and the anguish you have been carrying. It is making your load way too heavy.

This does not alleviate the problems that go on in churches. If we could, however, shift our thinking to align with God's purposes for us in the assembly, which is to worship Him together. If we were able to see that the things of this world are temporary and that sometimes includes our gathering place. We need to focus on the things that are truly eternal then we would have one focus and be of one mind and purpose. 

Therefore, if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, then make my joy complete by being of one mind, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose. Philippians 2:1-2 BSB

This like-mindedness needs to stay in context of the verse. It does not mean we need to be exactly the same. Have the same haircuts. Wear the same clothes. Like the same style of worship music and want the chairs in the church to be the same color. 

This verse means we need to have the same purpose in bringing Glory to God, for HIS name's sake. We need to have the same heavenward focus. Being people of kindness, compassion and showing humility to one another and not esteeming ourselves over one another. We need to love each other enough to care for the salvation and maturity of their faith. We need to see that they, too, are made in the image of our Creator. When we do these things, then our joy may be complete, and we can have a united front, standing strong together. 

If you have walked away from a church, make sure you have not also walked away from God. If you feel this is the case, brothers and sisters in Christ, He is waiting with open arms to receive you back.

If you have not been to church in a while, as a believer, you are part of the body, and we need you. We need you to help make us strong. We need to be united. We need the gifts and talents God has given you and equipped you with to serve Him. 

Don't wait another week. Don't give another excuse. Give it all to God and let Him handle the details. Be a willing obedient heart. And you give Him an open door to do the work He needs to complete in you. 

I know this is hard and may not seem like an answer. I understand, I have been there. Healing seems to take time. It seems to be a process. It can also be something we just relinquish. We don’t have to be in bondage to those thoughts and feelings. If the Son of Man sets us free we are free indeed. We need to be living in that freedom.

Friends, join me in prayer for the Body of Christ, for the millions of broken unrestored relationships, for those who want to draw near to God but don't know where to begin and for those whose worship needs to be healed. For churches around the world to have a Christ-centered focus and for the love of Christ to shine through all that we do.



Friends, if you would like to further this conversation, you can contact me through email (located at the bottom of this page). I am willing to pray with you and do what I can to encourage you. If you are part of the body of Christ, please give an encouraging word below to help others heal and grow. I do appreciate all that you do for this community. Have a wonderful week! 


While you're here, sit down with some of my friends. 

Wow! Last week had 102 posts. I am so glad you all are here. Please remember to visit other friends while you are posting.

They are amazing writers with so many great stories to share with you. Just clink on a link below and you will go directly to their site where you can get to know them more. 

Please, linkup (up to 3) of your family-friendly inspiring stories, recipes, DIY, homeschool, giveaways, or share your life's greatest passions. 

Friends are here to encourage and challenge us in our walk of life, so enjoy!

Thank you for posting and linking up. I try to read and comment on as many of these wonderful posts as I can and as time allows. I just want to say you are all doing wonderful work and praise the Lord that I have had the opportunity to come across the path of so many of you. 

This party has been fantastic and it is thanks to all of you who stop by and Share this party with your friends. Together we can make this our great place. There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you linkup. 


               Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends 





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39 comments :

  1. Great post. Enjoying your series on the church and thank you for hosting.

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    1. My original post just lead me across this path. I saw the great hurt and wanted to address so things that not only I have gone through and seen but offer Christ as the focus of our worship and not the people worshiping. Thanks for stopping by, Michelle.

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  2. Thank you Jaime for hosting such a lovely party each week, so many new blogs.
    Hope you have a wonderful day! Tweeted

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    1. Karren, so glad that you stop by every week. I am glad that we have connected. I love visiting you space and learning from someone that has great experience. Thank you also for sharing. Have a great week!

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  3. Great post, Jaime. I often wonder if we have gotten so caught up in our personal feelings and preferences we've forgotten that love reaches out. Love does. I'm joining you in praying for healing and for reaching out in love to restore and grow as one.

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    1. Thank you for joining us in prayer. We all need to be lifting up the body as a whole and like you said we sometimes get our personal feelings ahead of us and then we break worship with the One whom we are to be worshiping. Thanks for sharing your insights, Deb!

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  4. Jaime, He is more than enough! Thank you for the linkup opportunity!

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    1. Praise the Lord! He is more that enough. I often feel like I have not done my part to hold Him in His place of Glory. My grandma always quickly reminds me that I don't hold Him up He does that on His own. I am to remember that He is more than Enough. Glad you are here, Susan!

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  5. Nice prayer. I like it. Thanks for sharing it. I saved it.

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    1. Patrick, You have been on my prayer list. I thank you for your honesty in previous comments. Prayer for God to heal your heart from the hurt you have had in church. Praying for Him to move you to a place that has good and healthy worship where you are loved for who He created you to be. He truly loves you, regardless of what you have faced. I want you to know that is the truth. Many blessings, friend!

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  6. a timely word, Jaime. it's easy to stop the habit - we don't worship the habit, but holy habits lead us to worship. i love that hebrews passage (have started a series of sorts w/ the red le cruseut pot - let us stir up one another to love and good works. how easily we slide when we don't have others to stir up our pots - yes? yes. thank you for hosting, as well. sue

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    1. Beautifully said. I have a friend that I love and she said she doesn't go to church because she is out of the habit. God does want us to make Him a habit. He wants a relationship. A way to foster that relationship is with one another. So glad you always come by with your inspiration. Have a great week.

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  7. Your post made me think that we can be on different tracks; but headed to the same goal. Praise HIS Name!

    Thank you kindly for this warm and welcoming community! I'm new here and meeting so many wonderful bloggers. Bless you!

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    1. Lora, I am glad you are here. I have just connected with you on a couple of your sites. I love connecting with the people here. It is a wonderful community and it is because it is an amazing opportunity to build each other up and sit down together (I don't mean that in any promotional way, I truly believe it.) and just love on Jesus. He is the tie that binds. You are right God has made us all so different. He has given us different gifts, skills, talents, and passions. How amazing it is to celebrate that in each other. Thanks for sharing with us today.

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  8. As always, your post is spot on. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Shelly. Connecting on Google+ today. Glad you are here and being a part of this community.

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  9. This is so true! And, I used to feel the same way. I said to myself, "If the church is full of people like the world, why would I want to go there?" I'm so glad that God got ahold of me.

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    1. Tammy, your feelings were not unrealistic. Truly, if they are like the rest of the world who wants to be there. We are to be set apart. One way to show that is by the Love of Christ flowing from our hearts. I am glad that God got a hold of you. I love that He is in pursuit of our hearts. He is pretty Awesome that way. Glad you are here, Tammy.

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  10. Well said, my friend. Thank you for your encouragement each week. You are a blessing! Hope you have an awesome week and thanks for hosting :)

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    1. Kelly, so glad that we have had the opportunity to connect here. You have given me great advice and been such so generous with sharing your insight. Thank you for the encouragement and happy as always to see your work each week.

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    2. Likewise, my friend! Thanks for stopping by to share with #SocialButterflySunday! We were neighbors today at Mommy Monday at Squishable Baby! Hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  11. Oh, Jaime, I love your heart for God and His people. I know many people can become disillusioned by the imperfections of 'church'. I've been there. But I always remember Jesus' prayer for us... that we will all be one in Him and 'be united in spirit and purpose'. No, we are not perfect, but together we represent the body of Christ and the fellowship of worshipping together, growing together and learning together can be so sweet... a little foretaste of heaven. I pray that we would never lose sight of God's heart for us and that we may continually encourage each other as long as it is called today.

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    1. Thank you so much, Carlie. Tome it is a privilege to meet you here and be able to gather around and share conversations and worship with you. You are right. We expect the church to be full of things and people that always behave in appropriate manners. Yet they are full of people like us. That should be enough to allow for the imperfections and offer forgiveness so we can move on to more mature relationships in Christ. Thank you so much for being here today!

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth for the encouragement! So glad you are sharing with us here.

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  13. I love this post! My husband and I just had a conversation about this on our way to church on Sunday. So many people today feel like they don't need to be in church. I feel like fellowship and having someone to encourage, as well as being encouraging to others is very significant in our walk with Jesus. Yes, we are the church, and the building has nothing to do with it, but we can be so much more by joining other believers and letting our voices be heard. :) I am visiting from #livefreeThursday spot 53 this week! :)

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    1. You are right. We can meet in a park, in a house, at a coffee shop. We need to be assembling together. There are parts of the world where people cannot meet in public yet they seek opportunity to unite as a church. We have the opportunity to meet in beautiful fully equipped building and yet we abandon worship altogether because of sometimes really petty things, style of music, way to dress, He said, She said. We have too often lost our focus. Thank you so much for sharing with us today. I am glad you are here.

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  14. I'm thankful for my church. It helps keep me anchored during these difficult days. :)

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    1. I am really glad to hear that, Lyli. I am in a church that I truly appreciate. I appreciate the fellowship and the unity around the Word of God and the persistence of the Pastoral Staff to preach the Word of God and stand behind it. Glad you are here this week.

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  15. I appreciate your thoughts on this subject. Being wounded by other believers truly can leave the biggest scars, and it is hard to trust once you have been hurt so deeply. You just don't expect those who profess to love Jesus to end up doing things to hinder you rather than help you in your spiritual walk. It is a touchy subject that is very raw for many people, and truly we all need God's healing to press on. Also, wanted to let you know we are hosting a lovely, little spring giveaway, in case you are interested in stopping by to enter! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Cheryl. You are right. It can leave a big scar and one that wounds us deeply. Fortunately with Christ He is in the business of restoration and healing. If we allow Him to lead and guide us, He is always willing. I stopped by your site and thank you for the giveaway. I shared it. Hope you have some more entries.

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  16. I pray that we as God's people would have the kind of unity He wants for us, that our purpose would be to give God glory and point others to Him. May He comfort those who have been hurt by a church and lead them to a loving congregation. May we all reach out in love so the world will see Christians united in Christ. Blessings to you, Jamie. I'm your neighbor at #WordofGodSpeak!

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  17. Thank you so much, Gayl for that encouragement. Thank you for lifting the body up in prayer and unity. Truly may the world see us united in love, kindness and compassion for one another. Glad you are here today sharing this with us.

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  18. Jaime, love this post!! I agree, yes we are The Church... that doesn't excuse us from going to church! I feel like there is so much healing that takes place when we come together and worship and learn corporately that we do not experience alone. If there was no power and nothing special about the gathering together of believers in a corporate setting, the enemy wouldn't work so hard to provide opportunities to be offended in the "church" (little c). There are so many opportunities to get offended by someone or be hurt by someone in church. But we can't throw the baby out with the bathwater! That's what the enemy wants us to do. To give up on the local church. The problem is the local church is the hope for this world! Who responds when disasters strike? In our area, it's always the local church. I don't think its that much different everywhere else. I agree with you in prayer for healing for those who have been hurt or wounded and that God would give them eyes to see past the hurt and see Him in their situations.

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Alissa. If there was no power and nothing special about the local church the devil and all his forces wouldn't be working so hard at trying to attack it. The local church is often responding to calls when disaster strikes and what does the world see when we are in these situations, animosity or who has the best this or that idea or a united group of God-loving people. Thank you so much for adding to this conversation. Have a wonderful week.

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  19. This read is even better than the first time around, Jaime! Great words on a challenging subject. Your return letter from me left my house today! Delighted to be your neighbor today at the Linkup at Create with Joy.

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    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Pam. I am looking forward to reading your mail. I am going to read you letter again and get a new one sent out by the end of the week. Glad we are neighbors all over the blogoshpere!

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  20. I think this is a great post. so often, people think that a church is supposed to be perfect, but that's an unrealistic expectation. Since it's made up of people who have flaws and faults, it will always have issues, but that doesn't mean that we get a pass on being a part of what God is doing through local bodies of believers that He has called together. We just need to do as Ephesians 4 says and be compassionate and forgiving, just as Christ has done for each of us.

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  21. Jesus often went to "church;" The Tabernacle or temple. The disciples met often to encourage one another and to sign hymns and prophesy over each other. And the verse that tells us not to neglect assembling together should let us know we should attend church (the building) at least once a week. I too know the "church" (people) are not perfect, but that is why we go to "church," (building) Some meet in homes, and that is okay for certain situations, but do not forget the assembly. Thanks for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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Thank You, Lord, for deciding who I am!

Seek Him First! Today's Bible Reading

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is of utmost importance that you know that Christ died for you. He died for all sinners so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Because of His sacrifice on the cross we can have peace. Are you seeking more peace today? Peace of the soul can only be given through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you, too, know the saving grace of an amazing God.
If you have questions about how to know more you can email me at youresewtrendy@gmail.com

2 Timothy 1:7

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