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Genesis 50:1 - Exodus 2:10

All day I couldn’t get out of my mind what would it have felt like to grow up in a country that you are a stranger in? Even though you were born there and possibly died there, you were still a stranger in the land... Clustered in a designated part of the country, you keep your customs, your language and your belief system. Yes, a few might venture off into the other part of the land and may even assimilate into the predominant culture, but most are grouped together within the same community unchanged for hundreds of years. Imagine being a stranger in the land of your birth. Imagine having to be removed from your promise in order to maintain your identity to receive that promise.

Israel/Jacob is called the church in the wilderness (Acts 7:38), the called out ones, the ek-klay-see'-ah. The church was called out to be in the world but not of or apart of the world.

What happened to Israel back in the day, is what we are experiencing in this day. We are the called ones, the ones given the promise yet separated from that promise while we mature in becoming Christ like. We are strangers in a strange land given a mandate to separate, not isolated, from the world. While strangers in a strange land we are to be to those we live amongst, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a chosen people (1 Peter 2:9).

The pressure and resentment those who are born in a country where they are estranged, “aliens,” to assimilate is undeniably strong. Just think of how nuts people who live in the United States get when they think that a group of people are not becoming “American” enough for their taste. We cry out for closed borders, we demand that these immigrants/aliens get on board, learn the language, and stop consuming “our government programs,” without contributing anything to society and the tax roles. Think about it, that more than likely was spewed out on Israel while she grew to be a mighty number in Egypt. Do you think they might have had a “Egyptian” only cry when creating directional signs and such like?

The same pressures exerted on Israel to confirm, the same pressure we in the United States exert on the foreign born, even when they are born here to confirm is the same pressure Believers are met with while trying to keep on the path God has predestined all those that call on His name to walk.

Israel, the church in the wilderness: what things can we learn from her, what “type” and “shadow” can we find in her that we can relate to the messed up churches we find ourselves attending?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

I had a friend years ago who said that he believe in Jesus. But when asked what church he attended he said none. He said that he did not trust any man in teaching God's word . That we believers are the church . I agree with him in part saying that yes we are the church not a building. But I quickly added saying that we go to a place, a building , something to where as believers we can come together to meet in worship, prayer and in listening to God's word by a man that God Himself has anointed to feed that flock of His at that place wherever that may be. He said that he doesn't trust any man to do that so he does it by himself. So my next question was "So how often you get into the word on your own"??? He couldn't answer me!!!!
I lost contact with him years ago. I don't know if he feels that same way as he did. But as for me I look my church because it is not a man's church but GOD'S church. God has given a Shepard to led His church to Jesus. I pray that each day I can get into God's word and learn more about the One and Only True and Living God. That is where our Pastor comes into the picture. But not only him but also people like yourself, Mike, that God has also anointed to show us His word in a way we can understand easily. Thanks for that.

I was thinking about church this past week and even though there are a lot of things I don't like about (it), the one thing that struck me most is that in the world today there are so few church going Christians. There is real value in knowing the people you share your morals, virtues, beliefs with are all on the same page. Christianity is messy and wasn't meant to be easy but if we can learn to humble ourselves and see Christ in the midst of it all - we have Church.

I believe in the church. I gave my heart to God while attending church one Sunday, some thirty years ago. I t was where I first felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. The church is the place where I receive encouragement, strength, and most important the Word of God. Singing, praise and worship, and prayer. I would have a difficult time living the Christian life without the support of my church and my pastor. Attending church on a regular basis is essential in order to walk closer with Jesus and know his will for your life.

I do personally go to church regularly, this has been the best experience ever. To those not going to church-you don't know what you are missing. our church is non-denominational -come as you are, this aint no fashion show--fruit springs forth and you are set free. be blessed!

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