2013 GLCC 17th ANNIVERSARY SERIES I. INTRO II. WHAT EVERY CHURCH SHOULD ASPIRE TO BE: HEALTHY III. THE BIBLICAL SIGNS 1. THE CLEAR UNCOMPROMISING EXPOSITIONAL PREACHING OF GOD’S WORD 2. SOUND BIBLICAL THEOLOGY 3. A BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE GOOD NEWS 4. IMPACTING BIBLICAL WORSHIP 5. FERVENT HEARTFELT PRAYER LIFE Jn 15:4-5 ~ 1Thes 5:17 Andrew Murray: “Christ meant prayer to be the great power by which his church should do its work, and that the neglect of prayer is the great reason the church lacks greater power over the masses in Christian and heathen countries. The power of the church to bless rests on intercession – asking and receiving heavenly gifts to carry to men. It is through intercession that we bring down power from heaven to do the work of God on earth. When due to lack of teaching or spiritual insight, we trust in our own diligence and effort to influence the world and the flesh, and work more than we pray, the presence and power of God are not seen in our work as we would wish.” Prayer must penetrate every aspect of our church. ~ The bottom line is if you have a church that does not pray or only gives lip service to it, you will not grow as a church. True growth is not in numbers. ~ It is seen in the deepening of devotion and love for Christ, in the deepening of commitment to His service and obedience to His will. ~ It is seen in becoming more and more conformed to His likeness. ~ Then numbers usually follow. ~ Prayer is like a catalyst in producing all this. 6. PASSION FOR THE LORD If there is anyone in Scripture who was passionate for Christ, it has to be Paul. ~ Phil 3:7-11 Think about it: how many passionate Christians do you know? ~ We have become compliant and settled in the church at large. ~ WE MUST HAVE HEARTS THAT CRY OUT FOR CLOSENESS AND AT THE SAME TIME “FEAR” OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. There is a difference between just being spiritual and being passionate. ~ Being spiritual is the acknowledgement of who we are before a Holy God – this is fundamental. ~ Being passionate is taking that spirituality and being joyful with it. Yes, suffering and bad things will happen, but the theme for our emotions and worship and interactions with others must be a clear sense of who we are in Christ, and then allowing that “sense” to flow. WE MUST BE WILLING AS A CHURCH TO NOT ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE OUR FAITH BUT LIVE IT WITH ENTHUSIASM. THIS PASSION FOR THE LORD MUST ALSO BE SEEN IN OUR PASSION FOR HIS WORD AND TRUTH – PASSION TO LEARN IT, TO SHARE IT, TO LIVE IT AND TO PROTECT IT.