Yes, I know that’s not the standard spelling for ‘through‘. The more you hang out with me, you’ll discover that pretty much everything about me is not necessarily a standard approach.
I love God, I love His word. God encountered me as a young child, introducing Himself to me as The Word. This founded my relationship with Jesus on the foundation of the Word of God being a living person.
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14 NLT
The person, Jesus, talked to me about Himself. As I learned how to read, I discovered that what Jesus told me about Himself was actually written in the bible. Yeah, I know, not the standard approach. But it was mine.
Ever since that initial encounter, my life as been a series of God experiences thru which God revealed Himself to me afterward I would discover those truths in the scriptures. As a result, when I think of the Word of God, my first thought is Jesus, the Living Word. The written scripture is always secondary. I don’t search the scriptures and then try to find God. God found me; revealed Himself to me and then pointed me to the written document we know as the Bible. I don’t have a relationship with a book. I have a relationship with Jesus, the living and active word of God.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12 NLT
I have almost always been involved in some kind of prayer group or home gathering. I have served in various church and para-church ministries. After many years of serving the Lord in a structured church setting the Holy Spirit led me out of, what I refer to as, the church structure.
I have a heart for the people of God. What I don’t love is a religious system which demands service in an effort to keep the system intact at the expense of the joy and freedom of the people within that system. Jesus builds the ekklesia. (Ekklesia – what is translated as church refers to the assembly of people not a physical structure) As believers we co-labor with Christ to build up people.
Jesus spoke these words to Peter (Mt. 16:18) “…I will build my church [ekklesia] , and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
In the above verse the Greek word translated build is oikodomeó: meaning to erect a building, build; used figuratively of the building up of character, build up, edify, and encourage. This word is used as to ‘build someone up,’ helping them to stand.
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Romans 14:19
According to Ephesians 4:11-12 the five fold gifts of Christ to the ekklesia (church) are called to, equip the body of Christ to do the works of service. Those works involve ministry to people, not a system. The system is intended to support the people not the other way around. My greatest thrill is to see people set free to be who God has created them to be and fulfill their divine destiny in Christ.
And he has appointed some with grace to be apostles, and some with grace to be prophets, and some with grace to be evangelists, and some with grace to be pastors,and some with grace to be teachers. And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ. These grace ministries will function until we all attain oneness in the faith, until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God, and finally we become one perfect man with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed in the abundance of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 TPT
The focus and intention of Living Thru and Beyond is to nurture and facilitate the preparation of the saints and build up the body of Christ to do their own work of service unto God. (see: Eph. 4:12 & 13) Living Thru and Beyond is based in the concept that each believer is a living Tabernacle, the dwelling place of God in the earth. (As taught by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians)
Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and the Spirit of God dwells in you? – 1 Cor. 3:16
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; – 1 Cor. 6:19
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. – 2 Cor. 6:16
These interconnected and interdependent subjects collectively weave a vivid tapestry portraying God’s plan of redemption, while building a foundation of the finished work of the cross and establishing the believer as seated with Christ in heavenly places.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, Eph. 2:6
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life. Eph. 2:10
For his “body” has been formed in his image and is closely joined together and constantly connected as one. And every member has been given divine gifts to contribute to the growth of all; and as these gifts operate effectively throughout the whole body, we are built up and made perfect in love. Ephesians 4:16 TPT
I pray that thru the ministry of Living Thru and Beyond you are blessed. May the Holy Spirit breathe invigorating life into your spirit and soul.