October 2, 2019

Wellspring is a Jesus-focused spiritual family committed to a culture of encouragement, freedom, and growth.

Jesus as Head of the church, Lord of our lives, and King of everything is the one and only person that we look at to truly see God. He said that when we see Him we see the Father, and our number one desire is deeper and deeper intimacy with our Father God and the brothers and sisters He’s given us. Our family room culture is based on Jesus’ interaction with His disciples and their commitment to continual, communal encouragement, freedom, and growth.

On Sunday I want to go begin a conversation about the religious spirit in the world and the “irreligious” Spirit of Christ. When we’re operating in a religious spirit, we have a really hard time with the real Jesus. He wouldn’t and doesn’t play by our established rules of control and transaction. In fact, He shakes up those models and thinking processes and replaces them with radical statements like, “Love one another!” That’s why the hippy movement gravitated towards an authentic Christ in what became the Jesus Movement, and that’s why people today will gravitate towards Christ when we truly portray Him as the church.

Each day after I pray for the members of our Wellspring family, I text them a scripture and a word of encouragement for the day that comes out of my conversation with God. Yesterday, I sent everyone the following scripture and thoughts:

“So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” — Acts 15:10-11 NLT

When we have a religious spirit, we walk around with chains on and demand others to wear the same chains. We’re stooped over under a burden of “self-righteousness”, a burden shown over and over again throughout history as unbearable. Yet our salvation is an undeserved gift of Jesus Christ. He paid 100% of the necessary price without any assistance from us, and He willingly and freely offers this as a gift to us. We either receive it as the free gift it is or not at all. A wicked sorcerer wanted to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 8, and Peter responded, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought!” Our religious acts are a form of the same thing — buying what God already paid for and offers freely; and I believe God’s response to religion is very similar to Peter’s response. Today let’s be intentional about turning away from all of our dead works, turning in faith towards our Father God, and joyfully and thankfully receiving the gifts He’s lovingly offering us. What a good Father we have!

On another note, we have youth meeting tonight at the Nothrops’ house at 7pm. Please be praying for us. I will be sharing part of my testimony, and y’all that know me also know that my story is pretty colorful. I plan to be honest about my early experiences and how they effected me and led to a lot of bondage until I came to a place of receiving the grace and gift of God’s love through Jesus Christ. If you’re a parent and you’re uncomfortable with your young adult talking in a safe Holy Spirit setting about issues they’re already talking about, facing, and experiencing in media and in their lives with people other than you… you may want to keep your “woman or man” child home. [Yes, I say that with a thick layer of sarcasm.] Honestly, my testimony, like many of yours, is only a story of brokenness and need coming into a miraculous encounter with the supernatural love of God. God is SOOOOOO GOOD!!!

May God fill you completely with joy and peace!

Matt Neese

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