April 15, 2020



Touching a Touch-Free World

What does social distancing mean for a God and His people that are all about intimacy? I feel like we’re Christians in the desert trying to figure out water baptism. How do we immerse (completely soak and saturate) people with water in a place where there is no water or a place where water isn’t even permitted? Perhaps it is in these places that water baptism becomes even more significant and meaningful. So how about touch in a touch-free world?

Do you know that touch is actually listed in the six core elements of our basic, foundational belief system? Yesterday I produced a video teaching on this very subject and I encourage you to watch it. The link is below. But if we believe what scripture says (as every follower of Jesus does), then we have to figure out how to obediently understand and apply these basic elementary principles of Christ to our lives.

In our current season of social distancing and lockdowns, how do we apply the “laying on of hands”. The easy answer is that we should practice with those that are in our household, but that disregards people who live by themselves. I think the Holy Spirit is challenging us to be intentional about seeking His guidance, listening to His directions, and obeying in faith. That doesn’t mean that we should all completely disregard the mandatory social rules. It means that we need to be listening and looking. The responsibility of hearing rightly demands greater intimacy with God. The Spirit of God is immeasurably innovative and creative, and His timing is impeccable.

As I meditated on this, the following words came to mind: “This is a wind-up.” In baseball, the wind-up is the motions of a pitcher immediately before delivering the ball, in which he takes a step back, lifts his hands over his head, and steps forward. Now is the important moment of positioning and moving ourselves so that when the ball is released, it flies accurately and effectively. When this lockdown comes to an end, people are going to be starved for the powerful, life-giving, loving, compassionate, and liberating touch of God. How are you and I taking the wind-up seriously? Are we studying and practicing? Are we building our faith? Are we spiritually revving our engines in anticipation of the green light? As we wait for the walls to come down, are we growing in the power of the Holy Spirit and anticipating touching others as conduits of the grace of God? And regarding the leaders of the church, are we fasting and praying for the Holy Spirit to reveal who we will lay hands on and commission to the many new ministry opportunities that are about to open up?

Let’s get ready together!

Matt Neese

Building Blocks 5 - Laying on of Hands title.001

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO. In this lesson we’re focusing on the rudimentary instruction of laying on of hands. This is one of those very few statements that if you look it up in any of our popular translations and versions, the words are the same — “laying on of hands”. Why is that? Because the phrase “laying on of hands” means exactly what it says. This is an act in which a person places his or her hands upon another person with some definite spiritual purpose. Normally this act is accompanied by prayer and/or by prophetic words. One of the important, foundational doctrines of Christianity is the physical action of putting our hands on someone, making a faith motivated physical contact with another person.

Easter 2020 slides.001

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO. As part of our celebration of Easter this past Sunday, we had a presentation of art and poetry. The above video is a compilation of those submissions. Thank you to all of you who participated. I was incredibly moved by the creativity of our Christ-glorifying art. Also, if you watch the video, you’ll see that the last two slides are a witty salute to our very present world situation. I love the humor of our spiritual family!

daily reading.001

  • 4/15 Leviticus 16, Psalms 106, I Kings 2, Luke 15:1-10
  • 4/16 Leviticus 17, Psalms 107, I Kings 3, Luke 15:11-32
  • 4/17 Leviticus 18, Psalms 108, I Kings 4, Luke 16:1-18
  • 4/18 Leviticus 19, Psalms 109, I Kings 5, Luke 16:19-31
  • 4/19 Leviticus 20, Psalms 110, I Kings 6, Luke 17:1-19
  • 4/20 Leviticus 21, Psalms 111, I Kings 7, Luke 17:20-37
  • 4/21 Leviticus 22, Psalms 112, I Kings 8, Luke 18:1-17
  • 4/22 Leviticus 23, Psalms 113, I Kings 9, Luke 18:18-43

Follow our Facebook page to see daily refections from the reading each morning. We’re always happy to hear your thoughts and responses, so please don’t hesitate to email or comment on the Facebook posts.

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