Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9 and Part 10.
Have you ever been someplace that seemed to fit you to a tee? Maybe it didn’t have a five-star rating, but you didn’t care because it felt good just being there.
Well, that’s the way I felt about the little home church I attended after leaving the prison with a steeple on the roof.
The husband and wife leaders, Marion and Morris, were loving people who cared about others. They had no ambitious agenda outside of evangelizing their working class neighborhood and advancing the kingdom of God.
The main emphasis for the home church was reaching neighborhood children and teens; many of whom had learning disabilities with IQ’s at the five and six year-old level.
Looking back, I can still remember the first night I attended the home church. It was a Thursday evening Halloween party of sorts with treats and drinks. But two memorable things occurred on that evening.
First, a thirteen year-old girl asked for prayer. Why she did, I don’t remember anymore, but she was new to the group. Four of the learning disability kids (fifteen to nineteen years of age) gathered around her and prayed.
And to be honest, they were the absolute worst prayers I have ever heard. One said, “Do this.” Another said, “Do that.” A third said, “Try this.” And a fourth said, “Try that.”
Listening to them, my head almost spun around in circles. But guess what? The girl was set free of her problems, and then she gave her life to the Lord.
Secondly, a seven year old boy walked up to Marion. “I feel terrible,” he said.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, touching his head.
“I feel icky,” he replied.
In the next instant, she explained the good news about Jesus. He wept and nodded his head. They bowed on their knees together and he gave his life to the Lord. He was so excited about his Savior!
Unusual events? Not really. This happened every week I was there and had been going on for fifteen or twenty years before I arrived. Many of the same children’s parents had given their lives to Jesus in that same home church.
Now, not all of the neighbors totally approved of Marion and Morris’ brand of evangelistic Christianity. But each knew if they had problems, the couple would stop by with food, money and prayers, asking nothing in return.
But most of all, what I received from this home church was a revelation of God’s grace. A revelation so deep that it has carried me through every trial and problem since that time.
I would like to ask you to pause and think of the most horrible day you ever lived. The day when you did something you deeply regret. You can take comfort in this one fact: Your heavenly Father saw that day when He chose You in His Son before time…If that’s not good news, I don’t know what is. (From Eternity To Here, 2009, Frank Viola, pp. 71)
If somehow, I could impart a deep revelation of grace into every believer, I would. It’s that great. If you don’t have it, get it.
And guess what? A deep revelation of God’s grace is the only way to stay free of prophetic bondage. The two cannot coexist together because where grace is totally understood, legalism can not squeeze in.
I will have more on prophetic bondage (caused by words, prayers and prophecies by people in authority) sometime in the future. This is a major problem for the Church, especially after the so-called Prophetic Move of God.
(Conclusion. Friday starts a new series.)