Wouldn’t it be great if the universal church of God was even more united? Imagine greater friendships, support and possibilities? It’d be more fun to be one rather than a lonely one. The early church had great unity; what about today?
Indeed, the Son’s sending had the sealing of a united church. Jesus’ prayer was for all to see this (John Chapter 17 Verse 23). So, why the lack of oneness we see in the universal church today? Are you struggling to believe for unity due to all the ‘ism’s’? ‘No-I-am-a-________,’ hard-line denominationalism, ‘we-have-it-all’ elitism or the yeast of ‘I-told-you-so’ secularism; so there is schism.
Being one and having fun requires fun.
Doing church in Corinth seemed anything but fun. They had to work at unity. Over and over Paul in his letter he had to instruct and remind them. For example, in Chapter 1 he says stick to the primary not to personalities- He said, “I appeal to you, brothers… that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you …Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?...” God blessed it; the sure-ing of foundations enables maturing.
Many churches work to cultivate common values to be united and grow today also. Sometimes though, teaching may be drilled in, the standard feels too high. Some good-hearted people never feel good enough and wave good-bye. Or we work hard to see many new works, baptisms and quality decisions. Then, we see other groups doing likewise, and stirs up feelings of insecurity and competition. So, what is missing so fun is missing? I have learned we need more of the Spirit of God!
Being one and the source of the fun.
Paul not only shared of the word and values, but of the Spirit and with the demonstration of power saying, “I do not want you to be ignorant…they drank from the spiritual rock…that rock was Christ.” Friends, imagine thousands refreshed by a river flow out of a rock in the wilderness; the awe, laughter and fun! God wants to quench our spiritual thirst. (Acts Chapter 1 Verses 4-5).
Friends, we must partner more with the Spirit who makes us one. Paul said, “…For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body (1Cor. 12). The Spirit helps us find our fit; and the feeling to belong can be strong. The joy and love He reveals in us as sons transcends all the ‘isms!’ So, church need not be undone, but fun!
Here comes the son and more fun.
Recently, while on a mission I saw fire fall. We enjoyed ministry with a broad spectrum of denominations. Where ever we went we saw many divine appointments and decisions for Christ. Many thirsted and were baptised in the spirit and fire and began prophesying and speaking in tongues for the first time (Acts Chapter 19:1-6). The fire purges, releasing an awe and zeal for God. There has been on-going discipleship. Miracles and the Father’s love flowed like that river in the desert. One lady who could barely walk was healed and excitedly shared she now pushes her lawn-mover! We all felt truly one and there was much laughter and fun in the sun.
The experience gave me a whole new appreciation for the body of Christ. Mission-possible happens more as churches unite and work together. 1 Kings Chapter 18 can help us appreciate the Father’s heart. Despite the idolatry and division of God’s people Elijah saw possibility. He repaired the existing altar with twelve stones representing the twelve different tribes. He honoured them all, and as one. He didn’t make another kind of altar. He built on grace, prayed and the fire fell. Then, in awe God’s people all said “The Lord is God” and were all miraculously united as one.
We do well not to point at what we think are the faults of various denominations. Instead, walk in love, honour and baptism of the spirit with fire; the fire will purge away the dross naturally. When the Spirit moves, he can do so beyond denominational walls; we go from being reserved to unperturbed; the fun is we are free to be.
We do well to be fire starters that enables powerful discipleship (Acts Chapter 19:6-10). God wants more fun in the church. Just as children need fun, so the early disciples were drawn to Jesus as children and not driven. Jesus insisted they be like kids. Fun with God fires up dedication over obligation. Let’s trust God for less tennis-arm-Christianity; one arm powerful with the other relatively weak. Study the word, fellowship with the Spirit and kneel before the Father.
Jesus won- Be one with fun!
There had been much death and trauma in one of our mission locations. We interceded and did a prophetic act to heal the land. Great things happened afterwards. The Lord reminded me of fire falling and subsequent restoration in 1 Kings 18. It was a picture of judgment, and restoration with rain. Jesus fulfilled and satisfied divine judgment as God’s offering at the cross (Heb.13:11-13). Afterward at Pentecost, the fire and rain of the Spirit came, with the oneness and fun! The destruction of Elijah’s entire altar by fire meant no further offering was needed. So, too Jesus’ once-and-for-all-sacrifice has won the victory. We can all expect fire, rain and fun!
I also want to take this opportunity to invite you all to our upcoming ‘Mountain Mover Conference’ https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/mountain-movers-conference-tickets-66732740423?aff=ebdssbdestsearch on 23-24 August. We can be one. Come and be one. I pray for a fun-filled time and hearts that burn for Jesus, portrayed through my ‘Fiery Red Roses’ oil painting attached.
Mark Rusic was born in Melbourne and has a bachelor in Mechanical engineering. He became a missionary to many suffering hardship and poverty on Madura Island in Indonesia, for about 4 years, from 1990. He has worked as a pastor-life coach over the past 17 years in Hope International Ministries. Mark is also an artist and author and has also written two books which are a collection of his own paintings, photography and poetry. These include ‘Iconic Melbourne of Australia’ and ‘Iconic Animals of Australia with a voice to release your giant potential within.’ He has been counted among some of Australia’s best-selling authors since 2014 and is a public speaker in various community groups, organisations and churches. He has a special grace to help people find and release why they were born. See iconiccolours.com for more information about Mark’s services.
Mark Rusic was born in Melbourne and has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. He became a missionary to many, suffering hardship and poverty on Madura Island in Indonesia, in 1990 for about four years. He worked as a pastor-life coach with Hope International Ministries from 2002 to May 2023, playing a key role in raising up leaders and elders for the local Melbourne Hope church, which lead today. Mark has also been active in conducting yearly trips to remote Indigenous communities, bringing teams for training and outreach, which he initiated from 2015. He also established a salt and light ministry to empower saints of influence in the marketplace from 2017.
Mark is also an artist and an author and has written two books which are both a collection of his own paintings, photography, and poetry. These include ‘Iconic Melbourne of Australia’ and ‘Iconic Animals of Australia- With a voice to release your giant potential within,’ which are available now on booktopia.com.au and at leading book retailers. He has been counted among some of Australia’s best authors on several occasions through Dymocks since 2014 and continues to be a motivational speaker in various community groups, organisations, and churches.
He is currently pioneering his itinerant ministry to bless Indigenous people and empower the body of Christ, while working as an artist, author and speaker.