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Category Archives: Jesus Lifehouse conference

“….it’s none other than the house of God!”

Church.

What is it?

When you hear that word, what do you think?

I know a lot of people cringe at the thought of it. Let alone going to it. Why would I want to go to church, be judged, be put in my place, have a load of old people tell me I messed up big time. Why would I want to spend my day off going to a place like that.

Other people are anti-church maybe they think, it’s just a place full of religious phonies, who are out to exploit you and take your money.

Then there are those who don’t really have any opinion of the church, they just imagine it’s a bit of a boring place, where loads of old people gather and sing a few songs, it’s nice for Christmas and Easter but I wouldn’t want to go there every week.

Or maybe it’s just this… a nice building.

There are so many different opinions of church and what it is, what it’s about. A lot of our opinions can be swayed by other’s opinions or bad stories we have heard, or bad experiences we have had.

But I want to encourage you to just take the time to really think what do you feel when you hear the word ‘church’?

This weekend I had a long chat with my mum about church. She reminded me that not so long ago I had a very negative attitude towards church.

I believed that the church was full of people who judged you, a place where people took you at face value and didn’t want to open their mind to who you could be. I believed it to be full of fakes, who weren’t genuinely welcoming and would judge me for who I am.
Ok so I had, had a few bad experiences at university. I had tried to go to a new church with some of my non-Christian friends but instead of being welcomed I had been ignored at the back of the room, everyone was too busy to take any notice of us, and no one tried to be our friend or make us feel welcome.
After that other Christians from the church that went to my university started questioning my Christianity, making me feel unworthy of the right to be a Christian. I had never met such confrontation and for someone who was finding that life not being a Christian was just as much fun, it was the push over the cliff, so I resolved that I didn’t need church.
Instead when I saw those people around campus I created stories in my head, I imagined they were judging my lifestyle and spreading rumours about me to exclude me further from the church. My whole image of the church was as a secluded club where only the really good people where welcome, only the ones who lived lives like Jesus.
I didn’t need to go to a church to believe in Jesus. I believed inside that was all I needed. Even my friends agreed with me, “You believe, no one can take that away from you, you don’t need to join a load of snobs at church to make you a Christian.”

I believed this for many years. My friends, tried to invite me to church but I refused. My mother, tried to encourage me to go to church and find ‘a nice man’. I still refused. I was stubborn and rather than choosing to spread love, I chose to spread my obstinate opinions around.

When my mother reminded me of this, I laughed. I can’t imagine ever holding that opinion now. Granted not all churches are the same, they don’t all fall into one category. But my whole view of ‘church’ has changed. I no longer have to cringe in guilt when I hear that name.

So what made me change?

Well first of all, I gave in and decided to open my mind and try going to a church, that church turned out to be Jesus Lifehouse Osaka. But before I go there, let me explain, the real reason is my whole view of the church has changed.
This isn’t just because of Jesus Lifehouse but my whole idea of what a church should be has changed.

A church isn’t just a building, it isn’t just a place for people to hang out, sing songs and get preached at… it’s a whole lot more than that.

At the conference Pastor Steven Kaylor spoke about three components that make a church – GREAT!

The first one is key – it’s what it is all about! Without it, you just have a group of people. It’s what the church should be centred around, we can’t forget this vital ingredient.

JESUS

The wonderful, powerful, loving, caring, awesome, close, relevant, original Jesus.

In the middle of the church needs to be Jesus.

The answer to everything is Jesus.

It’s through Jesus that we can be the best person we were designed to be. With Jesus there is hope, with Jesus there is light.

Our focus needs to be on Jesus, not on each other, not on our own mess or each others mess, but on Him.

It’s simple.

The second thing about church, is life. It needs to breathe life into all its members. It needs to live and speak life.

From Jesus comes life.

Psalm 16 v 11 “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”

In the bible there are many stories where Jesus healed people and gave them life.

Jesus gave us life, but it’s how we use it that matters – the church can help us out with that.

Pastor Joel, compared life to a car, we drive it wherever we want it to go, but living life, driving places, going somewhere always means gas is going to get eaten up, we are going to run out of fuel and energy, time and love. But Jesus has given us a great gasoline stand; he can fill us up with gas, give us love, peace, joy, passion and more vitality to live life!

The church is like the gas station, it can do two things – change our life and equip it. We can have fun at church but it can also teach us how to live a great life, how to have great relationships, how to be successful in our careers, how to manage our money.
Instead of getting dating tips from magazines, it can show us how to have a strong foundation in marriage.

In church we can really grow and become the person we always wanted to be!

The third thing Pastor Joel pointed out is that it’s a place for us to belong; it’s our house, our family. It’s not a substitute for the family we already have but it’s an extended family that can help us grow strong.

A place where we are accepted, not judged, but loved and respected. Through Jesus we can be adopted into his family. This family will want to celebrate with us, help us in life – to create the best relationships, to have success, they will look after us and nourish us.

Psalm 92 v 13 “For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own House. The flourish in the courts of our God.”

Being in the house of God means that everyone cares about everyone!

When I went to church at university I didn’t realise that it was these 3 things I was actually looking for.

Jesus, Life and a House.

There are a lot of churches around that embody these three things, but I didn’t believe that.

When I started going to Jesus Life house, I was amazed, everyone there was interested in me, they wanted to get to know ME! They cared about
ME!

Genuinely. Not only that, but they all were so full of love, Jesus love, that they couldn’t stop
smiling and sharing their happiness with each other. I didn’t meet an unfriendly face. I had so much fun! I was welcomed into their arms!

The other thing that made me take a step back was that all these people really wanted to grow, they wanted better lives, and they were taking action towards it. They knew the answer, Jesus.

It was contagious to say the least. But from that day my view of church changed.

Now I know that it’s not just a place where people want to make you feel bad or tell you that you’ve messed up. It’s not a place for judging or taking your money.

Instead it really is a great place to make friends, have fun, find Jesus, revitalise your life and be welcomed into a family who accept you for you!

If you don’t believe come down and see for yourself!

Everyone has their own reasons for not going to church, but don’t let a bad experience put you off from trying again.

Maybe you are like I was, you believe in Jesus or a God, but you don’t think you need to go to church to continue believing in Him.

When I was not going to church, the more I refused to go, the further away from Jesus I got. In the end my relationship with him was pretty non-existent. Really I stopped believing all together, I didn’t need Jesus, I thought. Then my life became pretty dire, because the thing was I did need Jesus and I did need people to encourage me in my faith. We can’t do it on our own, but we can do it with Jesus and other people who will spur us on to be more than what we imagine to be, to help us grow and live the best life we can.

Whatever your reasons are for not going, why don’t you put them aside for just a minute and give it a go!

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Come to Jesus Lifehouse Osaka! The people are so lovely, the music is awesome and the message will change your life!
We are in Shinsaibashi on Sundays, and in Namba on tuesdays!
Check out our website!

www.osaka.jesuslifehouse.com

 

How Awesome is this Place…

This week there was a big conference in Japan.

By bus, or by Shinkansen, by foot or by bicycle, by aeroplane or by subway – they came. In flocks, In herds, and singly they dispersed, from every different region. To Tokyo.

Together
they filled a room with their voices, with drums, guitars and keyboards they made noises. They listened and they learnt and from them dreams burst forth.


From tiny bubbles, came big bubbles, full of visions and dreams, of things they could never imagine of things they had never ever seen.
Dreams, big dreams, awesome dreams, alive dreams. All rejoicing in one voice that said How awesome is this place… it is none other than the house of God.”

That conference was the Jesus Lifehouse Conference.

I went by shinkansen up to Tokyo for two days to see what it was all about! And I was blown away…

I learnt so much, laughed, cried, met people from all over, made incredible friends, and fell in love with Japan even more.

Words cannot describe what I received this weekend. My vision for Japan, my vision for Osaka, my dreams – went from one small bubble to this… an endless stream of vision and passion that just wanted to blow up out of me.

Many people I spoke to also say the same, their vision for Japan has heightened, to see Japan change, to see people’s lives built up. It was amazing to see so many people gathered in one place, from all over Japan and from different parts of the world. Well over a 1,000 people were there all with the same vision – to see Japan change.

Many people were challenged this weekend. Challenged to dream large, to not be afraid to dream big, bigger than we can imagine. But I realised, there is only one key to all of this, to all the dreaming, all the visions all the change we can make in Japan.

All of the pastors there spoke about many different things, and spoke about many areas in life, that challenged us. But no matter what they spoke about it could all be drawn back to one thing. The key.

Jesus.

Brendan Brown from hillsong Sydney challenged us to question what are we looking at?

There are so many things that want to get our attention in life. For everyone, even Christians. In the billboards at the train station, the pretty girls in the magazines, the celebrities on TV, the boys at school, or work, or in the clubs. The music, the movies, the drink and the parties. How we should look, how we shouldn’t. Where we should go, where we shouldn’t. What we should do, what we shouldn’t.

It’s all trying to grab our attention, trying to fix our eyes on the next best thing, trying to tell us this will make us happy.

But no matter what we are looking at, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus. He is the only thing that is going to make us truly happy. The only one who can give us an answer.

We are human. Even Christians. We have eyes. And most of us can see. Which means we are always looking for something to make our situations better than they are.

We look around us at others – comparing ourselves to models in magazines, celebrities on TV, or even to our best friend, who is popular and gets all the attention from guys/girls. But we don’t need to be comparing ourselves all the time. The best person we can be is us. YOU.

Then when we are not looking at others we are looking at ourselves. We turn to the horoscope page at the back of the newspaper, or find ourselves wondering in the self-help section at the book store. We read magazine articles on how to make a guy want us, or 10 tips to making ourselves more attractive. Even when we know they aren’t really going to help us, or change our lives we still flick through and wish they could.

The thing is, when we are looking at others, when we are looking at ourselves, we are forgetting one thing, Jesus.

Jesus came to earth and died for us, so we could have a great life, he didn’t die so we could go about finding the best life we can in a horoscope on the back of a cereal box.

When we are getting all bogged down in our problems, the things going wrong in life, the mess, mess, mess, it’s because we have taken our eyes off Jesus!

If we fix our eyes on Jesus, he will make us the best we can be! Why would we want anything less than that?

All those questions we have, all the things we search for in life, everything we are looking at. There is only one answer. Jesus.

John 3.15 “And everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.”

Next time, I will talk more about the challenges I received from the conference, so please continue to read.

But in the meantime, if this has challenged you, if you feel God is calling you to question what you are looking at, or if you have never heard of Jesus and want to know more about him, come to Jesus Lifehouse Osaka.

We can introduce you to Jesus, help you to stop focusing on the mess around you and help you to find the best life through him!

We will also share with you our passion for Japan, and our love for people. So come on down and see!

We are located in Shinsaibashi, near Krispy crème donuts, so you can pick up a donut on your way! What could be better?

www.osaka.jesuslifehouse.com


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