Live by the grace given to you… the fullness of the reward…

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

I Cor 14:26

ESV

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

Acts 2:2

ESV

Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

Col 4:15

ESV

For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.

Matt 18:20

NASB

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Acts 2:42

ESV

And every day, in the [Jewish] temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Acts 5:42

ESV

And Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house

Phil 1:2

ESV

The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.

I Cor 16:19

ESV

How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house

Acts 20:20

ESV

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house.

Rom 16:3-5

ESV

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them...

Rom 12:4-6

ESV

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them...

Rom 12:4-8

ESV

DESCRIPTION: Paul wrote in Romans 12:3 that he speaks only through the grace given to him. We cannot live in someone else’s grace or someone else’s measure of faith. Paul said not to compare ourselves with others but just stick to the grace that we’ve been given for our lives. I also share something the Lord told me about our handicaps and Chris but should encourage everyone
TRANSCRIPT: hey everybody john fenn here church without walls international a house church network and i encourage you to visit our website and sign up for my weekly thoughts which is the weekly teaching comes out on fridays on a variety of subject by emails and you can sign up for that and that’ll be in your inbox every friday morning us time it’s there where we put information and in our e-newsletters about zoom meetings conferences things of that nature so sign up for that we’re a home church network we’re celebrating the gathering of the saints as they did in the early church rotating homes rotating who leads where possible and uh and then when you outgrow a home because everyone’s used to leading and hosting they just begin rotating among themselves and so on and so on so anyway uh today talking about the measure of faith and have you ever seen somebody and you looked at their life and you think well i could never do what they did or how in the world did they get by and and what we’re describing is that that what paul said in romans chapter 12 and verse 3 he said i speak according to the grace given to me and he says a few more things and he says that you know that you shouldn’t think more highly than yourself than you should because god has given to everybody the measure of faith so i speak through the grace given to me and we each have a measure of faith the grace and the faith are always inseparable and paul is interesting he says i speak through the grace given to me he couldn’t speak according to the grace given to peter or james or john but just to what he had and that’s a good lesson for each of us today each of us can only live our lives according to the grace given to us uh our son chris who had the umbilical cord around his neck in a slipknot when he was born is today as i’m teaching this uh 42 years of age but mentally four or five he takes in a lot more than what uh it gets processed in his brain i’ll find out you know a week later he understood something that barb and i were talking about and i was like oh he picked up on that he understood that uh but as far as communication goes he’s on the sesame street barney veggie tales donut man salty the the songbook uh level uh gospel bill etc and and that’s where he is clifford the big red dog you know and so um and and so we care for him uh fridays and saturdays when he we pick him up from the group home and when i’m not traveling he’s at home with us on fridays and saturdays and um but for the first 24 years of his life he was at home and the hardest decision we ever made was placing him in a group home it became hard when his little brothers grew up and went off to college and then barb who’s only 5’3 um was left taking care of chris who’s by that time’s a grown man you know a teenager certainly and grown full full size but he couldn’t uh help him he couldn’t walk he’s in a wheelchair uh talkative the friendliest guy you’ll ever meet everyone around grove oklahoma knows us when going to lowe’s or walmart you know if i go in there by myself or barb they’ll say hey where’s your buddy you know and chris is very uh talkative you know you see somebody in a cowboy hat which is pretty common around here we’re in cattle country he’ll just say he’ll just launch out hey cowboy how are you doing today you know something like that gets lots of chuckles wherever we go and and that part is a delight but um but um the grace given to us uh his first 24 years at home but you know i’d go off in ministry and then barb would be left and because chris couldn’t get in onto the toilet you know he had to wear an adult diaper which he hated because he’s a man at that point he’s a teenager and here’s his mother taking care of him and wiping his rear and and all of that and it was hard on her it was hard on him and we realized that that we either had to be full-time caregivers or we had to um and even that how could we earn a living with that hand either that or put a roof over our heads so we made the hard decision to to place him in a group home and when we finally found one and we’re thinking about and we’re told we had a couple of months at least before an opening would happen so we thought we’d have a time to talk to him about going to school like his little brothers went off to school so it was time for him to go to school now and gear him up for that but within two weeks the call came that they had an opening and it shook us it took us by surprise and barb and i talked many times it’s like father you know just just take chris to heaven we would rather go through even 50 years of life knowing that we have a son in heaven than than to see chris having to move out of the home that will care for him the best and give him over to other people two hours away from us who were responsible for caring for him and it was just heartbreaking for us and uh and this is what i’m getting to the that night before we were as we were contemplating all this after the phone call barbara and i laid in bed late you know just talking and saying that exact thing just praying father take him you know if you’re not going to heal him take him um it and it was finally barb drifted off to sleep and it was still it was after 11 o’clock after 2 300 hours and i was still awake lying on my back just kind of thinking just saying father you know put it on me put his brain damage which is cerebral palsy cerebral palsy or cp is any brain damage that occurs during labor or delivery yeah you know put that on me i know how to be healed i know how to work healing in the body uh you know take him home father to be with you so he can be freed from this damaged body and i was praying that and suddenly standing there in our bedroom let me just suddenly boom there’s the lord jesus standing there my eyes opened his room my eyes are wide open i see the natural realm but he’s standing there and without any introduction like he normally does if you know me he’s you know my my story you know how i was called to be a seer when i was a a teenager and how he started appearing to me from april of 1986 uh through currently a few times a year to fill me in on what he’s doing in the body of christ sometimes what’s happening in the natural in politics or the world or or whatever but suddenly he was there and he without any further ado he just said would you have chris would you have me bring chris home causing him to miss out on the fullness of his reward just because you feel bad for having to put him in a group home and i was shocked i’ve got to be honest i had not thought seriously had not hit home that chris had rewarded heaven he’s a handicapped child totally dependent on on his parents talkative yes uh all talkative and everything else but very difficult you know and it had never occurred i said okay you know i’m going off to ministry and yes i know barb is one with me we are jointly in ministry though she is at home taking care of chris and chris yes has part in that reward and you know it was a mental thing something that we’d agreed to mentally in concept but the lord standing there in front of me saying would you have me bring chris home early causing him to miss out on the fullness of his reward just because you feel bad for having to put him in a group home and and of course i said no there was more conversation i said only only this thing that you that you guarantee that he will never be abused or neglected sexually especially abused or neglected and he went done and disappeared like that and my point today is to bring out the measure of our faith the the speaking through the grace given to us and to realize that even a person like chris um and now in a group home these what about 18 years now probably uh but he has reward yes he’s he’s the life of the party so to speak at that group home uh always active always talking always making jokes um aid after aid uh who’s we’ve gone through down through the years of the group home talk about what how funny he is and how he makes them laugh um there was a one of his little friends there who’s now not in that group home but he would grab her hand and he’d say call her name and said it’s okay jesus is with us it’s okay don’t be afraid and he would encourage and we don’t think that we have any big quote unquote reward as if that’s something that we’re striving for and i know there are some churches that say hey we got you got 10 people saved and they they put like notches on their built belt you know they’ve got extra jewels in their crown in heaven or something like that but that’s that’s fabrication of man there’s nothing like that in the new testament the fact is we live our lives we we we are faithful we we are striving to do our best we’re trying to walk in the light that we have and and we live and we die and we’re trying to walk with the lord the best we can and we don’t do things because we think oh no there’s more reward coming but the fact that the lord said you know stood there and said you know would you have chris miss out on the fullness of his reward just because you know by me taking him home early to heaven just because you feel bad for having to put him in a group home i’m telling you folks it’s a big burden and yet at the same time i don’t want chris to miss out on the fullness of his reward and no matter what we go through in life that’s the way i think i think you know we all have the fullness of our days to fulfill and it’s not a matter of reward it’s a matter of i have the grace to get through whatever i’m going through right now when paul said in romans 12 3 i speak through the grace given to me he and and that we have a measure of faith that’s talking about you and your situation and your life right now you do have the grace ii peter 1 3 and 4 says that that everything that pertains to life and godliness have already been provided through the knowledge of the lord jesus christ you have everything that pertains to life everything that pertains to god’s godliness you’ve got the grace you’ve got the life you’ve got the faith the measure of faith to do what you’re doing paul would later write in second corinthians chapter 10 verses 12 through 16 that he said he said it’s not wise to compare yourself with yourself or compare yourself with others uh he said you he said even he was talking about how he just ministers in the field that he’s been given and the line of things that he’s been given for his life don’t try to be somebody else don’t try to compare yourself to somebody else just stick to what the grace is for you and your life and you can look at somebody else and you can say wow they’ve got a grace that i don’t have or how do they do that and you know that they’re walking in their grace and their measure of faith in the grace that’s been given to them and that’s really what it’s all about just be faithful in the grace you’ve been given know that whatever you face today you do have the grace to face what what you need to deal with you have been given the measure of faith so don’t look to somebody else and compare yourself but look to what the lord is doing there realize in the end we’ll all have the fullness of our rewards but it’s not something we’re trying to strive for like overtime pay hey lord give me another jewel or something in the crowd no no no we we know that it’s out there we know the reward of heaven is out there we know that we are citizens of heaven right now we know that’s our eternal destiny but we live according to the measure of faith according to the grace given to each one of us we speak we teach we live according to that grace so rest in that grace don’t look to others don’t look to your own imperfections even but look to the lord jesus to realize that gradually on a day by day basis we’re being conformed into the into the image of the lord and it is a lifelong process but we each have the measure of faith we each have the grace to speak to live to work to interact with others according to the grace given to us so walk in the grace you have and be at peace in that and be at rest and realize yes there is heaven coming but for today you’ve got exactly what you need for today all right god bless hope that’s been a blessing
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Church Without Walls International - CWOWI

An international house church network founded by John and Barbara Fenn in 2001, which focuses on practicing Christianity based on the model found throughout the New Testament.

John and Barb
CWOWI logo with the roof of a house to represent a church without walls

Who We Are
“Not that we would have dominion over your faith, but rather are helpers of your joy, for by your own faith you stand (II Cor 1:24) We believe the practice of home based churches as depicted in the book of Acts and Paul’s letters is normal Christianity. These churches revolve around friends, neighbors, and co-workers meeting regularly for the purpose of growing in Christ and letting the Lord’s will be done in their midst.”

What We Do
“Our goal is to help build Godly relationships by helping Christians establish new house churches. CWOWI encourages Christians who do not currently attend “church” to build relationships with the believers around them. CWOWI then uses technology to connect those singular house churches to hundreds worldwide. All affiliated house churches are affiliated under a biblically sound statement of faith. CWOWI also serves as a resource for the church through the ministry of John Fenn and network leaders.”

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