This morning marks about the fourth Sunday in a row that health has not allowed me to church. I really really miss it. Though the church we attend is small and struggling, there is no substitute for that sense of encouragement and admonishment from fellow believers. When I was impacted by the delectable truths of my own personal devotions this morning (Romans 12 and 13) I was reminded of the main reason why I LOVE church – it is where the living words of God are heralded. Preaching! The exposition of God’s Word. There is something about the “foolishness” of preaching (I Cor 1:23) which is uniquely used to convince, rebuke and exhort believers (2 Tim 4:2)!
As I miss and ponder the church this morning, my heart is burdened to encourage you. May I encourage you? Here are a few thoughts:
1) Pour your life into your church – it is God’s design! I believe that one of the reason’s to have a career is to fund one’s involvement in their own local church.
- Is your pastor not perfect? Pray for him. God wants to change him and can! Pray every time you are tempted to complain.
- Is your church getting boring? Personally, I think rehearsing biblical truths is never boring, but necessary. Check your appetite for the Word instead. Then add some life yourself by your attitude and demeaner. Just one spark can spread!
- Is your church changing too much? Hang in there, do what you can to be involved. Pray for your leaders. I find that most ministers (myself included) get a little off-balanced at times. If the leader’s heart is close to God’s, then God will bring them back around and things usually even out. There is a point where churches do fundamentally change and choose to leave sound doctrine. May God give you discernment, just make sure that you have no attitude or edginess better defined as a “root of bitterness”. You cannot please God with this heart condition no matter what state your church is in.
2) Love the church as biblically defined – it WORKS when Scripture is followed. There is no greater design to disciple believers than the biblical model. When it does not work, it is usually the simple fault of un-dealt-with sin of its members, leaders, or both. The main thing you can do is to allow God’s Word to do the work as it penetrates you. As God changes you, your church will change!
3) Finally, THANK YOU! Thank you to those solid churches out there. Thank you to those who faithfully preach the Word and actively live it while leading others to do the same. Thank you for allowing Christ to live in a visible, worldwide body which is tangible in your local assembly. We miss you! We love you. We praise God for you.
Keep looking up and moving forward. Christ is coming back anytime. It will be worth it all.