What does going to church mean to you? Is it a place that you go on Sunday mornings because you feel like you “should”?
Do you feel led to go on Sunday’s or are you the person that thinks, “I have my own personal relationship with God, I don’t need to go to church to know Him”?
I pray that your hearts will change and that your idea of church will be one of gladness and excitement.
Having a personal relationship with God and His Son is the first step, but it doesn’t stop there. When we as sinners truly experience the overwhelming love of God, change is inevitable. Not only does His Spirit enter us, convicting us on our past life, but we see our life as truly bad and WANT to change! We see Him for all of His glory and strive for the life of Christ. The church is key to helping us make these monumental changes that must occur.
We need to keep our focus on heaven and completely take it off of this world. When we have our eyes forward, this world had no hold on us.
When a farmer is pushing his plow through the field, he knows he cannot move his head or else he will veer his animal off course.
Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
The same is true for us. When we take our eyes off of God’s kingdom, we veer off of the intended course for our life and will stumble and fall. But, when our focus is on God, we will walk upright and model the life that He died to give us.
We need to be faithful to God, sanctified with Him, faithfully loving Him always.
“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”
1 Corinthians 4:2
Do you want to be found faithful? Does your love for Him outweigh your love of this world? Of your friends? Of your own family?
If there is a football game on, will you miss it to enter His house and worship with the other members that are committed to Him? If your Mom wants to go shopping, will you politely tell her that you need to wait until after church because God comes first? Or will your love for these earthly things come before your love for the Almighty?
It’s hard, very hard as sinners to put God first. If it was the “norm” or “easy”, everyone would do it without question. But it’s not. There is difficulty that comes from standing strong in the Word of God and that is where the love and brethren of the church is vital.
Church is the totality of believers in Jesus; an assembly of believers organized to carry out the responsibilities set forth by God.
It brings men, women and children together to study and learn about the only living God. It is not simply a building with a foundation set in the ground. It is a body; people.
Christians are to band together to carry out the responsibilities of the church.
“Paul called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, … to the church of God which is at Corinth.”
1 Corinthians 1:1,2
When we became Christians we immediately became a member of the universal church, which is the body of Christ. Each member has a function, as each of our body parts aids us in living our lives.
Without our eyes, we cannot see where we are going. Without our hands, we cannot reach out and touch things. Without our legs, we cannot walk and go places.
Don’t you see? Without me, without you, the church is missing a piece of its body and cannot function properly. We make up the body that is the local church.
The greatest struggle the church has today is the heart of its members. The heart is drawn to this world and turns away from the calling of God and gifts that He bestows upon us.
Our commitment needs to be to Christ, first and foremost. And within that commitment we long to fellowship with each other, glorifying Him.
“as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
1 Peter 1:3,4
Our commitment needs to be to the One who faithfully committed Himself to death for us. He endured a life of rejection, persecution and death so that we could live an eternity in His glorious kingdom. Is it so much to ask that we spend time worshipping Him with the other members that make up His body?
I don’t think so! It is such a tiny repayment of the debt we can never truly repay. But it is something I want to do; not because I feel I will be rewarded for my “deed” but because I am so in love with His redeeming love that there is nothing I don’t want to do for Him. I pray the same is true for each of you!
This sums up day 2 of my series on church. I invite you back tomorrow to read more about what God has revealed to me about the church.