I tell ya…
I’m so thankful for my church family. Forget about the fact that I’m a pastor/elder. I’m talking about simply being a member of the family of God. I’m talking about being part of a group of folks who love Jesus and have a desire to edify His name throughout the world so that others might know Him too.
I say this because I have acquaintance with two situations right now where there has been a death in one family and a death is looming in another and neither family is in church. What does that mean? It means they have no support system or structure in place to help them. They are literally “on their own.” And it’s so sad! These families have had opportunity after opportunity to receive Christ and be ministered to, yet they have refused time and time again. But, we won’t give up! No way! We’ll keep trying to reach people and be longsuffering, just as the Father is longsuffering with us. But, that doesn’t change the fact that these two families give credence to the fact that a church family is a blessing beyond measure.
Are you a part of a good, Bible teaching, Gospel-preaching, Christ-centered, loving, mission-minded, worshipful body of believers? If you aren’t, then you honestly don’t know what you are missing. The joy of being part of a group of believers who care about you and love you is an inestimable privilege.
By the way, you know that Jesus died for the Church, right? He gave His life for the Bride (the Church). That’s how much He loves her. In fact, He’s going to be married to her in Heaven one day. There will be a wedding in heaven and Jesus will be married to His radiant bride, made spotless and redeemed by His own blood! So, the Church is of highest importance to God. Therefore, it should be to us.
Do you support your church? To give of your time and talents? How about your treasure (money)? Do you expect others to carry your part of the load for you? You might not mean to… But, when you are not actively helping to carry out the functions and mission of the church in the ways the church is choosing to reach the world, then you aren’t pulling your part of the wagon. If you aren’t giving (monetarily) with a cheerful heart, then you are literally robbing yourself of God’s abundant blessings for your life. How much should you give? 10%? A tithe? No way! That’s Old Testament! You are under the blood of Christ and the New Testament, so you don’t have to give what was under the Law. No sir! You don’t have to give 10%… Nope! As a cheerful, born again, blood-bought, New Testament believer of Jesus Christ, you could give 15% or 20% if you wanted to! 🙂 We’ll give a good waitress 15%.
Well, I’m meddling aren’t I? 🙂 I don’t mean to (…well maybe I do just a little bit). I’m simply asking if you think of yourself as a kingdom-minded church member? If you do, then you will be contributing to His work. And that work emanates around the world. There are so many needs. There are so many people who need Jesus. Are you helping in the job of “seeking and saving the lost?” That was Jesus’ mission and when He saved you, that should have become your mission. Your job and the money you make is a primary way of you being able to help Jesus reach that goal. What goal? Reaching the world with His name. If that is not a priority in your life, and you call yourself a “Christian,” (which means: “little Christ”), then you could have been captured by the dastardly Giant called: The American Dream. You know the American Dream:
Get all you can, while you can, put it in a can, sit on the can until you kick the can.
Sad isn’t it. We live most of our lives saving for retirement and then we’re too old and too tired when we get to retirement to do anything with it. In fact, most folks get to retirement age and they don’t want to go anywhere anyway. They like their own bed and their own food. I get that. So, think about today… the here and now… Think about the needs before you.
I want to encourage you to become an ACTIVE part of a local church if you aren’t. Make certain they are teaching the Bible though. Just “any ole church” won’t do if they aren’t teaching with sound doctrine. But, when you do find that church, get involved. Help in the work. Give in the work and give to the work. You’ll find that when you do, you’ll be more satisfied and more fulfilled in being part of something “bigger than yourself.”