Good Friday morning friends! Can you believe its finally Friday! Wow! What a week we have had here! My plate has been full this week and I am looking forward to having a clean plate this weekend! In other words, a not much going on kind of a weekend!
I have not had a lot of time this week to write alot, but I have been praying for you as you visit Joy Treasure that God would use what is written to encourage your walk with the LORD. That is always my prayer.
One of the things I believe with all my heart is being a church member, particularly a Sunday school member. Some people argue, "I don't need to be involved in a church. I can have church anywhere because God is with me." True. God is with us and He will meet with us anywhere. But worshipping alone all the time is not how God intended. He intended for us to have a relationship with other believers in the church. The early church was built by being together as the body, not alone. Life is always better as a believer when you can learn with other believers. In our Sunday School lesson last week, the question in our discussion time was, "What does it mean to be a part of Sunday School.? To be a part of a church body?" Unanimously, people said the same thing saying,"Sunday School makes you feel like being home." Being a part of a small group makes a different in marriages, parenting, friendships, your children's friendships and most importantly.....serving the LORD.
I have been reading a book called, "What is a Healthy Church?" by Mark Dever, published by Crossway Books; 2005. In it Dever talks about what a mature community of believers looks like and what it doesn't. Here is an excerpt I wanted to share with you all today about committing to a church body.
"A temple has bricks. A flock has sheep. A vine has branches. And a body has members. In one sense, church membership begins when Christ saves us and makes us a member of his body. Yet his work must then be given expression in an actual local church. In that sense, church membership begins when we commit to a particular body. Being a Christian means being joined to a church. Scripture therefore instructs us to assemble regularly so that we can regularly rejoice in our common hope and regularly spur one another on to love and good deeds (Heb.10:23-25). Church membership is not simple a record of a box we once checked. It's not a sentimental feeling. It's not an expression of loyalty or disloyalty toward parents. It should be the reflection of a living commitment, or it is worthless. "I want to encourage you to find a church where you can worship and serve their wholeheartedly to the LORD and not unto men. People fail. People have differences. And yes, there are hypocrites in the church. I have seen them all my life there. But these excuses should not keep you from being a part of a local church. Will these excuses stand before the LORD? No. For those of you who are committed to a local church, are you really committed? Do you serve God, not man, with your whole heart? Do you attend regularly or only if you will be in town that weekend? Has a brother or sister hurt your feelings either knowingly or unknowingly and that has become your excuse to not attend. Those excuses all will have to be accounted for to the LORD one day so if they won't stand before the LORD for eternity they don't stand presently. He won't say, "ok, I know such and such hurt your feelings and you didn't come to church because of that. I'm so sorry." No. He won't say that at all.
Satan has one agenda..to tear up the body. And he will do that anyway he can. Don't let him.
I love my God. I love His church. I desire for others to know the true joy of being involved in serving the LORD with other believers. There is nothing better in my life. It has become one of my greatest joys in life. But I do see people in and out of church looking for everything else but God. This is not what church is. They are looking for the perfect preacher, the perfect Sunday school class, the perfect children's ministry, the perfect music.....nothing is perfect. We live in a fallen world. But the one reason we are involved, the one reason we serve with our whole heart, the one motive for coming is Jesus Christ. He is why we come, why we serve.
For those of you who live in other countries who read this blog, I pray God will use you to grow your church. Maybe even start a church in your home or community. There is no greater joy than to be living life with other believers and seeing people saved through the blood of Jesus Christ.
So to end this post, I do like what Mark Dever said about church membership. It's pretty bold but I like it. It's true. Church membership is not about a feeling. Feelings change. A life lived by feelings is sure to be like a ship tossed by the waves- unstable. Church membership is about a living commitment or it truly is worthless.
What do you think?