Most Tuesday nights, if youíre looking for me around 6 oíclock or so, youíll find me enjoying a hot meal with some good friends. Thatís because each week I have the great privilege of coming together with some other Christians to take a few hours and study Godís Word. We dive in deep, talking theology, studying doctrine, and examining Godís Word as it examines us. Along the way we share big laughs, good stories, and lots of encouragement. We come from all kinds of places, from a pastor to a construction worker to a lady whose desserts would tell you she needs to open a bakery. And our lives are full of all kinds of different circumstances, like job searches and children and overcoming real challenges through the transformative work of Christ.
You see, as I said, it is a privilege for me to meet each week with these people; these broken, sinful, redeemed, and reconciled people, including me. In our differences, we are able to build community which would never be found in a group of people who were all the same. And in our discussions, we are able to grow together in the Spirit of Christ which lives in us. We are a small picture of what Jesus calls his bride, which is the global church. Every believer in Jesus Christ, for all of time, everywhere. Being a part of a community of love, support, and faithful edification is at the very heart of living out our calling as the church.
And, itís a privilege He extends to everyone who will admit their own sin, and profess Jesus Christ as Savior and follow Him as Lord, including you. Being a part of Christís church doesnít mean youíre perfect, but you faithfully work through his Spirit to be obedient. It doesnít mean youíre always right, but it does mean God views you as righteous because of the death of Christ. It doesnít mean you know all the answers, but that in Christ you will come to find all the answers. It doesnít mean youíre always strong, but that through the Spirit in you youíll find your strength. It doesnít mean youíre always warm, but it does mean when life seems cold, youíll find warmth in the brotherhood of faith and community in Christ.
Being a member of Christís church, and specifically his local church, is less about wearing the title of ďMember of --------- Church,Ē and more about giving your life over to his service through his bride. As you consider your own life in Christís church and as Christís church, consider this Ė ďAnd let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one anotheróand all the more as you see the Day approaching.Ē (Hebrews 10:24-25) God has ordained the local church as the means by which his people are encouraged, uplifted, and spurred on to fulfill the very service to his Kingdom he has created them to complete. As you consider who you are in the church, know this is a great privilege, and whatever you may think of all her imperfections and her shortcomings, the church is a gift which Christ has given you. Donít miss her beauty because of the veil of sin which one day Jesus himself will lift.
This month we will begin a series during our Wednesday Night Prayer Meetings (7:15pm) called - Church Membership - What it is and Why it Matters. Wonít you make plans to join us? Whether youíve been a member of Godís Global Church or Starnes Cove Church for a long while or youíve come alongside us recently, you will surely benefit. And as we continue into our summer months, donít miss out on gathering with the church, whenever and wherever she meets. Because in so doing we rest assured that ďwhere two or three are gathered in his name,Ē Christ is present with us.
Looking forward to seeing you, Church,