Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 28, 2011 … A Healthy Church

Passage of the Day: Ephesians 4: 11 – 12 [see underlined and in bold below with explanation added in parentheses] … 11 It was He [the Holy Spirit] Who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

My Journal for Today: John MacArthur, in his Strength for Today devotional on this date, states truth when he declares that God desires to reach the world with His Church declaring and sending out His Gospel (as we read in today’s passage and also in a verse I hope you have memorized, Acts 1: 8). To do this the Holy Spirit is given to individual believers so that we are energized, edified, enabled, and empowered to become the collective Body of Christ in order that this unified Body may carry out God’s Great Commission (see Matt. 28: 19 – 20).

Therefore, it is ultimately the Church who becomes the unified and equipped representation of Jesus Christ in the world, … ALL of us individually and collectively using our Spirit-given gifts to reach out with God’s mission/ministry of witness to a lost and dying world (see Christ’s mission/ministry in Luke 4: 18).

So, if we try to be “lone ranger” Christians, we deter or impede the effectiveness of God’s outreach, not using our individual gifts within the collective power that is Christ’s Body, the Church. God, the Holy Spirit, imparts His gifts with the purpose that my gifts will be joined with others, like you, in the unified Church to shine a much brighter, Spirit-enabled, light into this darkened and sin-ridden world, thereby glorifying God, The Father and drawing the lost to His Son (see Matt. 5: 16 in the context of The Great Commission).

{BTW, if you want to hear a great sermon on this subject which my own Pastor delivered to his flock on Sunday, Sept. 25th, go to this link. However, when I went to that site as I’m writing this, the sermon had not yet been posted. Be patient, though; I know it will be posted in the next day or so; and it will be well worth your time to listen to our Pastor passionately preach about “the church” being empowered by God’s Spirit to do God’s will in the world.}

I don’t know about you; but I’m convicted that I don’t use my gifts enough, with Spirit-lifted enablement, for God’s Great Commission and/or His mission for my life. And it doesn’t take a theologian or rocket-scientist to see that the Church is not what it could be in this world because of disunity and division and too many lone ranger Christians trying to do their own thing rather than working in well-equipped unity for God’s Glory. I’ll leave it to God’s Spirit to convict any who might read this of whether we, as God’s Body, are doing enough for our Lord or whether we, as individual Christians are doing enough to promote unity and power in the Church.

My Prayer Today: Lord, use my gifts in Your Church to shine Your Light in this dark world. Amen

No comments: