The local church.
I love the local church. The longer I go as a member of one, I see in me, an increasing gratitude and love.
I know life in the local faith family can be messy. While the church is composed of saved and redeemed saints who are in Christ, we still have remaining sin that lingers. So the messiness should not surprise us. Nor should that be the predominate attribute that we associate with the local church.
The local church is beautiful.
- When she walks in humility before the Lord and pursues a teachable spirit toward His living, inspired, and sufficient Word.
- When she gathers to grieve over the loss of a loved one, cries with one another, and cares for the family in their loss.
- When she celebrates and embraces the news of an expected child through birth or adoption.
- When she shares meals together and more importantly matters of faith and life over the table.
- When she is led by people who are putting to death pride and self-centeredness, and putting on the things of Christ. Who understand who the Chief Shepherd truly is, and come humbly under Him.
- When she sees a brother or sister in need, and gives of personal resources to meet practical needs.
- When she opens her doors, not just to the public assembly, but to her homes, kitchens, and living rooms, scattered in various neighborhoods during the week.
- When she cares for the orphan, the poor, the widow, and the sick.
- When she prays expectantly, believing that all things are possible with our God and He is able to do far more than we can ask for or imagine.
- When she gathers in groups to pray, fellowship, and be changed by the Spirit and Word.
- When she speaks the truth in love to one another and keeps growing up into Christ, who is the Head.
- When she gathers together faithfully in order to spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
- When she lovingly and graciously confronts the sin-entangled sibling, seeking to restore them in a spirit of gentleness.
- When she walks in the light with one another, for it is by His blood that we have fellowship, and it is a gospel of grace, not of works.
- When she gives generously and cheerfully of her resources, seeking to store up treasure in Heaven.
- When she seeks to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
- When she sings together, as one voice.
- When she prays, your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven.
- When she invests into the next generation, passing on faith in Christ, for they are the church of today, not just tomorrow.
- When she walks graciously with one another; admitting wrong, asking forgiveness, granting forgiveness, remembering Jesus has first loved and forgiven us.
- When she confesses sin to one another and trusts that the Good News is for all of life, not just at our conversion.
- When she adopts the attitude of Christ and says, I’m here to serve, not to be served.
- When she boldly proclaims the Gospel and calls people to faith and repentance, for the Good News of great joy is for all the people.
- When she rejoices in the finding of the one, and reminds one another that in Christ, we are new creations.
- When she understands and wholeheartedly pursues the mission of making disciples of all nations.
- When she lives not for the glory of the name on the door, but for the glory of God who has brought them together and made them family.
- When she…
Believer in Christ, the local church is beautiful. Don’t miss the beauty. It is all around, if you’re watchful. Thank our Father in Heaven for this gift and His design.
And as you engage in the life, ministry, and mission of whatever local church you’re a member of, add to its beauty. Keep growing up into Christlikeness, keep letting your love for one another abound and overflow, and keep praying for and pursuing the one who is wandering yet and has yet to experience the beauty of life in the local church.