A New Year! As we begin, here’s something to think about. Why church? Church is so provincial…so old school(font change is intentional-it’s typewriter font-outdated… maybe how you think of church).
I can connect to God working in the yard or deer hunting. Personally I often connect to God while deer hunting. Some of my greatest praises of Him occur while deer hunting.
But here’s the truth. The local church is the most important thing going on planet earth today.
Really? You’re off your rocker David.
True, but let’s not get sidetracked. The local church really is the most important thing going on planet earth today.
Three (3) quick reasons why (and yes I know in the NT the word church is used to refer to the “universal church” meaning all Christians throughout time, but more often it refers to a local gathering of believers and that’s who I’m referring to specifically here, so don’t be a pointy headed academic-it’s annoying).
1. It’s the body of Christ. Ephesians 1:22-23.
Jesus Christ is #1 over all creation – He was here before a billion galaxies were created AND He created them all (John 1:3).
So if Jesus is #1 in the universe, anything Jesus is part of will by definition be more important than EVERYTHING else.
When He ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9), He left His body here. He is the head – He does the thinking, dreaming, determining, and willing. And He left ONE organization here to be His presence on earth: the church. The church is His body – His hands, feet-everything from the neck down.
So…since the church is the body of Christ, its a big, big deal.
2. The church is what Jesus has been working on for 2000 years (wish it was, but this statement is not original with me).
Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 I will build My church. He didn’t say I’ll build my country clubs, my malls, my para-church organization, or big cities or little towns or giant corporations or even I’ll build my homeless shelters. He may be helping out with some of those things – but He only deliberately mentioned ONE thing. He said “I’ll build My church.” Oh oh oh! He didn’t say “I’m building my isolated, me centered Christians either!
For 2000 years, since Acts 2:47, Jesus has been adding people to the church. Saving them…one person at a time. And multiplying churches! Starting one after another, down through the ages.
Well how much does it cost? Through the ages, it’s been the practice of true blue Christians to tithe, give 10% of their income to the local church where they are fed.
But it cost much more than that – the real cost? It’s cost Christ His life on a cross. Then to get the word out – it cost each of the disciples their lives: crucified, beaten to death, beheaded. All b/c they believed to their death that adding people to Christ’s church was the most important thing and were committed to it.
Everywhere they went, they’d start little churches by telling people about Jesus and His death on the cross to save them and His resurrection to give them eternal life.
And they paid for their work…with their lives. And since then, for 2000 years (two thousand years-do we really understand how long that is?!?) Jesus has been working with men and women to build His church, adding millions and millions of members.
#3. It’s God’s Plan A – the Hope of the World…there is no plan B.
|Her church in Austin, TX.
Then-Windsor Park Baptist Church,
now Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church.