Being Committed to the Church

We need to be committed to the church because we need one another.

The quality of our faith and church life is formed and exhibited by the quality of our spiritual preparations and our discipline of obedience to God and to one another! It is our mutual faith-building and encouragement, receiving and practicing His disciplines that become the entrance point to our spiritual formation which leads to our Christian maturity. And, it is this growth in Christ that spurs our church body into a phalanx of mutual support and cooperation so we spur on one another’s commitment. Thus, when you are in a crisis or a troubling time, do not just ask for relief and divergence. Seek out community in Him and the help of others; as we look after one another, so we can collectively grow in Christ and not miss out on what Christ has for us.

When tough times do occur in our churches, we can use them as opportunities by asking what can I learn and take away to build me up further in faith and in maturity. God wants us to be squeezed so we produce wine and not whine. If we do not lean on Him, we will not learn and thus will not pass on helpful experiences to others. Our trials and hurts will become foolish wastes of real suffering. But, if we learn and grow through those trials, they become the great classroom of life and educate us better than any university degree. Taking on His strength is what helps us produce our joy, not our conditions or unfulfilled desires (Neh. 8:10; Isa. 40:29; Matt. 11:30; Heb. 12:12-29).

But, we must watch out for bitterness that rises from unfulfilled expectations when our focus is not on Christ. Esau traded his birthright for food; being foolish caused him to lose his blessing, and resulted in a life of bitterness. So, come to God, to Jesus Christ who gives us a new Covenant as Savior and Lord! Obey Him, live for Him, serve Him, and be grateful. Do not ignore Him; rather, embrace Him head on, fast and hard. We have a God who is Most Holy and He will not be thwarted or misrepresented or disrespected. Therefore, let us put our faith and hope in Him and not what people have or have not done to us at church. Remember, we experience His love and grace and feel His fellowship and empowerment as we are His people and He is our loving Lord. As Christians, let us all be appreciative for who we are in Christ and what He has done for us, so we can worship Him and live contented lives!

Being committed to the church is more than a gold star for attendance; it is a commitment to the work of our Lord. It requires submission to His authority, and active participation to be used and offered with the full abilities of our gifts and talents. It means giving of ourselves, and it means receiving the grace and love without the hindrance of our will.

Too many of us want to go it ourselves, but our desire to be independent becomes our focus in life. I felt this way when I was called to a wonderful church. The church exhibited an over-abundance of hospitality, so that my wife and I felt suspicious as well as grateful, because we were not used to it. After a considerable amount of prayer, we realized the call of the church was to be supportive and caring. We had just left a church that exhibited the opposite, and were hurt and confused when confronted with the true call of the church. Thus, my pride got in the way when this new position included a new house for my family and the generosity of the people provided our every need. We must not allow the past hurts or the self-directed will to get in the way of receiving gifts from others. We all have gifts to be used, but to use them, they need to be received.

Being committed means we are not to shop for months and years for a church home and become so picky not even the perfect church will satisfy us. We need to be discerning, and make sure it is grounded in correct theology and practices the art of caring, that it offers the ministry we may need, but does not have such high expectations that no person in a church could meet it. Remember, the church is an imperfect institution that is in the process of sanctification. So, do not expect perfection, but expect a willingness to grow to the goal of sanctification, that is, perfection in Christ. Our new, committed church home should compel us to be public about our faith and have commitment to others within the character of our Lord. We are to be supportive, not just financially, but wholeheartedly and passionately.

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