Written by Heather Garner Thursday, 09 March 2017 15:53
How much do you love the Church?
I suspect that each of us brings a different background and perspective to the table when it comes to thoughts about our relationship to the church of our Lord. I’ve heard many military Christians make comments about their sense of isolation while stationed in remote locations throughout the world. Their comments often focus on just how important the few Christians they bonded with really were to them. These are individuals who bring to the table a perspective about the church that borderlines on survival, and is at least a description of a close family-type tie with Christians while away from their earthly loved ones. Many of these Christians go through culture shock when they come back to local congregations state-side and find that church members are too often disconnected and more involved with the community and other interests than with fellow-saints.
Some bring to the table a sense of closeness within the family of God that reflects on their being raised within a home that made the church a central part of their daily living. These church members cannot see the church as an optional, “I’ll drop in once in a while when I feel like it” attitude. Some others bring to the table a sense of moral obligation that “Going to church” is something “you have to do.” Having fulfilled the obligation, they don’t really want any further strings attached.
I don’t know where the reader might fit along this spectrum of being totally disconnected other than having some sense of “have to,” or to the other end of the spectrum where “church is like family, and we love to be together and do things together. When I can’t be there I feel empty and sad.” I do know that the Lord treats the church very much as family. I want to stress the wonderful benefits and blessings that God has provided for us in this family relationship called the church, “God’s Church, The Ultimate Family.”
Eph 3:14-16 “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”
If one is a member of the Lord’s church, there are some things we have in common. We’re part of the “general assembly of the church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:22-23). We share together in the “like precious faith” (2 Pet. 1:1). The dominant influence in this precious relationship is love. “We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren” (1 John 3: 14-15).
I may not always approve of nor agree with everything that my brothers and sisters do, but I love them anyway. This means that I will seek to help my brethren overcome their weaknesses and faults. In times of need or trouble, I will come to their aid and assure them of my love and concern. The family of God – what a lovely picture of the church!!! It does not mean that I will look the other way, or sweep sin under the rug. In fact, because we are family we should have a deep passion toward the family of God so that we want to help a brother out of a sin problem. James 5:19-20 (KJV) “¹⁹ Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; ²⁰Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
We would do well to remember that the local church provides you and me with all the blessings associated with membership in the God’s spiritual family, the church.