Friday, January 18, 2008

Pulling Our Weight

Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the Day approaching.

Church membership is a hot topic today. If you want to make people mad, then tell them they need to be a member of a local church (by local, I mean not the 'global' church). I recently had a conversation with a woman who said that she worships at home by herself. She said that she found the people in the church to be hypocrites, socialites, and liars. I agree that churches are full of those types. We all know people who come to church for the wrong reasons (admit it - you are thinking of some examples as you read this, arent you?). There will always be people who come to church for social reasons or to 'be seen' by the community. There will always be people who come to church only on Easter and Christmas Eve. There will always be people who gripe about everything that happens (good or bad) in the church. There is no such thing as a perfect church or perfect church family on this earth.

The church is known as the 'body' of Christ. When we are saved, we become part of that body. Each part of the body (each member) has a gift or talent -- something they are called to do. When a member of the body (a saved person) cuts themself off from the body by "forsaking the assembling", they become disconnected and cause the body not to function properly. When we receive salvation, we also receive responsibility in the body of Christ. Like the heart, lungs, liver, etc, we each have a job to do and when we lay down on the job, the body of Christ does not function at 100%. In other words, we cannot accomplish God's purpose by sitting on our couch watching Joel Osteen (see funny by Jennifer).

People get so frustrated when they try to do or be something in the church that they were not created to do. We also get frustrated with others who do not do what they are supposed to. When we don't do what God called us to in the church, we are a drain on the body of Christ. When we don't pull our weight in the body, we put a strain on the other members (our brothers and sisters) and we cause the body to be unhealthy. I think it is better to find your gift and place in the body and work well in that area. Rather than trying to do a thousand things "half-way", it is better to do what you are called to do well.

We were born-again into a family with billions of siblings, yet that does not mean that the responsibility of God's purpose does not fall on us. We are called to participate in fulfilling God's purposes. God has allowed us to be a part of a local group of believers so that together we can accomplish tasks for His Kingdom. There are believers who live in remote areas of the world who may be forced to worship alone, but for most of us we are blessed to be near a local church where we can worship and serve God with our brothers and sisters in Christ. God never called us to be loner-Christians, so sitting on the couch just wont do.


Fran said...

Oh my goodness....I'm gonna have to read that again....and then settle myself down and read again and then "Amen" a few times and then just sit and thank Jesus for our imperfect world but His perfect son who can set us free and give us the ability to do His work!

How's that for a run on sentence?!

Good one Bethanne!

Earen said...

AMEN! Preach it sister! I couldn't have agreed with you more! I love your boldness and passion for Christ!

Alana said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I also love what you said about not trying to do so many things that were not doing anything well.

Kelly S. said...

Amen....If there was a perfect church and I joined it.....I would then mess it up!!

nancygrayce said...

Totally agree. I've been trying to explain this to my nephew who is a new thanks, I may just send him your words! Visiting your blog by chance...oh, of course, I don't believe in chance! So nice to meet you! Nancy from Florida

Anonymous said...

Mark Dever has great books on local churches.

Funny how so many demand or expect perfection this side of heaven.

You hit the nail on it's head!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

You nailed this down girl! This was awesome. We have this discussion with a particular family member each time we see them. They bring it up every time we are together. I feel really bad for them because they are missing such a blessing!

I'm like Fran, I've got to come back and chew on this one again!

Have a blessed weekend!


Emily said...

Very true. Also, not being in a local church leaves us vunerable to isolation spiritually which satan loves. It does always seem that a few people have to carry the weight of the church because people don't serve where God designed them to. God loves the worship of his children wherever they are, home, or church, but He designed us to be a part of the body and we miss out on His best if we just stay home.

NYC said...

Amen! God does not call us to be in perfect churches, as you said, there is no such thing as the perfect church. The only time the church will be perfect is when Christ returns. Attending a church that teaches straight from the Word is crucial, and as the bible states, we should not forsake the assembling of the saints.

I think someone mentiones that Satan loves it when we cut ourselves off from the body of hrist. That is so true; we are so vulnerable when left to our own devices, we become susceptible to false teachings.