Growing vs. Going
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4: 11-16
How do you view going to church? Be honest, God already knows, and I am not asking you to email me your answers. Are you excited to go enjoy fellowship with like-minded and like-hearted people? Do you bring a journal and pen ready to take notes in small group and during the sermon, eager to learn something that you can put into practice at home, work, school or in a relationship? Do you pray for your pastors and seek them out to encourage and appreciate them? Do you feel the burdens of life lifting as you sing and feel a tinge of disappointment when the service comes to a close? Do you view yourself as a contributor or just a consumer? Do you slide into the service feeling empty and just hoping to get enough inspiration to get you through another week? Are some of these all true in various seasons and situations throughout your life?
As a follower of Jesus Christ, you and I are the Church; we are a body, not a building. There is a “one-anotherness” that calls us to build one another up as we seek to grow up in Christ to the full measure and maturity He desires and destines for every one of us. In addition, we must realize that every Christian is in full time ministry. The moment you invited Jesus into your heart you gave Him leadership and Lordship of your life. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, commanded them to love, and commissioned us to go and make disciples. Today’s Scripture tells us that we grow and are built up in love so each of us does our part of the work- the good works that God prepared for us as His workmanship, worshippers, and warriors.
Pastor appreciation Sunday was a couple of weeks ago – some celebrate it all month – but we pray that you show great appreciation for your pastors every day. One of the greatest ways you can do that is by putting their preaching into practice every week. Let them know how their message directed your heart into a right and righteous direction, helped you seek the Lord in a difficult decision or helped you in a particular relationship. Pray fervently and frequently for them. Pray with your family or other members of your church on a regular basis. Be an active participant in your church and be willing to read and study your bible throughout the week, and come to church prayed up, filled up and ready for more.
Will you please join me in prayer?
Lord Jesus, thank You bringing me into Your body and not leaving me in my sinful and selfish ways. Thank You for trading my sin for Your righteousness, for Your abounding grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, thank You for equipping me to mature in the mind and ministry of Christ; to do all that I was created and designed to be and do in fruitfulness of Your work in my life. Thank you for the amazing pastors and teachers that You have placed in my life, every brother and sister in Christ that I worship with and all the ways we build one another up in a world that seeks to tear us apart. Lead and hold me together so that I am an encourager and bring unity and strength in my church as we serve You as the Church every day of the week, everywhere we live, work, learn, and go. Be glorified and magnified in my life. In Your holy and wonderful name we pray… and live, Amen!
Serving Him with gladness,
President, National Day of Prayer Task Force