There are many things in life we value as important and special. Most of them involve the people we love and treasure. For some it might be a romantic vacation with the love of their lives. Or maybe it’s a child’s first soccer goal. What do you think is the most important thing in all the universe to God? It’s the church! Look at these verses…
Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
Acts 20:28b “… shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
Ephesians 3:10 “So that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”
It’s very easy to see that the Lord gave everything for the church, even to the point of shedding his own blood. If God values the church that much, how much should we value it? Should it not be the greatest priority in our lives to live for Christ in serving the church? Why is it that so many believers feel justified in tearing down the church? The Lord doesn’t spare words through the apostle John when he writes …
1 John 3:16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
assemblyHUB has been started with the view that the church is very special to God. So special in fact that nothing else compares. Our goal is to challenge our hearts to lay down our lives for one another and live out the same passion for the church that the Lord did. So much more will be written about the teachings of the New Testament principles and practices of the church but let us start with this in mind …
Hebrews 10:24-25 “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and 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 you see the Day approaching.”
Is it possible that we have started “doing” church instead of “being” the church? Have we fallen into a comfortable routine of attending meeting, conferences, Bible studies but we have stopped sharing, caring and loving one another? When the measure of spirituality becomes how often a person attends meetings or what they wear or what translation they read then we have lost sight of what the church is all about. Think of what the Spirit is sharing with us about the very first believers of the church.
Acts 2:46-47 “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
They got together every day and the evidence of their faith was gladness, joy and praising. I really believe this is at the heart of what the true church is. It’s my burden that we get back to being the church again. Yes we need meetings for various reasons (teaching, prayer and the Lord’s Supper Acts 2:42) but let’s go beyond that to where we are really touching each others lives. It starts in our own homes and then spills over into the church as we make an effort to love one another and lay down our lives for one another. That’s what will be so attractive to the lost. We wonder why people are not being saved and yet the passion for the church is gone. We are more caught up with our own lives than having a deep rooted care for the church.
These thoughts have convicted me deeply for many months and it’s my prayer that one by one, starting with me, we would surrender our lives to the Lord and follow his lead in giving our lives for one another. Will you join us in building up the church of God as we strive for unity, peace, love and good works?