In Luke 12:35-48 we read where Jesus is speaking to His disciples about the importance of the servant being found watchful and ready by the Son of Man when He comes. Jesus says it would be bad for the servant who, though he knew his Master’s will, was found by the Master doing his own will instead. To the one who had been given much, Jesus says that much more would be required of them and to the one who had been entrusted with much, Jesus also says that much more would be asked of them.
When I look at the church of the Almighty Living God today, I see a vast mighty army of God’s soldiers faithfully doing battle for His kingdom and winning souls for the Lord. Yet with all the good things that I see, it saddens my heart that I also see how selfish we, the church, have allowed ourselves to become in many areas.
We spend lots of money to make sure our buildings and programs are done to excellence yet when it comes to taking care of the hurting brothers and sisters in our own church body, excellence is not a word I would use. It seems we strive harder to build giant ministries than we do to make strong disciples for the Lord. I worry that we the church have put a greater emphasis on making sure the world takes notice of our vast ministries and our endless programs instead of making sure the world takes notice that we are a people who truly hunger after the righteousness of God.
It saddens my heart and it should also concern those of us in the church that there are churches today who have shied away from talking about the precious blood of Jesus Christ which washed away our sins, for the sake of not offending anyone; all in the hope of keeping people. Do they not realize by doing so they have actually offended Jesus Christ, the very One who shed that blood?
I am fearful we have become pre-occupied more with what we look like instead of being more concerned about who we really are. Do we earnestly hunger to be that spotless bride which eagerly awaits the return of her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, more than we hunger to be accepted by all?
Our prayer for the church today must be that we would first and foremost get back to the business of becoming a people who desire nothing less than to be Christlike in everything we do and say; instead of being about the business of building big churches or ministries.
We must pray that our youth would be taught the whole council of God, over having new games to play and more pizza to eat.
We must pray that we would desire to do whatever it takes to build strong marriages in the church so that the number of divorces in the church would sadly not match or even exceed the number of divorces in the world.
We must earnestly pray for a new hunger and desire to arise in the hearts of pastors for a fresh anointing of the power of the Holy Spirit to be in the messages they bring each week, not just good stories for easy listening. We must also pray that pastors would allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in the church service; instead of worrying if people might be offended by that; it seemed to work pretty well for the church in Acts 2.
I pray we would hunger after more intimate times of worship in our church services, instead making sure the newest song was sung and played and people were entertained.
We must also pray that a deep love for the Word of God would so overcome the people of God that they would do whatever it took in their lives to not only daily read the Scriptures but also attend Bible studies so they could learn and be equipped to do the Lord’s work.
There is a world today that is searching for hope. We the church have that hope to offer them and it’s only found in Jesus Christ; but it has to be a hope that is real in our own lives first before we can share it with the lost.
Please know as I share these concerns I have for the church of Jesus Christ, that I am sadly finding myself being convicted by the Holy Spirit of having many of these same issues in my own heart. Yet even as I recognize that, I sadly see how little I have done to bring about any sense of change in my life.
I declare to you today that I have not nor will I ever lose hope in the church for we serve a God of hope. I commit before you today to daily check my own heart to make sure I have not become as the Pharisees were; self-righteous, for I desperately want to hear my Lord say those wonderful words to me when I stand before Him: ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’
I know that this can only come about as I continue to keep my knees bent in much prayer for my own life, as well as for the body of Christ. Will you please join me as I do, my dear brother; my dear sister 🙂