April 8, 2010

Appreciating Your Church

The Lord is in the midst of His church, which is His body on earth. We show our appreciation for the Lord by valuing His body. If you don’t appreciate and value the local church, it is you who will be the loser. God has mightily blessed those who have valued their local church and who have been thankful for what they have received from the church.

I can testify to this personally during the time my children have grown up in the midst of our local church. I don’t have words to express my thankfulness to God for that privilege. My children were all helped by them. Let us learn to appreciate the tremendous protection that we and our children have in our church.

The young people will never realize how much the church has protected them from accident, danger and sin. Only when they stand before the Lord will they realize how the strict standards in the church kept them from going astray in to the world and destroying themselves. In that day they will see how something they heard in the church many years earlier protected them from danger much later. The Lord will also show us in that day how many dangers our children were saved and protected from because of what they heard in the church.

Yet, inspite of these and many other blessings, how little all of us have appreciated and valued our church or pastor.

Do you want to progress to the point where you become a blessing to others? Then, first of all, learn to be thankful to the Lord for what He has done for you and for the church He has given you. Don’t take the church for granted. Many of us are like children who realize the real worth of their parents only after their parents are dead.

Why is it that you find it difficult to value others in your church? May be you see many faults in them. When people have a problem with their eyes, sometimes, they see spots in front of their eyes all the time. It can be the same spiritually too. In the eyes of some people, every brother’s and sister’s face is spotted. If that is so with you, the problem may not be with those other brothers and sisters, because those spots are in your own eyes. Your vision will never become clear until Jesus heals your eyes.

Jesus valued the loyalty of His disciples very highly. Once He told His disciples that even though all of them were going to forsake Him, yet He would not be alone, because His Father was going to be with Him (John 16:32). He did not need those disciples. Yet He told them in Luke 22:28 that He was thankful that they had stood by Him. He was the Lord of glory. He did not need anybody to stand by Him. But even though, He did not need their support, He appreciated their loyalty.

I hope the Lord will be able to say to us too in the final day that we stood by Him and were not ashamed of Him, that we loved the local church He placed us in and gave ourselves for it, that we were not critical of the church like many others were.

May the Lord teach us to be thankful for one another in the local church now, before it is too late.