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Church Matters

by Annie Brown

May God Increase Our Numbers

The world buys our attention and convinces us that purpose exists in tangibles, accolades, relationships, drugs, fame, and money. In the Bible, the book of Romans tells us that all of mankind has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is no one exempt from this reality. 

At the root, we have a soul problem. The world and all that is within it will never fill the deep void that every human being is born having. Romans goes on to say that the wages for sin is death, but the free gift is eternal life in Christ. The only way to escape the snare of death and darkness is to believe in Jesus as Lord. 

Increasing mere church attendance is different from seeing true revival and life change. An isolated altar call at the end of every worship service is not enough. Though important for a pastor to create space for reflection and response, the body must be devoted to discipleship and spiritual counsel for those who do accept Jesus. 

The church has both the opportunity and responsibility to proclaim the Gospel to those around us. As stated, Jesus alone offers abundant life, and he wishes that none should perish. Helping a person see their depravity before Christ is not done by shaming or condemning. Rather, we love someone in word and deed. As trust builds, the floor for gospel conversations greatly expands.

Rather than growing in comfortability, may we grow in boldness. There is nothing more energizing than seeing a person come to saving faith in Christ. Save a seat for your neighbor at church. Seek out your co-worker struggling with loss and pain. Get to know the waiter at your favorite restaurant. Pray that the Lord would give you opportunities to share his Gospel with the people near and far from you. 

May God Send More Laborers 

Scripture says that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Laboring for the gospel means that we will meet persecution. In Matthew chapter ten, Jesus told his disciples that they were being sent out as sheep among wolves. Satan loves to use the fear of man as a tactic to hold us back from proclaiming Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is our wonderful Helper and Advocate. He gives us wisdom and words to say in moments of sharing with others. Though we will be met with obstacles and even judgment along the way, our confidence rises as our dependence on the Lord deepens.

The Great Commission to share the Gospel is not assigned to a certain group of religious leaders, pastors, or apologists. All believers share in the responsibility to speak truth over a lost and broken world. 

Many Christians say that they feel unprepared to share with someone. Oftentimes, the fear of rejection or unknown outcomes holds us back from simply beginning a conversation. Though it is rarely easy or comfortable, God is incredibly faithful to use our obedience for his glory.

Rather than feeling pressed to have all the answers, a beautiful starting point may be to share your story. Sharing what the Lord has done for you makes it personal and real. Scripture says that there is power in our testimony. The woman at the well is a wonderful example of this. She believed that Jesus was the true Messiah because he knew her story and loved her anyway. Shame could no longer hold her back, and her brokenness was being graciously turned to beauty. She immediately left to tell everyone the news! 

We will be mocked and made fun of for our belief. Being a Christian is to be in the minority in today’s age. Second Timothy chapter one reminds us to be unashamed for Christ. The Lord knew we would be afraid at times, and he gave us many passages of scripture to hold onto. He promises to be with us and will never leave nor forsake his children. 

May God Make Us One Flock 

Romans chapter twelve reminds us that we are many in Christ but one body. The passage goes on to say that we all have different gifts to use because of the grace we have received from God. 

Lasting unity builds and thrive in Christ alone. God uses all different types of people with diverse backgrounds to reach the lost. The church on earth should resemble heaven. We must be unified in our goal to make the name of Jesus known.  

Socioeconomic status, gender, occupation, titles, race, and prestige do not have an impact on how the Lord moves. Yet, these issues can lead to great areas of division if we are not careful. Too often, God’s sheep make more noise about their differences than the most important thing they have in common- Jesus. 

We often hear stories about people leaving their faith behind because of a horrible incident that took place at church or involving Christian leaders. Though devastating, humans hurt humans, and church can become very messy at times. The moment our worship gatherings and ministry become about anything other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, room for pride and sin grows exponentially.

As a body of believers, we see tremendous unity when we focus on Jesus alone. In service projects, ministry events, and worship gatherings, the family of God is enjoyed because of God himself. The moment our eyes and hearts drift, we become chaotic people with misaligned priorities. Being one flock means we focus on the Good Shepherd for wisdom, provision, clarity, and guidance. 

There is no one holier than thou. May we serve the Lord in mutual humility and gratitude. Our differences pale in comparison to the tremendous joy of collective reverence to King Jesus. The essential matters of our faith can be the unifying factor for denominations and believers. Even in disagreements on these things, the message of Christ will always be love. Though we may not accept or condone certain belief systems, we must extend love. 

Spiritual gifts are a beautiful marker of God’s grace in our lives. Though he does not need us, he chooses to use us in accomplishing his purposes. Unity among the church is experienced as members walk in their individual giftedness.

Acknowledging that where you are weak someone else is strong provides further opportunity for impact. Teamwork in the family of God is a remarkable sight. Prayerfully consider your spiritual gifts according to the passage in 1 Corinthians chapter twelve. 

Ask the Lord to show you where he would like to use you within the church and within your community. Link arms with those who have similar passions and have gone before you. Seek wisdom from the leaders in your life and grow in amazement as you see God work. He is faithful to do immeasurably more than we could think or imagine as we seek to walk in humble submission to do his will. Stay lowly, passionate, and united, Christ followers.  





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