walk in the word
14Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. —Philippians 2:14-18
We expect a lot of things from church, right? We want our marriages to become strong because of church, and we want our kids to come to Christ because of church. We’re looking for a sense of community in church. And when we stumble, we desperately hope the church will be there to turn to for confession and guidance. The Bible does point out that “ . . . we all stumble in many ways . . .” (James 3:2), so the church is filled with stumblers and liars. So if you can’t think of a way that you’re falling, you’re probably down flat now and don’t know it, because the Bible also says, “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). So the church is for our marriages and children and for when we fall, and it is obviously for the worship of God. It’s also for the evangelization of lost people. And it’s for helping people overcome addictions, and for discipling people to maturity in Christ.
I could add a thousand things to the list above, yet all of those things have to be done in a certain way. What way? In a way that gives glory to God. We don’t just do ministry. We do ministry in a way that shows off how awesome God is. The church shines the most when she is giving glory to God. Or to put it another way, the church lights up when God’s glory shines through her.
When we think of all our hopes for the church, are we resting those hopes on what others can do for us? Not a very dependable place to rest our hopes. Our hopes have to look to God to meet our ultimate needs. We can’t ultimately meet the needs of others and they can’t meet ours on our own. But to the degree that we all rely on and flat out anticipate God’s glory, the more we will weather one another’s disappointments and see God do mighty things.
Heavenly Father, help me never forget for a moment that I’m part of the human side of the church. Keep me from pointing at the stumbling of others while overlooking my own. Yours is the glory while I always run the danger of getting in the way of Your glory. Thank You for showing me glimpses of how much Your glory shines through us as the church! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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