(Acts 20:28) … the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
When you hear the word “church” what image pops into your head? I think for most of us we see a building with a steeple or something like that. But in reality, the Bible defines the word church as a group of people instead of a structure. The word for church in the New Testament is ekklesia and it means a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place. You see, when they got town-folk together they would simply call the assembly the ekklesia. So, in reality the church is an assembly of Christians who have come out from the world to join together as fellow believers to worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
But the church is not perfect. The church is made up of sinners saved by the grace of God. We are awed but we are also flawed and we all have to learn this sooner or later. We can be so idealistic about the church that we become unrealistic about the church. We can become disappointed and then disillusioned because people failed to meet our expectations. We got involved and then got hurt and so we retreated into isolation. It was safe there all by ourselves but our “aloneness” turned into “loneliness” because God’s people are the church and we were meant to be together. We are sheep who congregate, not lone wolves who separate and spend their time howling at the wind.
My brother, my sister, we are family. And families work things out. If someone offends us then we either let them know (Luke 17:3) or let it go (1 Pet 4:8). None of this bolting business or trying to find nirvana under another church cabana. Let’s be real with each other and be there for each other. We are not perfect. But we worship the One who is! (Psa 18:30) We needle each other but we also need each other.
I’ve been around the church a long time and have seen a lot of things that can happen inside the church. But I fall back on what Jesus said about His church . . . (Mat 16:18) "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. The foe isn’t each other. The foe is the devil. If we keep that focus, we’ll be alright. By God’s grace we’ll keep moving on, battle scars and all!
What a thrill to be part of God’s family. To not only believe but to belong. To support each other in our walk with the Lord and in all we are going through in this life. To . . . Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (Rom 12:15) I couldn’t make it without you!
I love the church!!