June 9, 2009

Value Church

Written by Boyd Bailey

Value Church… “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Revelation 19:7

Why do we value church? We value church because God values church. The imagery He uses to illustrate its importance is stunning. It is the picture of a pure and prepared people approaching the Lord, as a bride ready to be received by her husband. The Bride of Christ is the church, honored and loved deeply by Jesus. Yes, the church is made up of imperfect people, who one day will be made perfect, “…to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27).

You may say, ‘I don’t need the church’, but to say this is to say I don’t value Jesus’ relationships. We automatically care for the spouse of a friend, because we honor our friend’s relationships. In the same way Christians who love the Lord, love His bride. Furthermore, we need the church’s prayers, accountability, community, fellowship, friendships, teaching, and worship. Pride resists the church, but humility engages with God’s people. Investing time and money in the church is investing in eternal rewards.

Moreover, the church needs you. It needs your wisdom, your mentoring, your energy, your Bible knowledge, your experience, your service, your giving and your influence. Involvement in church is a two-way street of giving and receiving. Mature followers of Jesus graduate from ‘sitting and soaking’ to ‘serving and giving’. Church is a conduit for sharing Christ and growing in God’s grace. It is accountability to Almighty God.

Lastly, Christ is ever building His church to overcome sin, Satan, sorrow and death. Jesus said, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). Do I value the church as Jesus values the church? Is church engagement a regular part of my routine? Meet God at church on Sunday to make Him known throughout the week. “It [the church] was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord” (Acts 9:31b).

Related Readings: Psalm 45:9-16; Isaiah 25:1-9; John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2

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