November 13th, 2017 – DEVOTE

So maybe what we need to do is have a little refresher course as to what is the “church”. I say that because though we say the right things, we generally talk about something else. Let me explain.

We tell each other we are the church, you and I and those who confess faith in Jesus Christ. But then, we constantly refer to a building where we hold worship services, Sunday School, all our other programs as the “church”. We say things like, “I’m going to church.” Or “I belong to such an such a church.”

And what happens is we take all the responsibility, rights and privileges we have as the body of Christ, the “church”, and we give it to a building. So when things happen that we don’t like, we blame the “church.” We get angry at the church… we’re saddened by the church… we’re frustrated with the church and how it acts or reacts. But you and I are the church, so how can this be? When those things which we don’t like happen, do we get mad at ourselves? Are we saddened about ourselves? Or are we frustrated with ourselves at our lack of concern, focus or mission? And the answer to that is probably, “No.” We take it out on the leaders, or the pastor, because we’ve lost sight of who the church is.

So, since you’re the church, how can you have a healthy church? Let me quickly give you four easy things to remember….

A church inspired by the Holy Spirit is devoted to these four things..

  1. The Word of God – read it, study it, meditate on it by yourself and with others and you’ll have a healthy church.

  2. Spend time with those who are looking for the same thing and living the same way. You can feed off of them and they’ll be encouraged by you and you’ll have a healthy church.

  3. Commune with each other – worship, which includes repentance, confession, forgiveness and partake of the Lord’s Supper with each other seeking God’s amazing grace and you’ll have a healthy church.

  4. Pray – pray with each other and for each other and you’ll have a healthy church.

And just so you know, these are four proven methods to having a healthy church. Who wrote them, and where did they come from?

Acts 2:42 – “They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together.” CEV

And they didn’t even have a building!

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: You are the church. Asking you where you go to church is the wrong question. The real question is, where’s the church going?

Remember… where you go the church goes… what you say the church says… what you do the church does, because you are the church.

Help me represent the church to the world around me. I have taken all the responsibility off of myself and placed it on a building. Forgive me. Holy Spirit, help me be the church! In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen