Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
In recent days I have been looking at things that I believe the church needs to be involved in doing. I realize that so many churches are diligently seeking to minister to people and to share the good news of Jesus with people they encounter.
Yet I have also seen the church turn somewhat inward at this time. It seems that we are more concerned about how the services go on Sunday than we are how our service to those outside the church goes. I fear that we have turned away from what God desires of us.
I realized that God desires to work in our midst at all times. So often we get so caught up in making sure that we are doing everything according to the rules that we leave God on the sidelines. It’s kind of like if it’s not in the worship guide then we can’t do it.
In John 9 when Jesus healed the man who was born blind the Pharisees contested what had taken place. They couldn’t deny the fact that the man was blind and now could see or that something out of the ordinary that had taken place. They tried all they could to figure if the man had truly been born blind and exactly what happened.
After asking the man again who healed him, he replied, “I told you already, and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciple too, do you?” From what John recorded in vv. 28-29 they were adamant that they were disciples of Moses (the Law) and didn’t know where Jesus came from.
The man’s reply is priceless. “Well, here is an amazing thing that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing, and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
Jesus went outside the norm and the norm didn’t understand Him. Yet those who were willing would have their eyes opened to receive Him and believe in Him. The Pharisees were unwilling to surrender the order they lived in to open themselves to Christ. Because of this they missed the blessing of the Messiah. What a sad day as a blind man walked away seeing but seeing men walked away blind.
God will call for many things in our lives as we walk into and through 2022. But one thing you can be assured of and that is – Jesus doesn’t want us to get so caught up in doing church that we fail to be the church. The lost don’t care how many verses of a song we sing as we sing it with love. They don’t care whether we go past the noon hour as long as we’re showing love.
In the Revelation 2, we find Jesus addressing the church at Ephesus. He was encouraged that they had persevered and had stood strong in doing what was right. Yet He said in vv. 4-5 – “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place – unless you repent.”
We must not leave our first love. The church must be all about Christ – nothing more and nothing less. The question we must ask ourselves is this – Are we all about Christ in our lives? If we’re not we need to repent and get back to the love that delivered us from the pit of sin. We need to get our blinded eyes opened to the grace of God. We need to let the church be His church.
JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, there IS something about that name!!
Christ only, always,
Brother Paul Nachtigall is the preacher at Highland Baptist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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