Tag Archives: church

Every Man In His Place

“Let all things be done decently and in order.” —1 Corinthians 14:40

My wife has our kitchen well organized.  Nothing is “out-of-place.” There is a specific place for the spices, towels, cereal, flying pans, silverware, etc.  It would be total confusion if each item was not in its specific location.

While reading Numbers chapter two this week I was impressed by the organization of how the tribes of Israel encamped around the tabernacle.  Considering there were over a million people, it would have been very confusing when Israel stopped to camp in the wilderness. But God, being a God of order, instructed each tribe exactly where they were to camp in relation to the tabernacle. On the east side of the tabernacle the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun set up camp. On the south side were the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad. On the west side camped the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin. Then on the north side God put the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali. Every man in every tribe knew exactly where his place was. Now that is being organized.

David said of his human body, “I am fearfully and wonderful made” (Ps. 139:14).  The human body is a divine miracle. It was not put together in a haphazard way.  The eyes, ears, mouth are exactly where they function best. Can you imagine the problems you would have if your nose was turned up instead of down.  Every time it rained, your nose would fill with water and you’d drown. And, how strange it would be if your mouth was located where your armpit is!  Aren’t you glad God put you together the way He did?

The same is true in the body of Christ (a picture of the local church).  God has “assembled” it so every member has a specific place and function. 1 Corinthians 12:18 says, “God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”  If you are saved, God has placed you in the body of Christ exactly where He wants you (1 Cor. 12:12-27). You may be a foot, or a hand, or an eye, or an ear, etc.  You have a function in the body of Christ. If you are a “foot” you cannot do the job of the “ear.”

God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). Confusion results when God’s order is not observed.  Since God has a specific place of service for each Christian in the body of Christ, it is our responsibility to recognize where God has placed us and do our job. Do you know your place in the body? Are you doing your job?  When one body part fails to function, it handicaps the efficiency of the whole body.

Let’s work together and get the job done God has placed us to do.

Going to Church versus Being the Church

“…and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body…” —Ephesians 1:22-23

And he is the head of the body, the church:” —Col. 1:18

A person may “go” to church without “being” the church.  I see this happen all time.  A person comes to our church… sits in a pew… enjoys the music… listens to the sermon, then goes home unchanged.  Maybe they will return the following Sunday and repeat the same routine.

On the other hand, there are those who are members of the church. They recognize the church is not a building. Nor is it a performance to observe. They not only attend church, but they realize they ARE THE CHURCH.  They are actively involved in it’s ministry. They participate in worship… they support it with their tithes and offerings… they use their talents in serving the Lord… they invite their friends… and they regularly pray for their church and it’s leaders.

The difference between going to church and being the church is simply attending an event or being the event—Being served or doing the serving.

Do you just go to church or will you start being the church?  It can all be summed up in one word—Commitment.

Good Things Happen When You Go To Church

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. —Psalm 122:1

When Jesus went into the synagogue to teach “there was a man whose right hand was withered” (Luke 6:6). Dr. Luke points out it was the man’s “right hand.”  Most people are right handed, therefore, this man was seriously handicapped.  He couldn’t do much.  And besides that, this man’s shriveled hand was not a pretty sight and probably a source of embarrassment to him.

However, he attended the synagogue service anyway in spite of his affliction!  And his going to the service paid great dividends!  Jesus restored the full use of his hand at this service.

Only the Lord knows how many blessings we miss when we deliberately skip a church service. It always encourages me when I see people at church who are clearly in physical pain or under some extreme hardship. Yet, they don’t use their problem as an excuse to miss church.  They come to church in spite of their discomfort.

Then there are those who will use any lame trivial excuse they can come up with to not attend a church service. How sad that they miss the chance for God to do something life changing in their life.

Think about this text the next time you are tempted to skip church for some petty excuse.

The Two Environments of a Christian

Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ… — 1 Thessalonians 1:1

When Paul addressed the Thessalonian Christians, he spoke of them living in TWO locations. Geographically, they were living in Thessalonica on earth. Spiritually, they are “in Christ.”  Paul said in Ephesians 2 we live in the world, but we are also seated “in heavenly place in Christ Jesus.

Christians live in two worlds—A visible world and invisible world—A physical environment on earth and a spiritual environment in the heavenlies.

The sustaining of our spiritual life is similar to that of a whale.  A whale lives in a marine environment.  I live in Washington State, by the Puget Sound.  We are often fortunate to see a pod of Orca whales swim near our city.  It is always an impressive site to behold.

A whale would swim along water’s surface for a while.  Before submerging, it would breathe deeply and exhale by shooting up a spectacular spout then disappear beneath the surface in search of food.  That whale could stay under the water for 10-15 minutes, but must resurface for more oxygen or it would die.

The whale doesn’t know much about the world above the water, since most of it’s existence in spent in the water. Yet, although it knows little about the world above him, it still needs regular contact with it to survive.

This is a great picture of the Christians life. We know relatively little about the heavenly realm above us, since most of our activities concern  things on earth. Yet, we must stay in constant contact with the world above us for spiritual breath to maintain our growth in the Lord. That heavenly contact is made through prayer, worship, and nourishment from God’s Word.

While your citizenship in heaven, you live on earth now.  Therefore, in order to grow spiritually stay in regular contact with your heavenly home and heavenly Father.

My Closest Friend

My Closest Friend

There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. —Proverbs 18:24

Recently I read how Martin Lindstrom, an author and speaker, believes that cellphones have become akin to a best friend for many.  Lindstrom’s experiment using an MRI helped him discover why. When the subjects saw or heard their phone ringing, their brains fired off neurons in the area associated with feelings of love and compassion. Lindstrom said, “It was as if they were in the presence of a girlfriend, boyfriend, or family member.”

I wonder how many link being in the presence of God when they are reading their Bible or attending church?  With all the things vying for our affection and attention, we must constantly refocus our lives on what is most important—Our relationship with God and His people.

The best friend you have is the Lord Jesus Christ. You have no one who loves you more and desires what is best for you.  If you pay more attention to your cellphone than you do to the Lord, your cellphone has become an idol.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:21).