Ps.92:12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
God blesses those who love Him and who walk in His way – the way of righteousness. Just as He has made us the righteousness of Christ, He has also called us to walk righteously. No one who is made righteous and who chooses to continue to live in sin and darkness pleases the Lord. The Lord is full of grace and truth, loving and righteous, merciful and holy at the same time! It’s not “either-or”, it’s “both-and”.
If Jesus were to plant a church today, I wonder what His priorities would be? Would worship – whether traditional, contemporary or Charismatic be His priority? Would He want the Sunday service to be the highlight of the week which seems to be the case for so many? In fact, while many sees the Sunday service as the highlight of the week, many others treat it not as the highlight of the week but as the only “light” – the only thing they do that has any Christian semblance during the week! Or would the community of believers gathered together for mutual care, support, encouragement, exhortation and even correction be Jesus’s priority? Would in-depth, seminary-styled Bible study classes be an important thing or Bible study that leads to obedience and lifechange be the priority? In fact, is Bible study that DOES NOT lead to and does not have a way to ensure obedience and lifechange be of any value at all? Jesus did say in Mt.28:20, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you “. The list goes on. At the end of it all, I have a strange feeling that if Jesus were to plant a church today, it would look very different from what we have become familiar with, what we call church. Grant us wisdom O Lord!
Does every visitor feel welcome in our church? Or do only certain types feel welcome while others are ignored? If we only love those who are easy to love and connect with, then our love is conditional and that’s not what the church should be. Look out for someone to connect with next Sunday.
I once read in a devotion, “Pride is the only disease in the world that the person who has it doesn’t know he has it but everyone around him does!” Scary isn’t it? Thus, regular self-examination and humble listening to what loved ones and close friends say to us about us is so important and necessary. Remember, God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. So always be humble in the sight of the Lord and in due season, He will lift you up for the Lord fights for you and you only need to be still. As Paul McGee puts it, S.U.M.O. – Shut Up Move On! (Jas.4:6,10; Exo.14:14)
Let the grace of God lubricate our relationships. Who are we without His grace? Be quick to listen, slow to speak. No need to defend ourselves or fight for our rights all the time. Give grace, don’t just take it.
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