What Kind of Church Am I?
- 2010 15 Oct
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
What do you think Jesus Christ thinks of your church?
You are probably thinking, "Well, I really like my church."
Trust me on this: His standards are a little higher than ours. But you do want your church to be pleasing to the Lord, don't you? That's so much the focus of my passion when it comes to the church I pastor. But, of course we come quickly to the understanding that we can't easily change our church. We can't fix the things that we wish were different. The main thing you and I can focus on is us. That's why we need to keep asking, What kind of church am I?
What kind of church am I? That's something I can work on. What if everyone prayed like me? What if everyone gave or served like me? What if everyone spoke like me? Would a congregation full of people just like me be everything God wants the church to be? What kind of church am I? Paul describes each of us in 1 Corinthians 6:19 as "a temple of the Holy Spirit," so the question is valid.
The way Jesus talked to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2 gives us two huge questions we can ask ourselves when we want to check what kind of church we are. The first question is, Am I fired up about the truth? That is how Jesus evaluates His church. Am I passionate about knowing and obeying the truth?
The second question we must ask is, Have I fallen away from my first love? Christ holds this against us, not in terms of salvation, but in terms of our relationship with our Savior. Do you have a loveless orthodoxy? Do you believe right things but lack passion? Were there times when your life was more righteous. Were there times when your sacrifice for the kingdom of God was more obvious? Have you gotten too comfortable? Have you returned to selfish patterns? If so, now what should you do?
The words remember, repent, and re-engage summarize Christ's instruction (see Revelation 2:5). Jesus' loving words to the Ephesian believers is His Word to each of us.
James MacDonald is the pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel outside Chicago. James' teaching, which emphasizes the precise exposition of God's Word and its practical life application, can be heard on Walk in the Word, a daily 30-minute radio program heard on over 1030 outlets across North America. Walk in the Word's mission is to ignite passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth. For more information, visit www.walkintheword.com.
Publication date: October 15, 2010