LIVING LIFE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY
MINISTERING TO OTHERS IN JESUS' NAME
Let's Move Forward Together
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January offers us a blank slate each year. Although the year will be unpredictable, there are certain things for which we can plan. I would like you to examine your heart toward the church. I’m not referring to the buildings, but the people. The uniqueness of the church is that we can be united as well as diverse. But where we focus our attention will determine the strength and health of our church.
If we focus on what unites us, such as Jesus, our Savior, evangelism, meeting needs of others, caring for those within our church family and fellowship, we tend to move more as one body of believers toward the same goals. We can positively focus on what is diverse by seeing each other as assets and celebrating the gifting of our members. But we also risk division by focusing on our differences as if these exist in opposition. Once we begin to focus negatively on what makes us different, Satan can use this to put a stop to our work for the Lord. Not everyone is like you or me. I’m glad this is true. If we were all the same we would be rather boring and we would miss out on the many gifts others add.
Paul uses the example of the church being members of a body. The ear is not the eye but it doesn’t make it superior or inferior just because it is different. The ear is not meant to see and the eye is not meant to hear. They are gifted differently. But when they work together what a wonder it is. Our body is not perfect, but it is complete. God has you a part of our church for a purpose that only you can fulfill. God has brought you with the gifts He’s given you and planned out a purpose for which you are to glorify Him. Your presence is not to look down on someone who has been given different gifts, nor is it to judge whether or not someone is doing well with their gifts.
It is easy to determine that someone is not pulling their weight, or that they don’t do things well because they don’t do them your way. It is hard to let others make decisions that you wouldn’t. But it is just like God to bring in diverse people to accomplish all of His work. Leadership can be made difficult when the team has a tendency to pull apart rather than pull together. That’s why we must be united in our goals as a church. We must agree that God is leading us in a certain direction and to accomplish ministry goals. When we set aside our own desires and set goals based upon growing the kingdom of God and meeting the needs of the church and the community in which God, in His sovereignty, has placed us, we can move forward together for His glory.
So the slate is clean. Your heart is examined. What will be your role this year? Joining the church’s mission to bring glory to God? Will you determine to have your own way, hindering the progress and ministry of the church? Is there anyone with whom you just can’t minister? Is there a part of the body you think you could do without? This could be a great year where we see lives changed, people saved, growth in discipleship and in depth of the scriptures and the health of our church increase. You are apart because God has brought you here. What will you do?
First Baptist Church