Friday, January 11, 2019

A Christian’s Life Support

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

While it is true that you can be a Christian without being in a church, it also true that your witness, testimony and purpose can never be fully developed and effective outside of the church.  Salvation is always individual, but it is never isolating; always personal, but never private. The early Christians were all associated with local congregations of believers.
Some people will admit to being members of the Church in a universal sense, but claim they see no particular need to unite with a local congregation. This thought was entirely foreign to the New Testament -  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11   We can’t do this unless we are vitally related to other Christians!
When times of crises and stress come, which they inevitably do, a person who keeps it all to themselves will have few resources with which to cope. Without the sense of community, other Christians that you know who will come along beside you and lift you up, walk with you in the trenches, these low points in life are so much harder to make it through.  I have heard so many say, I don’t know what I would have done without my church.
Many churches offer specific help for specific problems such as divorce, grief, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency and aging.  We also need the local congregation to aid in the raising of our children. Few parents today find raising children, especially teenagers, an easy task. The Church can be our very best ally as we seek to train our children to believe what is true and obey what is right. 
God never intended for us to make this journey through life alone. Coming together for corporate worship and Bible studies weekly is a restorative time from the bumps and bruises of this life, not to mention a time to ask for prayer and seek comfort, wisdom, and even physical help from fellow Christians.  
Church should not be a place where we have to pretend to be something that we are not.  Church is not a place for perfect people who have no flaws or problems.  Church should be where we bring our problems, express our sorrows, and seek wisdom for our struggles.  Church should be a place where we can be real and honest.  When this happens, we are so much more likely to thrive in our Christian walk.  
The church is for the world, for reaching the unchurched and taking the gospel of Christ to those beyond our walls.  But the church is also for the believer.  It is our support, our community and our lifeline.  The unity we share with other believers is special in that we are all connected through Christ.  This fellowship we share is never passive.  It is always linked to action, not just being together, but also doing together. Fellowship creates a mutual bond which looks beyond pride, vanity, and individualism, fulfilling the human yearning with belonging, and companionship.
Scripture to Claim:  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15

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