How to Build the Church
Devotional Thoughts of the Day:
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:11-15 (NLT)
418 The Lord can raise children of Abraham from the very stones… But we must make sure that the stone is not crumbly, for though hard rock may be shapeless, it is easier to hew good stone for building from it. (1)
While the church, whether Lutheran, Protestant or Catholic finds a renewed focus on evangelization, I sometimes fear that we are so focused on conversion, that we forget the responsibility of the Church and the churches have to grow and disciple those who have come to Christ. Evangelization isn’t just about that first contact, it is about a continual growth in our trust, in dependance on Christ, on God.
You see, Christianity isn’t just a conversion experience, it is a relationship with God that God defines, that God sustains, that God deepens as He reveals Himself. And the church is the instrument He reveals Himself through, as He is sahred through the word of God in songs, in sermons, in Bible Study and prayer, and of course in special acts we called sacraments – where God promises and fulfills them to His people. This defined relationship is why some call Christianity a relationship.
But back to this devotion, and this concept of growing in the relationship as God reveals His love to us, and through us to each other and the world. It is why we have churches, and BIble Studies and all sorts of things – but they have to focus on that relationship, on clearly communicating and revealing Christ, and in the process teach us how to reveal Christ to each other, as we love them as Christ does. (see the book of 1 John for an explanation of the necessity of this) So we grow together, we encourage each other, we support and work with each other.
That is what St Josemaria is talking about, when he talks of hewing a stone, helping it fit into the others, as God build His church….
Basic? Perhaps… but on this day.. maybe that is needed, so we don’t do something else, but stay on task as the church, His church!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1875-1877). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on November 7, 2013, in Devotions and tagged bible study, Christ, christianity, Church, discipleship, God, teaching Christ Likeness, Temple of the Holy Spirit. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.