Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Day 83: Church Family = Real Family
Today's picture is of a dear brother in Christ, Stan. He says that he isn't very good at speaking in front of groups, but I think he has done very well the times he has felt lead to speak. He has been shown a lot over the past few months and wanted to take an opportunity to let the rest of us know how God has been working in his life. His testimony of God's goodness really blessed me this evening.
Stan really means a lot to me. He has been a very good friend, has taught me a few things and is a wonderful man that God is using greatly. He challenges me sometimes when he asks "what's God doing in your life right now?" But I need that challenge, because I always need to be aware of just what God is actively doing around me. I do pay better attention, not to have something to tell Stan when he asks, but his questioning has just opened up a facet that I was ignoring. An area of understanding that was missing from my daily walk.
Stan is but one part of the body at Oak Grove. He is just as integral as the pastor or any other member of the body. We are all connected, we are all part. We should be just as connected as an actual body, when a hand is hurting then the feet should know. For the most part I think this is true there at Oak Grove. We are a tight knit group of people that realize our standing before a holy God. We know we are needy and we know that God uses the body of Oak Grove to minister to one another. I can attest first hand to that.
Oak Grove is also part of the larger body of Christ. We have the life blood bond of Christ. We may just be a little toe on the fuller body of Christ, but that little toe is needed. The other body parts are worldwide and we need fellowship with those other parts as well.
If you do not have a church home I implore you to seek God to show you where He would have you. Then search out a church family that is true to the Word of God firstly, then where you feel like you belong. Do not do those in opposite order as many "churches" out there cater to the flesh and are quite good at it. Seek a church that stands on the authoritative Word of God, salvation by faith alone , by grace alone, through Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. Do not fall for the slick gimmicks or the tickling of ears or the lusts of the flesh.
I know the struggles of being in a church that does not properly preach the Word of God. After God truly saved me, He allowed me to see a lot of things going on around me that I had always seen, but I then saw them with new eyes. This was the church I was raised in, that my mother still attends, so I had a lot of investment there. Thing is, God was not the draw any longer. The man centered, purpose driven philosophy had filtered in over the years. With the installment of the newest pastor, the church started a more rapid decline to a man centered message. I do not pray for that congregation nearly enough, but I need to. It would be awesome to hear that they have repented of their man centered ways and means and turned to God and His Word for everything. Out with the social club, in with the true Church of God.