I am blessed to live in a town where a group of ten or so pastors each week have chosen to lay aside denominational identifications and gather to pray and share as the family the Lord’s Word, fellowship, and support. God did not direct just one denomination to share the hope of His Gospel, but commanded all of those who believe in Him to witness of Him and His Son Jesus Christ.
A recent time together focused on the words Jesus shared: John 13:35 NKJV By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
What do those outside His Church, His Body, when looking at those claiming to be part of Him? What do you think they see if they look at the Christian churches in your community? If you are attending a church, what do they see when they look at it? Remember, the church is not a building but people. 1Peter 2:5 NKJV you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. AND o Ephesians 2:19 NKJV Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God
So what do they see? Do they see believers living together as He stated? Jesus said in Matthew 7:16 NKJV You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
- Mark 12:33 NKJV And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
- John 13:34-35 NKJV A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- 1Pe 4:8-9 NKJV And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “LOVE WILL COVER A MULTITUDE OF SINS.” (9) Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
- Mark 11:25 NKJV “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
- Luk 6:37 NKJV “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
These are some of the instructions the Lord tells His Church regarding how it was to be seen when born again and led by His Spirit. Do those outside His Church see the Lord and His Peace, Joy, Hope, Love, and Trust alive in the lives of those in His Church? When they look at His Body in the churches in your area, what do they see? Would they see all the believers saying “AMEN” to this statement made by Paul? 1Corinthians 12:20-27 NKJV But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. (21) And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (22) No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. (23) And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, (24) but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, (25) that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. (26) And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (27) Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
As a pastor, under-shepherd, of a smaller church of about sixty-five souls, I know everyone personally and those that are new within a couple of weeks. I ask myself this question and allow it to drive what I teach and how I act in the position the Lord has placed me.
I ask myself what others see in my family and me. Do they see Jesus Christ in us and leading us? I then ask what others outside the church see in the fellowship the Lord has gathered together in the body I pastor.
I ask you as a reader of this blog;
- If you are a believer, what do those outside the church see in you? The church you attend? The Christian community in your area? Do you need to personally change anything when you look in the mirror of God’s Word? Is there anything you can do to help your church align more to the picture the Lord has shared on how we should look and act?
- If you are not a believer, what do you see? Feel free to share in the comments
Humbly and sincerely written by a Simple Pastor,