September 18 (Ephesians 4:11-12)
gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists,
the shepherds and teachers, building
up the body of Christ. (ESV)
There is no organization of human origin that can equal the church. For redemption, salvation, healing, comfort, education, knowledge, truth, service, and restoration, there is no organization of human origin that equal the church. There are human organizations that may address one or more of these things, but there is not one that addresses the totality of human need, both earthly and eternal.
Does that seem like a bold claim? It is not. Our individual churches may fall short of the mark, but the body of Christ on earth, the church, stretching across the globe and across two millennia, is unequalled, and the reason is simple. The church is not an organization of human origin. It is a divine calling of people established by Jesus Himself. It began when Jesus said to Peter, “on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
So that leads us to consider the particular churches we call home. Are we small but complete microcosms of the body of Christ? Are we, as best we can with the gifts given to the people of our churches, doing all that God asks of us? Are we imitating the works of the first churches? If we are anything less than all God has equipped us to be, we not only fail the work of Christ, but we set a poor example to the world of what the church truly is.
Jesus, You have
given me so many gifts. I do not want to
keep them in their package as I sit in my church seeking only to be fed with music
and teaching. Help me to use what You
have given me with other brothers and sisters to make disciples of You and
launch them into Your work in this world.
Copyright © 2016 by Steven R. Perkins