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The Word For Today

LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (4)

'The many parts make up one whole body.' 1 Corinthians 12:12 NLT

The Bible says, 'The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body.' Let's use what may seem like a ridiculous illustration. Imagine your foot no longer wanting to be part of your body and when you ask why, it starts saying things like, 'I'm tired of getting walked on and dragged through the mud. Other parts of the body get off easy, but I have to do the heavy lifting. Nobody appreciates me. They talk about beautiful eyes and hair and lips, but nobody writes songs about feet. So I'm leaving.' When you enquire what your foot's future plans are, it says, 'I'm just going to sit at home and watch Christian TV.'
Now, Christian broadcasting has a very important role in society, especially for those who are shut in and can't get out to church. But when you leave a church without God's permission, you no longer function as He designed you to. You may have peace for a while, but you'll have no fulfilment. And because you are cut off from your spiritual food supply - you won't grow into maturity. 'Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand", that does not make it any less a part of the body...God has put each part just where He wants it...In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary' (1 Corinthians 12:14-22 NLT).
Why should you come back to church? For fellowship, food, function and fulfilment.

SoulFood: 1 Chron 19:1 - 23:20; Luke 13:1-17; Ps 119:49-56; Pro 21:4-6

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LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (3)

'The glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.' 1 Kings 8:11 NKJV

Only when the Ark of the Covenant was brought into the temple and set in its rightful position, which was the central place, did God's glory fill the temple. 'Then the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to its place...[And] the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord' (1 Kings 8:6, 10-11 NKJV).
There's a lesson here for all of us, particularly those in church leadership. Christ alone must have centre stage! Programmes and promotions are fine but only when Jesus is honoured as Lord, His Word preached and His presence reverenced and relished, will His glory fill the church. Next time you're standing in God's house singing His praise, pause and remind yourself: it's about Him, not me! One day the telephone rang in the clergyman's office at the Washington church President Franklin Roosevelt attended. A voice enquired, 'Do you expect the President to be in church on Sunday?' The pastor answered, 'That, I cannot promise. But we expect the Lord to be there, and that should be incentive enough for a reasonably large attendance.'
Hymnist Fanny Crosby wrote these words: 'Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.' Next Sunday don't just fill the pew, fill God's house with your heartfelt praise.

SoulFood: 1 Chron 16-18; Luke 12:49-59; Ps 119:41-48; Pro 21:1-3

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LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (2)

'You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.' 1 Peter 2:5 NIV

We don't go to church, we are the church! If we met for worship in the parking lot, we'd still be the church! Consider Solomon's temple. It was planned by David the father, built by Solomon the son, and at its dedication filled with the Holy Spirit.
Here are three ways your church is just like Solomon's temple: (1) It was built on redemption ground! Mount Moriah, the scene of Solomon's temple, is where Abraham took his son Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice. Guess what? Two thousand years later God led His only begotten Son up that same mountain to die for our sins. As G. D. Boardman said, 'The cross is the only ladder high enough to touch Heaven's threshold.' (2) It was the most unique building ever constructed. It was built from stones made ready before they were brought together. They were washed, then fashioned, then fitted together. And that's our story too, isn't it? 'You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house...offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.' (3) The building materials came from many nations. We aren't saved by race, but by grace. It's not the blood that flows in your veins that saves you; it's the blood that flowed from Christ's veins that makes you righteous and accepted before God.
Two unique phrases are used to describe Solomon's temple: 'exceeding magnificent' (1 Chronicles 22:5 NKJV); 'famous everywhere for its greatness and beauty' (1 Chronicles 22:5 NCV). That's how God feels about His church, and you should too!

SoulFood: 1 Chron 12:23 - 15:29; Luke 12:35-48; Ps 119:33-40; Pro 20:28-30

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