Lately I have been challenged by a number of messages preached at various conferences. (I would have loved to attend in person but had to settle for the podcasts.) It seems that these three unrelated conferences have hit on a common need; the need for a Christocentric church. It is as if we think the church could be anything except what God designed it to be.
I want to be crystal clear, I LOVE THE CHURCH! I also want to be honest in admitting that I am very judgmental towards the church at times. This is to my shame, and I publicly want to repent and confess it as a sin. You see, the church is my Savior’s love. She is His bride and the treasure he gave His life for. By being critical and judgmental of what Jesus loves and treasures I was in effect despising Jesus. You might be thinking that according to the state of the church today it was only common sense to be judgmental. But this “logic” is totally erroneous. According to such thoughts it would also be ok to constantly berate my wife for every little thing that displeases me. It is ludicrous.
Sadly, the truth is that the church today is a mess. So what do we do? We love and commit ourselves to the Savior. This includes the church for which He died. It especially means the church you are currently in. Love it, serve it, and give your life to it. More immediately it means stop criticizing and become a part of the solution. It means that we talk about Jesus as who He is, the Son of God. It means being faithful to the Gospel because as we proclaim truth we add precious beauty to the church (more worshippers).
More than anything else it means that we stop trying to make the church what we want (or think we want) it to be. The church is to be those who have been called from every tribe and people and tongue and nation. People called from sin and to God. Creatures called from idolatry and into the worship of the Creator. It means that I give up my preferences and become willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that all have a chance to hear the Good News. In short it means acting like Jesus.
We have no right to be judgmental. We have no right to want the church to be comfortable for us. We need to be willing to be the bride Christ desires. God help us be the reflection of His Son we were ransomed to be. Help us be the Bride Christ deserves. Because if we don’t the only ones we can blame for the failures of the church will be ourselves. Lord help us love the church as You do.