But, you see, that’s what brings about the joy of gratitude...receiving what we don’t deserve. When that happens, humility replaces pride. A thankful spirit cancels out arrogance. Mercy flies in the face of resentment.
In Israel's northern city of Caesarea Philippi, among the ruins of a worship centre dedicated to the Greek god Pan, a cave exists that was long believed by those who worshipped there to be the doorway into the netherworld. It was in the vicinity of this grotto, the alleged gateway to hell, that Jesus promised: "Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it" (Matthew 16:18).
From Pentecost in the first century to the present day, Satan has attempted to destroy Christ's Church—yet it endures. From a small group of Jewish outsiders in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, Christ built His Church to reach even the remotest parts of the world. Despite controversies, wars, and denominational splits, the Church continues to be the means through which God announces to a dark and dying world that light and life have come in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
For these reasons, and many more, we learn about and appreciate the body of Christ, the Church.
Our attitude towards one another must be gracious. There’s love when you’re gracious, there’s tenderness when you’re gracious.
Being involved means more than shaking hands with people on your way out of a church service—it’s investing in the lives of others.
We live in a time when theological foundations are being rocked. Both leaders and lay people have turned away from theology as an essential component of their personal faith in Christ.
Being alert and discerning, basing one’s opinion on the absolute truth, is a sign of maturity, a mark of excellence in a life. But pasting labels on people and churches and schools with only partial facts, feelings, and opinions to back those statements up is worse than unfair...it’s un-Christian.
As long as the church of Jesus Christ is present on this earth, lawlessness remains under great restraint. Second Thessalonians 2:7 puts it well, “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.”
One of the first things I learned as a pastor is that if a church is going to impact its community, the church leadership needs to understand the SHAPE of its people so ministry can be gift-based and passion-driven.
As believers, how often do we live out this same intentionally in our communities? These days it seems like we don’t invest in each other’s lives much, either because we’re distracted or don’t make the time.
We can practice fellowship by seeing and getting in touch with the big picture and goal of showing God’s glory to the world. We do this in all the many ways He has instructed us in the Bible.
Romans 12:14-21 paints a picture of the church using peace as his base colour with pronounced shades of humility and blessing.