Let’s Talk About Church People

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In twenty six years of salvation I’ve been in a variety of churches. I’ve been in many denominations and nondenominational churches and I can tell you that there are as many “styles” of service as there are denominations. If not more. Because within the denominations you’ll find various styles of worship. I don’t know that there has ever been a church that I haven’t found people that I loved. I may not have enjoyed their style of worship, but if they loved Jesus, I loved them! But the truth is, it does not matter if I like your church or not, it only matters if it is acceptable to God.

Paul told the Romans in Chapter 12, verses 1-2:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Paul was begging them, by the mercies of God. Do we realize how deep that well of mercy is for us? I don’t think I do. God has extended mercy to me so many times each day that I lose county before 8 a.m. I love the mornings because it is another opportunity to get something accomplished for Christ. But it doesn’t take long for me to get into an ungodly manner of thought or behavior. As I have been recently trying to sort out the direction for me and my ministry I grew increasingly frustrated with people of faith who don’t even acknowledge that I have a ministry, and then I was frustrated with myself for caring that other people didn’t acknowledge me. The only One that should matter is God. I need to transform my own thought process – – proving what is that good, acceptable and perfect, will of God for my life. The congregations of God are not my problem. God is a relational God and wants to relate to me. And you! So let’s do some ciphering on that…

[3] For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Humility – “oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way… remember the song? Humility is tough. Just when you think you have it, the flesh rises and you realize that you don’t. It’s a behavior that has to be trained every day. And then there is sober living. Meaning without immoderate uncontrolled passion. It does not mean a sad sack disposition that I have witnessed on more Christians than I can count inside the church. Now outside… woah baby, they are not sad at all. But for some reason, they believe that the church is a place akin to a morgue or a funeral parlor. But God says to seriously consider your measure of faith.

How much do you have? Do you have enough to get through the worst day of your life when any unimaginable thing may happen? I have had a few of those days. Three heart attacks, open heart surgery, loss of a job, cut to the core by people who were suppose or care. I can say, praise God! That none of these things moved me. But it’s not been without struggle. I think that the “measure of faith” is just the amount that we need, no more, no less. But it’s in there.

[4] For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: [5] So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. [6] Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; [7] Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; [8] Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

A blessing that I have made into a problem are the gifts God has given me. I have multiple. And I say that with all humility because just because I have a gift doesn’t mean I always use it to the best of my ability or with the intended use of God. I am an artist. (Yet I critique myself until I hide it in a drawer.) I’m a singer, and I booger myself up until I’m sick before I perform. I’m a teacher (been known to be a preacher when God’s power is allowed work through me. But I quite often squelch it for myself in judgement. I’m a writer, but I compare myself to writers of great fame and think, why? I’m a musician, yet I refuse to practice then complain because I’m terrible. I’m a speaker, moderate at best. I have a lot room for self improvement. I could have my own show.

[9] Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. [10] Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; [11] Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; [12] Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; [13] Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. [14] Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. [15] Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. [16] Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. [17] Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. [18] If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Here is where the rubber meets the road on churches. Without dissimulation is without hypocrisy. When I say that I love all of God’s people, I mean it and it is without hypocrisy. There is nobody that I wouldn’t want to be in Heaven with. But… praise God we’re all going to be like Christ when we get there, because the thoughts of spending eternity with some people makes me glad for a city four square. Personalities clash, scripture discernment varies, there are happy Christians and sad Christians, those who like a loud church and those who like a quiet church. You can probably guess which group I’m in. When I read that we should not be slothful in business, and we should be “fervent” in the Lord, I read that to mean excited! Give me an Amen when I’m singing or speaking, tell me that you and I agree in the Lord, stand up and clap your hands and show me your heart got happy in a service, I won’t call you down! Paul said to rejoice because we have hope. And let Satan know, like Job did, that you’re even happy when times are rough. Glory to God I just wrote myself happy!

Last week I was accused of taking vengeance. That’s okay if some people think that. I know better. God said if it’s possible live in peace. He also knew that it wouldn’t always be possible. We of course have to choose our battles carefully and make sure that we’re fighting the Lord’s fight and not the flesh. Can’t say that I’ve always won that one either. But I’m trying my best.

As I move on to a new phase in my spiritual walk, I don’t know what it’s going to be like or where it’s going to be. But I know God is with me.

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