1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the whole day riding the trike with my wife and three other couples that we go to church with. This was the first time this year that all eight of us have been together for a ride; I call our little “gang” the Baptist Bikers, in case you’re wondering.
As we rode along throughout the day we changed positions at times, one leading a while, then some one else; the one riding in the back would move up in the line and a different person would anchor the group. At one point or another, each bike occupied just about every different slot.
As the day went on I noticed that no matter where each person was riding we were going along pretty well but at times we were smoother and more in sync than others. I realized that each of us had a position in the pack that we were best suited for. It might not be the placement we actually preferred but that slot was our strong point.
This made me think of the church. We all have a spot or “vocation” in the church. And while we may function okay pretty much all the time if we will be obedient to God’s will and get in the “spot” He has chosen for us, even if it’s not what we are most comfortable doing, the church and her members will be much more effective and fluid.
If we want to see our people saved and growing strong we have to get in line where He intends for us to be.
This past week the association that my home church belongs to held it’s annual revival. It is a full week of meetings, Monday through Saturday evenings, with business meetings and worship services during the day on Friday and Saturday, culminating on Sunday with Sunday school and a memorial service in the afternoon. At some point most, if not all, of the 37 churches of the association are represented, along with folks visiting from other churches and associations from as far away as Alabama and Missouri. It is a wonderful opportunity to worship and fellowship with folks you don’t see often and ones that you meet for the first time. It is also a great blessing to see how this diverse body comes together as one in the Lord during this time.
I was blessed to attend almost all of the events, missing Saturday evenings service. As I said, the worship, fellowship and the songs of praise were just outstanding. We were truly in one mind and one accord, so much so that each night the choir, which was never made up of the same folks, sounded like a group that sang together regularly for years. The Spirit of God flowed through out the week in all aspects of the meetings.
As enjoyable as this week was, I have to tell you I’m looking so very forward to Wednesday night this week. You see, due to the weeks meeting and other church events prior to that we’ve not met in our home church in about two weeks. And though I greatly enjoyed the fellowship of the brothers and sisters from the other churches, I miss my “family” at Gethsemane something terrible. It’s so sweet to have brothers and sisters in Christ that you (I) feel are truly family. Though I love all the brethren, that little group of Christians that makes up the Body of Gethsemane United Baptist Church holds an extra dear spot in my heart. I hope and pray that each of you are as blessed with a home church and “family” as I am. And I thank my God for each of them and for planting among them.
This we sent to me by my cousin after reading the article from Monday (http://tinyurl.com/l6eapj). I thought it was a beautiful and powerful testimony and wanted to share it with you.
(My friend) Beth died of stomach cancer also. She was a believer, a grace-filled, loving child of God, taken home too early from my own selfish viewpoint. We gave birth to our boys at the same time, met in Sunday School, taught our boys to swim in my pool Those boys were only 12 when Beth died. They are both married today, young men, about to begin families someday.
Beth was married to a man from a large Catholic family. Her husband joined and was a member of the Baptist church with Beth. One of the family traditions, was a huge family reunion each summer. The summer Beth was taken ill, she struggled to get ready for that reunion. She weighed less than 100 lbs, she had lost her hair, and had very little energy. I went to visit her, to help her iron and pack her clothes for the trip. She really didn’t feel like going she told me. BUT, she felt she had something that needed to be said, maybe one of the most important messages she might still have to be shared. So she went.
They taped her message. I still have it. It was played at her funeral…it was a story about trust. Trusting your life to Christ. Trusting in the scriptures that tell us, that in Christ and Christ alone, we live on. We do not leave our loved ones, we are reunited again in our heavenly home. However, not all of us will be there and that pained her. She wanted them to not grieve for her, but to know that she only wanted to honor God in her death. She left them with a plea. Please seek Him, and trust him. Accept him so they could be together again one day.
I know after Beth died (July 31st, 1997) that at least two of those family members accept the Lord. One being her father-in-law who died only a year or so after Beth.
What a gift she gave them all.
I miss her. But I know that I will get to see her some day in Heaven, and that I am assured of!
Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
Yesterday was our annual church-homecoming service. We had a great service, with special singers and a terrific message brought by our pastor, heard some uplifting testimonies and just had a great time worshipping and praising the Lord.
After the service we had our traditional homecoming fellowship meal. Of course, it was as tasty as always. There were so many great dishes and desserts there it was hard to decide on what to try. Say what you want, but we Baptists know about good cooking!
I was thinking about all of the loving preparation that went into getting ready for that meal. There must have been dozens of cooks scurrying about their kitchens the night before getting ingredients together and measured out, prepping them and then putting them all together into a scrumptious dish to share among their church family.
This got me to thinking about how much more should we prepare for the Great Homecoming we will all have some day. As children of God, our Homecoming will indeed be a great one. But for those that haven’t accepted Jesus, their’s will be far from great; it will be torment. We don’t know when that Homecoming will be (Mat. 24:36) so we should put in as much preparation for it as we can each day God allows us to be upon this earth. It may be the work you do today in preparation for that Great Homecoming will be what He uses to draw an unsaved person to Himself and spare them from an eternity of suffering.
John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
I pray that I will always be ready to do the works You have for me to do