Yesterday, Blackaby discussed God speaking to the congregation through a member. Today, he took the opposite approach and discussed the congregation speaking to a single member. Basically, his thoughts can be broken down in to three parts:
- The congregation can help a member hear God speak â€“ there are times when I may not be able to hear God and think that He isn’t speaking to me. Perhaps a fellow member of my congregation will be able to point to something that allows me to hear His words.
- The congregation can help a member understand God’s words â€“ oftentimes, I misinterpret what God is saying. It is helpful if I have a trusted member of the congregation that knows me to turn to for help.
- The congregation can correct a message that I’ve heard in error â€“ perhaps I thought I heard God but it wasn’t God at all. The congregation can help me to see this and correct my path.
Blackaby said one thing that made me pause for a moment:
The beauty of a church is that godly people are able to witness God’s activity in your life over the course of time.
I wonder if that is why we see so many people change churches frequently. Church shopping. Is it really more like church avoiding? So that they can make a fresh start? If so, that’s so wrong on so many levels. Need to think about that further.
And again, I come up against the value of the Tanach, or Old Testament. In Acts, Peter explains to the church that they should replace Judas, using Psalm 109:8 as a reference. The church agreed and chose Matthias. How can Christians today relegate the Tanach to a position of a book on a dusty shelf if the early Christians used it as their guide to Christ and God? Makes no sense but we do it.
Another thing Blackaby said that caught my eye is that “each church or congregation has a specific purpose”. Most of our churches, including mine, try to be all things to all people. He used Ephesians 4:11-12 as his proof text.
Ephesians 4:11 It was heï»¿ who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, to equipï»¿ the saints for the work of ministry, that is,ï»¿ to build up the body of Christ
His point is that God has sent different people into different congregations for a specific reason. I think that he is right. Maybe that is why we can be so uncomfortable at times at church, we are not on mission as God intended. Another thing for me to meditate on further.
And the last point (perhaps it isn’t Blackaby’s but mine) is that we have to share responsibility within the church. So many times, a few of us are so involved that it blocks others from working. We don’t do it on purpose, it’s more of the “well, if I don’t do it no one will” mentality but really, we don’t allow people to help because they see us, our enthusiasm and think that they aren’t necessary. And become disillusioned and seek another church. I must be very careful to avoid this.
Excellent study today.
The Fellowship of the Early Believers
Ephesians 2:42-47 They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.ï»¿ Reverential aweï»¿ï»¿ came over everyone,ï»¿ï»¿ and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. All who believed were together and heldï»¿ï»¿ everything in common, and they began sellingï»¿ï»¿ their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread fromï»¿ï»¿ house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, praising God and having the good willï»¿ï»¿ of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.