Sunday, May 31, 2015

Challenged by Church

Yesterday, between the memorial service for a faithful church member, and an end-of-the-year banquet celebrating God's goodness for another great year of student ministry, I spent some time with a dear friend.  We caught up on each others' lives, and spoke of what God is teaching us through the trials and circumstances of life.  It was uncomfortable.  It made me tired, and made me feel question my own faith just a little.  It made me examine myself.  I just didn't feel right in my spirit until I remembered one fundamental truth-a truth that's much more mental than fun.  That truth is that we are commanded repeatedly to examine ourselves.  That's what church is for; specifically, that is what other Christians are for.  We see ourselves best and most objectively when we consider what we look like to others.  As in countless other areas of life and faith, there is a fine line between an ungodly fear of man, and the truth that the way others see you says quite a bit about your life and faith.  We all know, I assume, that we aren't saved by external things like going to church or being nice to others, but if you are mean to others, there is a very good chance that you aren't really saved.  The growing number of Christians who've abandoned the church are putting themselves and their souls at a great disadvantage.  They may be growing in numbers, but it is unlikely that they are growing much in Godliness.  Church members sharpen each other.  We all benefit from other Christians, even-especially-when our time with them is uncomfortable.

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