24. Be proud of your church - Colossians 1:3-14
Colossians 1:3-14 - We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— ...and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light...
I had made the trip to the hospital to visit some people. One of ladies I had planned on visiting was being attended to by the nurses so I waited in the hall. Just across the hall there was a nurses station where a nurse and a CNA were busy talking.
I try not to listen in on other people's conversation but when they said "church" my radar ears went up. They were busy comparing notes about the churches they attend. They talk about what they didn't like about the worship service and they were critical of the preacher for trying to get more people involved. They complained about the "new" praise songs and the worship leader. They also were comparing notes about this person and that. There was not one positive note given between the two.
When the nurses were through in the room I was relieved to be able to go in and visit. The room was filled with balloons, flowers, and cards which the lady in the bed filled me in on each one. Almost everything in the room had been brought to her by a member of our congregation. She also mentioned all the prayers, phone calls, and visits. She just beamed and said, "I just love our church!" I believe I popped two buttons on my shirt that day!
The contrast was amazing. Two testimonies were given that day. The difference could be seen on the faces of the ones giving that testimony. Which testimony would draw you to Christ?
It is easy to get into a habit of complaining and gripping about your church and church family. I once had an older lady come up to me at a restaurant where I was dining with a leader in the church. She gave me a discussed look and said, "I thought only old women liked to gossip and complain." We both were so embarrassed that we decided to try to hold each other accountable to say positive things from that time on.
If we are going to shine the light than we need to learn that other eyes and ears are on us. A little pride and love for our church can be a good thing. May God bless you as shine the light bright for him today.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God; How many times have I embarrassed myself and YOU by being critical or complaining about your church? How many times have I given people an excuse not to go to church because I grumbled about something or someone I didn’t like in the church? How many times has the light been diminished because I threw mud on the Bride of Christ? I am truly sorry and ask for your forgiveness. Hold me up and help me to say only words that bring light to you and your church. Thank you for forgiving me by the blood of Jesus Christ, In Jesus’ name, AMEN!