Seven years ago, Chris Gallagher asked me to write a post of What I love about the church. I gave three reasons then. Here are the “edited for content and to fit in the allotted space” reasons I gave then.
- I love the Church in view of the fact that God loved Her enough to purchase Her at a sacrificial price.
- I love the Church that is precious to Christ.
- I love the Church that has the promise of an eternally joyous relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Father.
I still love the Church, in fact, I can honestly say, “I love her more now than I did then or ever have.” But before I list more reasons, allow me to tell you a little about my background.
I grew-up church. My grandparents raised my mother in the Church and my father’s mother and aunts taught him about Christ and His Church. When my parents married there was no question in their young married life about the role of Christ and the Church. As they started a family the role of the Church increased as did their roles within her. During my growing up years my parents taught Bible classes, had members, church leaders, and ministers over for dinner, and held church socials at our house. Dad served as a deacon and was the volunteer minister for the deaf ministry. He later became an elder and continues to serve in that role.
I literally grew-up in Church. I attended a private Christian elementary school, where my mother served as a secretary. When were not at school or school functions we are at Church or church functions. By my upper high school years my peers and I were leading the youth program – we did not have a youth minister. Church was my life.
As high school graduation approached and all the opportunities for adulthood came, I could not think of a better way to live than to dedicate all my time to the Church. I went to school to become a minister. For 28 years, I have served in fulltime ministry with three different congregations. Church involvement was never an option in my mind. I knew I would be a part of Her. I love the Church.
I think of the Church the way the psalmist thought of the House of God. “I was glad when they said to m, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (Psa 122:1)
I LOVE THE CHURCH!
- I love the Church because she is the Elect Bride of Christ. (Eph 5:21-33). Paul’s description of the Church as the betrothed of Christ is a beautiful portrait. Whenever I see a long-lasting marriage relationship that is beautiful and I see the way the husband dotes on his bride of many years, I think about Christ doting on His Betrothed Bride – the Church. I think of how He is preparing Her for the day He presents His Chosen Bride to the Father. How proud He is of Her beauty and accomplishments that glorify Him. I love the Church because the Christ loves Her.
- I love the Church because she is the Kingdom of Christ. (Col 1:13-14). Jesus earthly ministry was about repentance and the Kingdom. As Christians, we are a citizen in that Kingdom now. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20) as we are part of the earthly kingdom, His Church now. I love the Church because the King of kings is Her Sovereign.
- I love the Church because the Bride and Kingdom are a glimpse of heaven. Christ will present his Elect Bride to the Father at the Great Wedding Day (Rev 19:6-10). Christ will turn the Kingdom over to the Father when the end comes (1 Cor 15:24). I love the Church because the Bride and Kingdom will be translated to heaven.
- I love the Church because I love Her people. Here people share a common bond. There is a love that is not easily broken. We understand each other’s struggles and pray for each other. We are there to help each other with spiritual, emotional, and physical battles. We rejoice and weep with each other (Rom 12:15). I live hours away from my parents and my brother, but I have family near me, the Church is our family. I love that family and the fellowship we have.
Maybe these are some of the reasons the Hebrew writer penned these words, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb 10:24-25)
Why do you love the Church?
Scott McCown is a minister with the Central Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He and his wife, Amy, have one son, Andrew, who is a Junior at Faulkner University. Scott is a graduate of Faulkner University with a BA in Bible and an MA in Ministry. He regularly publishes The Morning Drive (scottmccown.com).
Personal Note: This month I have asked several people to write for a Guest Post on the Preacher’s Pen website. You will see articles written by people you know and people you don’t know…yet. There will be articles from men, women, preachers, non-preachers, etc. This is an opportunity to see how others love the church. So, enjoy the month of “Why I Love the Church!”
I thank Scott for writing the beginning article for the guest post series, “Why I Love the Church!” I have always enjoyed Scott’s writings and encourage you to check them out at his website – http://www.scottmccown.com
Have you always wanted to study the Bible, but did not know exactly where to begin?
The outlines below are simple outlines to being your personal study. You will notice the outlines are not complete. Use them as a guide to help you study.
Preachers, feel free to use these as a help to kick start our sermon on Sunday.
Outline #1 – Attitude Determines Altitude
- Why is Attitude Important?
- Attitudes are always forming
- Attitudes are formed when we are young
- Attitude problems are the result of heart problems
- What must My Attitude be?
- Not as the rich young ruler.
- The Attitude of Christ
- We need an attitude of “Yes! We can!”
- How is your attitude?
- Is it Christ-like?
- Since attitude problems are heart problems, where is your heart?
- Have you learned to be content?
Outline #2 – Do Not Mumble or Grumble
- The Dangerous Attitude of Complaining
- How can we be blameless and shining as lights in the world, if we complain?
- Complainers bring others down.
- The Dangerous Attitude of Disputing
- Some people try to dispute, stir up anger and arguments
- “All that is needed to make a mountain out of a molehill is a little dirt.”
- Our Attitudes and Words
- Words affect people?
- Replace complaining and disputing with good things (i.e. – thankfulness, faith, kindness, etc)
- What will your words do today
Outline #3 – Taking it all in and letting none of it out
- The Most Followed command?
- Matthew 8:4 – “See that you tell no one…”
- Why did Jesus say that phrase?
- Do many people follow it today?
- Why do many follow those words today?
- Specifically, fear of rejection
- Some are afraid they will be wrong
- We need to get off our “buts.” (ex. – I really know I should but…)
- Isaiah 6:8 – “Here am I, send me”
Outline #4 – Simply Trusting God
- Simply trusting God means you are like Joseph
- Remember Joseph’s words to his brothers? (Genesis 45:5)
- Joseph kept confidence by relying on God’s providence
- Simply trusting in God means you are like Daniel
- Daniel was a man of principles
- He refused the kings food.
- He refused not to pray.
- God admires principles. (Psalm 15:1-5)
Outline #5 – Christian Repentance
- Why would a Christian need to repent?
- Christians can stray away
- Demas (2 Timothy 4:10)
- Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:13; 18-23)
- What is your reaction to sin?
- Do you deny it?
- Do you try to cover it up?
- Do you justify it?
- Do you take responsibility?
- You must live a life of action
- “Faith without works is dead.”
- You are salt and light
- Christian’s Change
- They change as they grow
- Psalm 51
Outline #6 – “Lord I believe. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:34)
- The situation: the disciples were not able to cast out a spirit of a boy, so the Father appealed to Jesus.
- “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
- Note the verse is not a contradiction.
- It may be better rendered, “Lord, I believe. Help my unfaithfulness.”
- Do you believe but lack faith?
- Are you in need of an increase of faith?
- The father had belief, but he needed more faith.
- How can you increase your faith?
- Romans 10:17
- Start now. (Matthew 4:18-20)
- Attend uplifting events. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Find contentment and joy in God. (Philippians 4)
- When in doubt, pray. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Remember to use these outlines are a guide for further study.
Check back next Wednesday for a few more outlines.
Just my thoughts,
Human emotions are tricky. One day your emotions are perfectly fine and another day they seem to be all confused. Life, aka – the human experience, can be a roller-coaster ride and your emotions flow right along with it. Throughout a person’s life, they have feelings of guilt and loneliness. Each time, the emotions may differ in strength, but they still have their effects.
There are times when guilt and loneliness can be overwhelming and start to hinder the progress of our lives. It is then time to find the steps necessary to begin to break free from our burdens and begin to grow again.
Here are two recent lessons on Loneliness and Guilt are you free to download and use. The links to the Microsoft Word and the Microsoft PowerPoint files are below the picture.
The Burden of Guilt Microsoft Word document (Right-click and choose “Save As…”)
The Burden of Guilt Microsoft PowerPoint document (Right-click and choose “Save As…”)
The Burden of Loneliness Microsoft Word document (Right-click and choose “Save As…”)
The Burden of Loneliness Microsoft PowerPoint document (Right-click and choose “Save As…”)
For Your Information: The outlines and PowerPoints above are provided for your benefit. I encourage you to take the information and make it your own instead of just downloading and using it without study. Do not become lazy in learning, but let these become seeds of thought for future lessons
Just some thoughts,
A few years ago, I ran across this brief story and found it moving and making a great point each person can understand. I cannot remember where I first heard the story, but it concreted itself in my mind. I have used variations of it before and every time someone comes up after the lesson to thank me for the illustration. I tell them it is not mine and I am sure the original author would appreciate it.
The link below is to a version of the story.
A gentleman was flying on an airplane when the plane ran into some turbulence. At first, no one was too alarmed, thinking that the rough patch would soon be past. However, the plane continued to be rocked and swayed by the powerful currents all around it. As the man looked around at the other passengers, he could see the fear rising in the eyes of those closest to him. The plane continued to dip and roll with the unstable environment it was flying in.
All of a sudden, this man’s eyes fell on a young girl who seemed to be all alone with no adult near her. He watched her as she sat reading her book during the frightening journey. She would look down at her book and then raise her head and close her eyes. After a few moments, she would look back down at the book again. She repeated this pattern throughout the turbulence. What struck the man observing her was the little girl’s calm demeanor while those much older than she were visibly shaken.
The plane landed safely on the tarmac some time later. The passengers were grateful to be on solid ground again. The gentleman decided to let everyone else in the plane disembark as he stayed behind to talk to the young girl. He smiled as he approached her, still sitting calmly in her seat.
“I have a question,” he said to her.
“I was wondering how you were able to stay so calm during the turbulence we went through in the air when so many adults were afraid.”
The little girl looked up at the man and said simply,
“My daddy is the pilot of this airplane. He told me he was taking me home.”
Hope this stirs your mind for this coming Father’s day.
Just my thoughts,