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Word for Today / Love Your Church - Jesus Does! (7)

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Love Your Church - Jesus Does! (7)

'You too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives.' Ephesians 2:22 NIV

Jesus lives in each of those who make up His church. 'You are... members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.' (Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV) Nothing is nearer and dearer to the heart of God than His church. 'Christ... loved the church and gave Himself for her.' (Ephesians 5:25 NKJV)

His greatest interest, and the core of His eternal purpose, is that 'through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.' (Ephesians 3:10 NIV) You ask, 'How can I become a member of Christ's church?' It's a family; you must be born into it. That's why Jesus told Nicodemus, 'You must be born again.' (John 3:7 NKJV)

You don't get in by shaking a preacher's hand, filling out a membership card or making a donation to the building fund. The Bible says, 'Receive one another, just as Christ...received [you].' (Romans 15:7 NKJV) Once you've accepted Christ and He has accepted you, you're 'in'. You may not have the high profile others enjoy in your church, but in God's eyes you're a bona fide, blood-washed, Heaven-bound member of His family.

The Bible says, 'The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved' (Acts 2:47 KJV) - and when He adds you, there's not a soul on earth who can subtract you!

written by Bob Gass

 
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I fear that some believers will read this devotion and apply it to their denomination and think "oh I love my beloved denomination". But this is not the heart of this word by Bob Gass. It would be good if we also read Bob Gass's post called "denominationalism" in conjunction with this word. In the Bible there is no "your church and my church", it is just "the church" (Acts 2:47). The Lord does not love the denominational churches, so neither should we. They are a schism in the body (1 Cor 2:25) and a stain on His beloved bride (Eph 5:27). I know this will upset some of you who love denominations, but you don't have to worry about me you will answer to the King Himself one day. Like Christ's heart, Bob Gass's heart is for the Church and not any particular denomination.
 
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I'm experiencing right now a schism in my church and seeing unfair judgments of believers, etc. Yet God has asked me to stay there. Things like this happen to me often. One thing He showed me recently was to love people back to life, at church. Love them even though they don't love me. That's His will. I visit a lot of churches. This is just something I see: the smaller churches that have less members can sometimes be more friendly and less exclusive. The bigger the church becomes, the more social status and popularity and group games seem to come about. It's human nature. Christ calls the church His body. We believe this. We should live out like we believe it in our church bodies. Excessive upholding of our own denomination can reek of religion, but praising the Lord and learning and applying His Word, and growing and making disciples, is what it's really all about! Praise the Lord. <3
 

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