Titus 3:9-11 (NIV)
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
Is it just me or does this cartoon draw attention to a very real but sad point,
taking place in the Church?
All too often I’ve witnessed debates, arguments, and out and out quarrels take place among the brothers and sisters of faith. I’m talking about those belonging to the same congregation. I don’t even want to go outside the home doors. There’s enough of this activity inside without crossing denominational territory. I’ll admit, there are those occasions where valid points are made by both parties. Each providing scripture to back their position. The thing is, a lot of time is spent in a effort for one to be the winner of the debate… but to what end. Is ministry meant to be a contest to show whose more knowledgeable, whose right and whose wrong? Where is the joy in that?
Romans 12:16 (NIV)
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
We are charged with spreading the love of God and the joy of Jesus through “The Gospel”, not disorder. Yes there are differences of opinion, there will always be differences among us… get over it. None of us are perfect, not a single one. I think we would do much better if we agree to disagree. If we don’t, how do we appear to the rest of the world? More importantly, how would we appear if Christ were standing before us?
He “IS” Before Us…
2 Corinthians 12:20 (NIV)
For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
Every member of the Church, from leadership to the little guy that just walked in the door… every member, is present to serve “The Master.” Our agendas and personal preferences are of no importance. The Church, which we are given the task of strengthening, is better built with truth and love. It makes little justification where one appears on the congregational structure, political, social, or otherwise. We lead others to Christ by following after Him ourselves. Let these words marinade in your understanding.
Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
If I remember correctly, just before Jesus was taken captive, He spent time praying. His prayers were for the Disciples who would be left to carry on, and… for those who would come to faith because of their message. Seems to me we fall somewhere in that lineup and I don’t think Jesus would have prayed on it – if it wasn’t of great importance. Sometimes our loudest message is not sent with words. We must be ever vigilant to guard our actions and behavior, as well as our words.
John 17:20-23 (NIV)
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Our enemy is adversarial, it’s a quality of his nature. His tactics are deceiving, designed to rob us of our joy. Satan wants nothing less than to steal our hope and kill our spirit.
Keep Your Spirit…
All that happens around you, both the good and the bad, are attached to this fallen world. Even the things that sometimes take place inside the Church. It’s all temporary, passing from moment to moment. We must focus on the eternal… not the temporary. Our joy comes not from the outside. Its source is ever fed by the eternal Spirit of Christ within us. When we understand – that because He is with us and will never leave, – our joy really can be made full. Don’t allow the circumstances, the people, or the situations that come along with them to take that away.
John 15:11 (KJV)
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Always Remember… Always Know… and… Always Say…
“Jesus You’re the Center of My Joy.”