Over the course of the last couple of weeks a lesson about the health and vitality of the church was made evident to me. It is easy for us to settle into a mindset that the health of a church is always and constantly moving in one direction or the other and it takes a significant change in circumstances for that direction to change. Either the church is healthy and growing or the church is weak and dying but it is always moving in one direction or the other.
Certainly, this is often true of many churches. Likewise, it is often true that major changes in the church — for instance the calling of a new pastor — can alter the course that a church is on. Of course we know and I hope we understand that the ultimate controlling force in the life of a church is the Lord’s blessings upon the body.
The lesson that was driven home for me over the course of the last couple of weeks is that the direction of a church is not a constant course but rather something that can change from week to week. A church that seems healthy and thriving one Sunday can be left nearly empty the next. While we each have reasons that keep us away from the church building from week to week — left to the desires of Satan those reasons develop into excuses for apathy and a lack of attendance.
“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Luke 13:35)
The Lord in this verse was speaking to national Israel that had so quickly turned their back upon the LORD and refused to follow after the Messiah Jesus Christ. While this verse was not directly speaking to the New Testament church there is no doubt that the same lesson applies today.
When we stop being exited to go to church — when it stops being the highlight of our week and rather becomes part of our weekly routine we must be careful for we just may find our house left desolate unto us. The Lord is capable and willing to bestow His blessings upon all of His churches each Sunday. He is also capable of leaving off those blessings when we cease to realize their source.
It is my prayer that this week we will be in earnest prayer for the health of our church and the health of all of the churches across this country. Let us be in prayer that the Lord would fill us with an earnest zeal for His truth and His church. Let us be in prayer that he would fill the buildings in which his churches meet with the sounds of praise and that all we do might be for His Honor and His Glory.
From the Desk of the Pastor,
May the Lord Bless you is our prayer — Elder J.W. Cunningham