Why I Need the Church

Praying this morning on the eve of another Lord’s Day, praising God, my Father, desiring His name to be hallowed, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, and His will to be done here on earth, it was with worship in mind.

Tomorrow He will meet with us who are gathered in the name of our Lord on the day of our Lord, January 10, 2021. This Eve has become a day of preparation for me, remembering that every day is the day of our Lord for over two thousand years. But, specifically, the first day of the week belongs to Him. According to His atoning work, we, who are His by grace, plan for this day to honor Him. He is the beginning of eternal life for us through His death and resurrection.

So, what difference does it make if I honor Him on His day? And what happens in this celebration of His atoning work of grace? New thoughts came to mind as I prayed for Chris, our pastor. He has specifically asked for prayer that He may preach more faithfully, more pointedly, and more Christ-centeredly. Daily praying for the Holy Spirit to work in Him in His preparation to preach the word in power, we pray more fervently the day before for the sword of God’s Word that will pierce our hearts. We pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts to receive the truth of His Word and that it will find its resting place to root and grow and produce its fruit in and through us as His children.

 This means more than just saying “Amen” to what we hear. A prepared heart comes to listen to what our Father has given His servant for us. If we “have an ear to hear,” we will take in what He intends to reveal of Himself. The truth in the power of His Word will change our minds and hearts and conform them to His.

So, why do I need to be in church? The church is the place for gathering God’s people to honor His Son and receive the eternal life He came to give. It is the place of His worship and His Word. I need to know and hear from heaven the Father/Creator and Redeemer of my soul. The church was His plan, not man’s. We need under-shepherds who know Christ and the life He came to give His people, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, and who feed His sheep with the manna from heaven.

I need the cutting edge of the sword of His Word, not to desire what makes me feel good about myself, nor to be entertained, but to have all sense of pride and deception stripped from my being. I need to be cleansed of thoughts of, and plans for, myself.

Individual reading and study are good, but these are not all we need. We need the “body of Christ” listening collectively to how He plans to shape us into His image.

Christ died and rose again to give us His life, that we may live through Him (1 Jn. 4:9). The more we know of Him as revealed through the preaching of His Word, the more we become like Him, understanding the reality of His dwelling in us and our dwelling in Him (1 Jn. 4:13; Jn. 14:17, 23), Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory.)

The supernatural, spiritual work in His incarnation, His resurrection, and His ascension is the same divine power working in us through the sword of His Spirit ~ the Holy Spirit working His Word in our hearts and lives.

His sanctifies us individually and collectively.

We must submit ourselves to the weekly preaching of God’s Word to know His transforming power in the days ahead, lest we lose ourselves in the overwhelming chaos and uncertainty of the world. His Word defines who we are in Christ. We must plan, prepare, and anticipate a newness of life in Christ we have hardly known.

Dear Father, we ask for the unction of your Holy Spirit for the preaching of your Word tomorrow. Prepare our hearts to receive what you have given your ministers. Enable us to receive the truth of your Word for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Let us willingly accept what your Word reveals of the intentions of our hearts, deliver us from our sins, and conform us to the image of Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

Words of Life ~ ARMOUR

(If you have not read our last post which leads into this one, here is the link.)

The Old Testament uses the word ARMOUR as relating to physical warfare – the dress of a soldier and his weapons. The New Testament uses the word ARMOUR in reference to spiritual warfare using the weapons of God.

Old Testament H3627
Strong’s Concordance defines ARMOUR kĕliy kel·ē’; from H3615; something prepared, i.e. any apparatus (as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon)

We share two references, the most commonly known is in 1 Samuel 17:38 where David was at first armed with Saul’s armour, which David could not wear. He faced Goliath with only a stone and slingshot.

And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 1 Samuel 17:38

Jeremiah 50:25 speaks of the Lord’s armoury and the weapons of His indignation.

The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

New Testament G3833
Strong’s Concordance for ARMOUR panoplia pä-no-plē’-ä; full armour, complete armour, includes shield, sword, lance, helmet, greaves, and breastplate|

The Armour of Light

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Romans 13:12

The Armour of Righteousness

 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 2 Corinthians 6:7

The Armour of God

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

 We stressed in our last post the need to Plan Your Day Around God’s Word. It all starts with God’s Word. We would not know of the need or the means of the Armour of God except through His Word. The whole armour of God is necessary for protection and surviving the warfare against Satan. Paul may have used the analogy from seeing soldiers in his imprisonment in Rome. Every part of the armour had its purpose as does the armour of the Christian, if we are to endure to the end. The belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and prayer are all worn together.

We cannot go anywhere without these, else Satan will catch us unaware, find us defenseless, and overcome us.

I will not speak of each of these parts of our armour but for a more detailed description of each of these, I share a link for Charles Spurgeon Commentary on Ephesians 6.

Many Christians remain in despair or doubt about how to live in this world of sin and temptation. We need to use the manual to learn who we are in Christ and how we can overcome the work of the enemy in our lives.

Gracious Father, You promise to share your glory with those who overcome the enemy. Draw us more closely to you, train us and fit us with a graceful armour according to your design, for the victory you give us in Christ our Lord. In His name, we pray. Amen.
Fran
Image: Google