November 17, 2023
The Bible Edge
Thank You Lord
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Thank you, Lord, for church. He designed it, He created it, He protects it, provides for it, sustains it, maintains it, and when needed purges it. It is His church. He promises perpetuity to His church, and by extension, all of His churches. When Jesus spoke these words there was only one church, but in Acts 9:31 for the first time the word churches was used. That one church birthed new churches and today there are thousands of faithful churches to the Lord God. Each one is His church. Each one can claim His promise of divine protection and continuance.
Church is, or should be, a wonderful community of believers in Jesus Christ. Speaking of that first church, it is the pattern, notice that which Acts 2:42 tells us about its ministry; And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. In another place Paul wrote this to Timothy: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15 From these two verses there is an insight to all a church should be, a place of fellowship, doctrine, celebrating the Lord’s Supper together, and prayer. It is to be the pillar of the truth, reaching up to a higher level of living, and the ground of the truth, putting the truth in shoe leather as we trod through our physical existence.
I heard the gospel in church, was baptized in a church, met my wife at 17 years old in church, was discipled in church, have met wonderful lifelong friends in church, was educated in church sponsored colleges, and now, earn my living serving a local church. Everything that is good in my life has come to me directly or indirectly from a church. In a world where people feel lonely, isolated, have no or little life direction, no purpose, don’t know the Scriptures, and believe that they don’t, or can’t make a difference, there is a church waiting to give them these things and so much more.
Jesus established this thing we call a church. He builds it and He propagates it. When it comes right down to it, one of the best things we can give thanks for during this season of thanksgiving is church. Thank you, Lord, for our churches.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.