Monday, September 19, 2011

Where is the church?

Colossians 1:18

     Christ is the head of the church, which is his body. He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so he is the first in everything.

     Often times, we think of the church as the building with four walls where we go to worship each week, when in reality, the church is comprised of ALL Christ's followers around the world. Christ’s church is not limited to a wood and metal structure but rather abides in the hearts of men and women around the world who call themselves Christians.

     Society has taught us that God himself lives in a church building where He waits for his followers to come and visit and worship him. Nothing can be further from the truth. At the point of conversion, when we ask Jesus Christ to come and live in our hearts, he literally does, through the Holy Spirit. Do you understand what I’m saying? The God of the universe actually lives within you. I Corinthians 6:19 says, “Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?”

     So, if God lives within you rather than in the church building across town, how does that affect your thinking about how we do church? If WE are the church (because Christ lives in us), then why do we go to church (the building) and wait for God to show up? Aren’t we bringing God with us when we walk into the building? Aren’t we bringing God with us when walk anywhere? We should be having “church” everywhere we go, but instead, we have the mentality that when we walk out of the church building, we leave God behind. If we would understand that He is with us everywhere we go, I think we would live a very different lifestyle. We wouldn’t visit some of the places that we frequent, and we wouldn’t watch some of the shows and movies that we presently watch. God doesn’t check out when we walk out of the church walls, and he is humiliated and shamed by the lifestyle and choices that we make because he is constantly with us watching every move we make.

     If He is the head of the church, which is his body, and WE are the church, then we need to start acting and thinking like the church. He was the first to rise from the dead, and someday we will also rise from the dead and join Him for eternity. We assume that we have to wait until we die to have fellowship with Him because He’s up in heaven and we’re down here, but when we understand the truth of His Word and the fact that He lives inside of us, then our life should take on a new meaning and depth. This life is not about us and our comforts, it’s about us being the “church” and taking church everywhere we go. If we are the church, then that also means that we are the ministers of that church, so we are responsible to preach Jesus Christ, either by word or actions, to everyone around us. As a follower of Jesus Christ, are you being His church?

     Has this teaching today been a new concept for you? Have you really realized that the God of the universe lives inside of you and goes with you wherever you go? Take some time to really focus on that truth today. Then reevaluate how you live your live outside of the church building. Does it glorify God or humiliate Him?

Have a great day!

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