1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Simply Teaching the Word of God


Acts 18:11b
...teaching them the word of God.

Thoughts for Today:

When the Lord appeared to Paul (previously in verses 9-10), the Lord gave him words to:

* Strengthen: "Do not be afraid..."

* Instruct: "...keep on speaking, do not be silent..."

* Encourage: "...For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you..."

* Provide: "...Because I have many people in this city."

Paul believed God, so he stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, doing exactly what the Lord had told him to do: "teaching them the Word of God." That is exactly how a church gets planted: the Lord calls a pastor (like Paul) to His work in a place (like Corinth) where the Lord has people who need to hear about Jesus. A church not only gets started, but also grows exponentially. And what is the key to growth? Straightforward teaching of the Word of God. It's really very simple. We don't need to do anything else, for it is God's Word that calls people to repentance and a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Over time, if things begin to get a little off course, it's usually because people enter in to try and "help" God. A building is needed, so a committee is formed to look at suitable locations; donations are flowing into the church so a finance person is needed to manage it and a committee is needed for oversight; the number of children attending are growing so a children's pastor and youth pastor are hired to minister to their specific needs; some complaints surface about the lack of worship music so a worship leader is hired who organizes singers and forms a band; service times and other schedules are established, and as a result the pastor is limited to 30 minutes for the message so there is adequate time to conduct other business; etc. I think you can probably see where I'm going with this -- we have to be very careful that through our desire to be organized and serve the needs of our members, we don't stray too far from Bible based teaching and into so many activities and programs that we begin to look more like a social club than a church.

Questions to Ponder:

When you look in your church bulletin at the cornucopia of activities planned for the week, ask yourself: Of all the stuff we are doing as a church, how much of it is actually spent teaching the Word of God?
I'm not saying we should not have programs and activities to support our membership, we need them; what I am saying is that everything we do must revolve around our primary purpose which is simply to teach God's Word.
If Paul looked at your church's bulletin today, would he have difficulty finding your purpose?
What was the last thing you suggested to your church, a new program or a desire for more Bible based teaching?

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