by Bill Fairchild Jr.
If we would develop the attitude of being thankful that we are Christians, we would have very few problems being involved in the church.
When Paul summoned the Ephesian elders prior to his departure, among other things he told them, “Take heed unto yourselves and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you over seers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). The worth of the church is clearly seen in the tremendous price that was paid to purchase it.
To be a member of this blood-bought institution is a wonderful privilege, To accept the Savior’s invitation, submitting to His will, is the greatest, most important decision one can ever make. Although the world does not properly value the church, those who comprise its membership do. It is this recognition which should motivate God’s people to great service throughout New Testament we find admonition and exhortation for God’s people to remember who and what they are. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:9, ”But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Peter is saying we are different and special, because of who we belong to!
Christians are to ”present their bodies a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1). There are many things we can be doing as we seek to please Him if we will just make up our minds to do so. Maybe the problem is we haven’t made up our minds yet. Just where do you see yourself as a member in the local congregation! Every member of the Lord’s body has a vital role to fill in order for the congregation to accomplish what God wants. Note Paul’s comparison of the church to the human body in 1 Corinthians 12. He forcefully emphasizes the need for all the members to be functioning and working together. As we recognize the importance of each member of our own body, we must recognize the importance of each member of the Lord’s body. No one is unimportant!
God has been so good to us, giving each of us various talents and abilities. As the parable in Matthew 25 teaches, failure to use what the Lord has given us is sin. Note also James 4:17. Obviously, there are some works of the church we may not be able to participate in because of a lack of ability or training. That does not mean there is nothing for us to do. We must use the abilities we have to glorify our great God in heaven. There is work for all to do, if we will simply get busy and accept the challenge. If we could develop the attitude which says, “I am thankful for the privilege of being a Christian; I will do everything I can to serve the Lord,” we would be much better off. There’s just a lot more involved in being a Christian than attending worship services. It takes work. Profession without performance is meaningless.
Do you see yourself as a vital part of the local congregation? Are you contributing in a positive way to the work and the growth? If not, how come? Are you too busy? Do you not care’! As someone once wrote: Suppose every member of the church were just like you, what kind of church would it be?” There’s a lot of truth involved in the answer to that question.
Paul wrote to the saints at Colosse in Colossians 3:1-2: ”lf ye then be risen with Christ . . . set your affections on things above.” We’re the children of God. We need to always remember that. ”There is much to do, there’s work on every hand,” the song teaches. Don’t feel unimportant or unneeded. You are important! You’re a child of God, a citizen in the kingdom which cannot be shaken. You have a role to fill, a function to perform, a work to do, Let’s all get busy.
CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE JANUARY, 1984