Who is among you that fear the Lord…
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
Let’s get six words clearly fixed in our minds. These six words form the foundation of God’s therapeutic process for all worrywarts.
WORRY ABOUT NOTHING.
PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.
What qualifies as a worry? Anything that drains your rank of joy – something you cannot change, something you are not responsible for, something you are unable to control, something (or someone) that frightens and torments you, agitates you, keeps you awake when you should be asleep. All of that now needs to be switched from your worry list to your prayer list. Give each worry – one by one – to God…Tell Him you will no longer keep your anxiety to yourself….
The more you practice giving your mental burdens to the Lord, the more exciting it gets to see how God will handle the things that are impossible for you to do anything about.
How is unity protected and ministry maximized? How are leaders chosen and yet all members included? Try this on. Suppose a married couple with three children made the decision to operate democratically – everyone gets a vote. It’s 3-2! Curfew may be out the door, dinner menu get strange, and who knows what else. Absurd, you say, but why? Is it not democracy in action? God has assigned spiritual leadership in the home to those most qualified to discharge it and to those who should and can lead. Is the church family any different? Not really. Spiritual leadership must be recognized and honored. Submission is a difficult pill to swallow for most of us. We prefer leading to following. We prefer making decisions over following the plan of another. In the final analysis – know that Godly leaders encourage the ministry of others and motivate unity. If we fail in that regard, what if anything, do we have to qualify us as a New Testament church?
Leaders must lead and be given the latitude to do so. Yet leadership must be earned. Biblical character must rule. And without the Spirit in control, the church is dead. I Thessalonians 5:12-13
Little ones begin the process of Scripture memorization that will serve them through a lifetime. Church is a lighthouse beacon for the lost. Church is the solid anchor in the storms of life. Church is the refilling station for the spiritually exhausted. Church is all those good things, and much more.
Church is, above all, holy ground, but in our enlightened post-Christian culture, virtually nothing is considered holy. To the world’s ears, holy is nothing more than a meaningless word to be placed for dramatic effect in front of a variety of vulgarities and suggestive phrases.
Christians should not be deceived. Holiness is and always will be important to God. Even the simplest reference materials list more than 654 biblical instances of the use of the words holy and holiness. The latter part of Hebrews 12:14 states, “…without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
Learned people have made the argument, not entirely invalid, that one needn’t go to church to be an observant Christian. That may be so, but the difficulty of practicing a true faith without being a part of a body of believers is surely more than most people can overcome in this increasing materialistic and pagan world.
A church is an aptly-named sanctuary from the pressures of the world, and a refuge for the spiritually down-trodden. The mere hour that it takes to attend a modern worship service can do more to restore a person’s zest for life than many hours of psycho-therapy. In addition, the Sunday Schools and Discipleship classes that surround a worship service gird us for the never-ending fight against the evil one.
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