SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
A Ragtag Army
by Pr. Dave Mann
The church, the body of Christ, is made up of all sorts of people.
We have the tendency to imagine that the church, i.e., those who believe in Jesus, is a wonderful group of people, all loving, compassionate, and godly. The truth of the matter is very different. There is a great book on the topic of the body of Christ, whose theme is clearly expressed in its title – Everyone is Normal Till You Get to Know Them!
I don’t know when this idea of a pristine church, populated by perfect Christians, crept into our thinking, but even from the beginning of the New Testament church, there were all kinds of people gathering together to worship the Lord and to hear the proclamation of the Word.
In the body of Christ, there are weaker believers who need help to keep up with the discipleship walk. There are other believers who need to be honored with regular reminders that they are sons and daughters of the King, even though you told them the same thing last week. There are others who need to be given special treatment, protected from experiences that could damage their thinking and their walk with the Lord.
Yes, we wish that all who set foot in the church building would be battle-harden, Scripture-reading, ready-to-bear-witness, prayer-warrior, loving-servant believers. But we are not there yet. God has put the members of the body of Christ together as he has seen fit. Some of us appear to need more help than others, but we all need the grace of God.
Some have wondered why the Lord has composed the church the way he has done it. I suspect that it has something to do with our need to know that it is God who is bringing in the kingdom, not us. Though we have a glorious and worthy Commander, in many ways we are a ragtag army. One thing is certain: when the Kingdom of God is consummated in all its glory, no one will say, “Wow, aren’t those Christians something else?” Instead, all of us will be amazed at the wisdom, power, and might of the Almighty God.
Lord God, thank you for creating a church – the body of Christ – where all are welcome, including the likes of me. Help me to care for the weak, the less honorable, and those who need special treatment – and allow me to care for them in a way that brings you honor and praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.