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Building Church

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV

In caring for our physical bodies, we eat healthy, exercise, drink plenty of water, and get sufficient sleep. In caring for our mental health, we do activities that engage our minds, connect to others, and take time to relax. Our spiritual care includes worship, prayer, study, and meditation. These things are necessary for building us up as individuals, but how do we build the Church?

In the closing of Paul's letter to the Thessalonians (v. 12-28), he gives us some ideas.

  1. Give thanks for our siblings in Christ who are trying to help. Even when they offer correction, we appreciate it is done from love and for our spiritual good.

  2. Live in peace with one another. There will be disagreements, sometimes heartbreaking and hurtful, but remember our unity as children of God. Be willing to offer and receive forgiveness.

  3. Be active in love and doing good, and encourage each other to do the same. The author of Hebrews writes, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (10:24‭-‬25)

  4. Help each other in our struggles. We all experience peaks and valleys. We need to be there to pray and help in whatever different ways we can.

  5. Be patient. We are not all at the same place in our spiritual journey. What may seem blatantly apparent to one person may not be in the purview of another.

  6. Don't respond to wrong with wrong; two wrongs don't make a right! Instead, do what is right towards everyone.

  7. Worship and pray together in every situation. In the good times–those periods of growth in spirit and numbers, and those times Satan is attacking the Church within and without. Give praise simply because God is good.

  8. Finally, listen to the spirit. We may hear things that are pleasing to human ears but is not from God. Together we need to discern that the direction of the body is consistent with scripture. What is inconsistent with God is sin and must be rejected.

Like caring for our physical bodies, some things are easier and some more challenging. We might find it easy to eat healthy but dislike exercise. There may be things as a church we find easier to do. We may find it easy to worship on Sunday morning when things are going well, but find it harder, if not impossible, when we've been hurt. It's not easy; Jesus never promised it would be quite the opposite, but we can build more healthy and vital churches by loving and caring for each other in the spirit of Christ.

Father God, we come today offering our praise and worship; thank you for our physical bodies and the wisdom you've given us in caring for them. Thank you for the salvation of your Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that guides us in our spiritual health. Help us to care for your body and your Church with the same care. May we listen to each other, love one another, and encourage each other. When we have hurt another, may we be quick to forgive. Please help us listen, discern and obey your direction in everything. We ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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