The main reason I love the Church is because Jesus loves the Church.
But there are other valuable aspects of the Church:
The Church is my family.
The individuals that comprise the Body of Christ are all related by blood. The blood of Christ has purchased us and once you’ve been adopted into the family of Christ, you truly belong to a family that has been formed through selfless love.
The Church is where I grow.
Whenever you put a bunch of messy family members together—you’ve got the perfect soil for growth! Growth happens when you’re tempted to grumble and complain, but you respond in love instead. Growth happens when you feel like harboring a grudge, but you forgive instead. Growth happens when you learn to serve and pray for your enemies—and those “enemies” may be members of your family.
The Church is how God spreads His glory!
This is the most important aspect of the Church. The Apostle Paul explains how God uses the church as the vehicle through which the gospel (the “administration of the mystery”) and His manifold wisdom can be seen:
[box]To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:8–10)[/box]
As we function within the church, maturity occurs, and that transforming work is glorious! It is seen by a lost world that is impacted by the changes that take place in individual lives—and that causes them to recognize the reality of our Living Lord:
[box]As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:14–16)[/box]
You are missing out on this process if you’re not involved in your church. If you’re not attending a church, don’t wait, get involved in a church where Jesus is exalted, the Word of God is valued and taught clearly, and the (imperfect) saints are seeking to grow in love.
What are you thankful for that only occurs because of your involvement with your particular church?
Image courtesy of photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net