Summary: To help the church see the need for each other.
The Church is…
Scripture: Ephesians 1: 22-23 Date: 31 January 2010
Purpose: To help the church see the need for each other.
Have you ever noticed how some things are just so right on when you hear them? Take for example an email I received some time ago entitled “Middle Age.”
Illustration: “Maybe it’s true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out. I am told that there are three signs of old age. The first is your loss of memory, the other two I forget. You’re getting old when you don’t care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don’t have to go along. Statistics show that at the age of seventy, there are five women to every man. Isn’t that the darndest time for a guy to get those odds? Middle age is when you have stopped growing at both ends and have begun to grow in the middle. A man has reached middle age when he is cautioned to slow down by his doctor instead of by the police. Don’t worry about avoiding temptation as you grow older, it will avoid you.”
We chuckle at these because they contain nuggets of truth that we can identify with. But my friends God has given humankind another nugget of truth that we can not only identify with, but we can belong to, and we can allow it to help transform our lives at any age.
It is the church of Jesus Christ and right now, this very moment we are experiencing part of its life and ministry.
Ephesians 1: 22-23 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
*RELEASE CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN’S CHURCH*
We read in our text this morning that “God gave over all things to the church!” The church is not here to view history, but to make it!
The time has come when we must realize that our Lord is saying, “The world has yet to see what I can do with a church fully committed to me.” Have we the courage to dare to be that church this morning?
Illustration: This past week in your mailbox arrived a puzzle piece. It was not very big was it? And some of you shared with me that you didn’t have the foggiest idea as to what part of the puzzle your piece belongs too.
(Show on Power Point the puzzle.)
That is just the point. We are not one, until all of us are working together in building the Kingdom of God! I can not do it alone. You can not do it alone. It takes all of us working together to be the church of Jesus Christ. If one of us is missing, then all of us suffer. We just can’t do it without you!!
As we look at our puzzle, we discover that some of us are missing. We can tell it is a picture of our church even without the other pieces, but it sure would not stand on its own without our missing Brothers and Sisters.
And we cannot be the church God wants us to be without you as well. Each person is valuable to our church and when you are missing, we simply are not the same. Your presence is important to us as a church and to our Father in Heaven.
What is the church anyway?
I. The church first of all is busy, isn’t it? In I Corth. 16: 13 we read, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
A. To be on the alert means to pay attention, to keep focused. We need to stay busy with the things at hand lest we loose our focus.
1. Paul challenges the Thessalonians in I Thess. 5:6 to not sleep but to be on the alert and be sober. This is not the time for the church to sleep!
Illustration: Not long ago Stacy and I were driving home from Kansas. It was a long drive and I was tired. As I drove, I became sleepy. Stacy looked over to me and says are you awake? “O, ya sure,” I responded. She was not convinced and told me to pull over and she would drive. Friends, that is part of the work of each one of us. To help each other stay awake in the Lord!
2. From Adam and Eve who were given the task of adding to its number in a hurry, to the Patriarchs who led the nation (the people of God) to the Upper room fulfillment; the church has been busy.
3. As the church we are not called to sit quietly, to be still. From the foundation of the world. God called the church into existence to be His likeness on earth and our God is a busy god!