1Cor. 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
There is a common thread that disrupts life of every local church. It often begins as an imperceptible ripple, but if left unchecked can grow to rolling waves of chaotic conflict. Have you seen it before? As one who grew up on congregational churches I have seen it more often than I would have wished.
Consider for a moment. What is the church? It is the community, family really, of all those who become connected to each other in a true way through their shared faith connection to Jesus Christ. We embrace the same core truth for our lives. We receive the same grace for our sins. We look to the same truth to build our lives. We prayerfully seek help from the same Father. The things that define us most in life are what unify us. We gather weekly to share in a celebration of the redeemed life Jesus works out within us. At least that is how Christ intends it.
In the middle of His desire something sinister happens. Somewhere a dormant selfishness springs to life. It can take different forms: bold pride, gentle insecurity, doctrinal concern, disagreements over approach, and jealousy over promotion time or budget support. However it happens the root is the same. Satan stirs the flesh at a core level the hearts thinks, “I don’t like…” and “I want…” Once that settles in we nurse it in our hearts until we can make a case for it and defend it. All they while others do the same. The seed of disunity have sprung.
This is nothing new in the church. Self-driven divisiveness has been a challenge from the beginning. It is natural. The church however is intended to be supernatural.
Jesus calls us to rise above it. We see that call in 1Corinthians 3. There we learn that when we forget that the church belongs to the Father not us we start staking a claim on it and attempting to shape it to fit our desires. The answer is to take the attitude of a servant NOT an owner. We are united in purpose thought our assignments from the Master are often different. Check it out before Sunday. Then join the conversation. This weekend, let’s come together and let him refine our hearts to resist this subtle enemy.
I know there’s snow on the ground, but hey, we are Nebraskan’s in November. No big deal right. The warmth of our Savior’s presence renews us when we come together in unity. See you Sunday morning.