Prov. 31:29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excels them all. This is an interesting verse. The way I see the words, “Many daughters have done virtuously” is a description of all the Lodges, Societies, Foundations, and Clubs that do great works of kindness for the world and their communities. From the Make a Wish Foundation to the Knights of Columbus, these daughters have done virtuous and very good works, but the church of the Lord excels them all.
I know I am walking in a minefield of emotional and scared beliefs here, but non-the-less God has made it clear that His church will not be defeated by anyone’s theory or hell itself. Matt. 16:18b I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
God has (regardless of what people think of the church) chosen to bring His word and revelation of Himself through the body of Christ, whether we like it or not. Eph. 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
There are a lot of hurting people who were wounded in churches and, therefore, have made vows of not ever going to church again – let alone giving them their regular ten dollar offering. I am not making light of this as I heard someone say that it would be a cold day in hell if they ever give the church another ten dollars like they normally did. We need to understand that God does not need that person’s ten dollars. That person needs to give the ten-spot in order to get illumination on the situation in their unforgiving heart, but that is another blog.
The next few chapters is a conversation I had with a friend, in a blog, about understanding the fact that we are the body of Christ that excels beyond our expectations. The church is Christ’s idea who will do greater works than all the daughters that have done virtuously. Col. 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
We are the church and we, like everyone else, will bring to the location of attendance the type of church we are. There is no perfect place because everyone is being worked on by God. Our God, is by His Spirit, perfecting us in righteousness. John 16:8 And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. There is a learning curve because this nurturing from God helps us get from glory to glory, and in that growth there is a struggle and the struggle might manifest as some of the things that caused us to leave the last church location.
We are basically learning to play the violin in public and often it looks and sounds bad right there in the local assembly. We end up seeing the struggles within the people who assemble in the place we call church. In the same way that we bring all our sick folk under one roof called a hospital, we bring all who are born-again and overcoming different hypocrisies under one roof called a church.
In that place we bring all the spiritual sicknesses in our lives to get healed by the great healer, Christ. That is why we give grace to each other, in Christ, because we are all dealing with something the Lord has put His finger on. Let us say God has just touched a squishy spot that causes us to show who we really are, and in that moment, hopefully, there are mature Christians around us to help us get through that particular righteous judgment from God. Gal. 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
I don’t know if it is possible to be part of a church without being willing to be worked on by God in public, and at the same time, be willing to be used as a hand extended of God to help the ugly in spirit and the unwashed per se. If we are looking for the Norman Rockwell picture of what we think church is or should be, then there might be a lot of church hopping going on in our lives.
We will end up right where the devil likes us to be, on the move and unstable to the point of no longer caring if we do gather with the saints. Eph. 4:27 Neither give place to the devil. Psalm 50:5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. Heb. 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
We are in a place where we have to decide whether we are going to be the church that Christ wants of us to be, or continue being offended at every opportunity that comes our way. We are the body of Christ who has and will excel above all the good and valuable societies at work in the world who are bringing joy and benefits to mankind. Our mandate is to be the Lord’s hand extended, introducing mankind to an eternity with our God through Christ, The Lord. Let’s get on with it.