THE CHURCH NEEDS _____________
PHILIPPIANS 4:1-10 PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH
The Apostle Paul organized many churches and he continued to be interested in all of them. Some of them pleased him, while some of them disappointed him. It seems that the church at Philippi might have been high on his list of those which brought him the most satisfaction.
He felt that the church at Philippi represented the crowning work of his life and it brought him great joy. There are people in every congregation who are like the Christians at Philippi. They are a crown of joy to the church, to the evangelist, and especially to Christ. The church could not get along without those members. Who are these vital parts of the body of Christ? Let’s fill in the blank The Church Needs _______ as we look at those people the church needs.
1. The Church Needs Faithful People – Matthew 25:21 – His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
The Bible does not commend anyone for their personal greatness. Look at this contrast – a lawyer, a college graduate, a judge, a man with a brilliant mind. This man attends Sunday School once a month. He makes a powerful speech. But could he be counted on to be of service to the church or to the Lord? He was talented, well-liked, and well-educated. But all of that meant very little when it comes to faithfulness.
Now, let’s look at another man. He is the janitor for the church. He has a limited education. But he is always in attendance at the church. He is faithful in his giving, both in tithes and offerings as well as his time. He spent time inviting others to come to the services. He had a burning desire to see others be won to Christ. Because of his faithfulness, his life counted more for God than the other man whose devotion to Jesus Christ was only surface deep.
Lou Gehrig played baseball for the New York Yankees. In 1927 he was named the outstanding player of the year. He deserved that honor because he was faithful to the task at hand. During his lifetime he played in more consecutive games than any other player up to that time. He never missed a game. What was it that made Lou Gehrig great? It was his faithfulness to be out there every day doing his best.
If Christ picked the most outstanding member of the church, who would it be? Without a doubt, it would be that person who is the most faithful.
So, we need to pray for faithful people in the church. Faithful in giving, faithful in attendance, faithful in consecrated Christian living in their service, and in their witness. We cannot get along without those who are faithful and we can never have enough.
2. Secondly, the church needs Willing People – Mark 14:36. We find one willing in this verse in the example of our Lord Jesus Christ: And He was saying, “Abba Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”
There are two kinds of willing people. Some are willing to work, and then, there are those who are willing to let someone else do the work. Many people are ready and willing do to the work of the world, whether it is when the social club calls, or the school calls, or the job calls. Then, the Lord calls and many are “too busy.”
Christians need to make adjustments and let the Lord and His church have first priority. Everything else will eventually die off. Persons who seemed to be so important to a cause of the world will soon be forgotten or replaced by the next “wonder boy” or “wonder woman”. On the other hand, the work of the Lord lasts forever.
It has been said that the grasshopper on the fence makes more noise than the ox in the field, but the ox does more work. Some people are like that. They talk but do nothing. Some work well anywhere they are needed in the church. Others desire only the “highest places”. The proper attitude – which, by the way, is the servant attitude – is “I am willing to work anywhere I can glorify God and best serve Him.”
3. Thirdly, the church needs People With Vision – John 4:35 – “Do you not say, “There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” Proverbs 29:18 warns us in saying: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” We need a vision to see the needs around us. The needs around us include those who are living and dying without Christ. Many people can be won to Christ if we seek them out and guide them with solid Biblical teaching.
In 1835 the Primitive Baptists, who didn’t believe in missions or schools to educate those who would serve in ministry, broke off from the Missionary (or Hardshell) Baptists. The Missionary Baptists said, “We believe in Christ’s Great Commission. We will try to send the Gospel to the ends of the earth.” What was the result of these opposing approaches to evangelizing? Today, the Primitive Baptists have mostly passed away with a few struggling congregations left. The Missionary Baptists have grown with congregations, and missionaries around the world.
That example reveals to us that “he who would find his life must lose it.” No church can grow by keeping the Good News of the Gospel to themselves.
4. Finally, the church needs Optimistic People. There are some debilitating words sometimes spoken by church members. For example, “We can’t do that! We’ve never done it like that before!” The attitude should change to say, “God helping us, we WILL do that!” That is the optimistic attitude, the attitude with which we must approach the work of the Lord,
See Numbers 13:30-33 – Moses is leading Israel toward the Promised Land. Spies are sent in. They see a beautiful, fertile land, but they come back with an attitude of defeat, saying “We can’t do it.” But Caleb and Joshua, men with a vision saw the situation differently. They had the attitude, “Yes, there is a powerful enemy there. But, We Can Do It!” You will see, however, that the pessimists won which resulted in the Israelites wandering around in the desert for forty years.
Today’s difficulties are great. Our enemies are great and fierce. But God is on the side of those who are willing to stand with Him and serve Him – optimistically, and with hope. He is stronger than all other outward circumstances. God plus One always equals a majority.
The church needs various kinds of people to make an impact for Jesus Christ in the world. These are the ones who make the work of Jesus Christ ongoing and successful. The work is successful only when the lives of people who are hearing and seeing His work go on are changed and improving, and living the hope that is promised to those who are faithful, willing, looking ahead, and optimistic. Jesus Christ expects us to continue the work He left with us. He expects that others will be taught and won to Him. That is the purpose of the church today.
Gary’s Wednesday Word Princeton Christian Church 09 June 2021