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What I Owe God and My Local Congregation

30 Apr

The following anonymous statement sums up what I owe my local congregation: “To the church of my Lord in every locality, I am under solemn obligation to the extent of my ability; but unto my home congregation, I am under special obligation. I want my home congregation to radiate a wholesome influence in the community. Therefore, I owe it the example of a good life. For I must “live soberly, righteously, and godly.”

“I want the strangers who enter the door of the meeting house to feel at home, to learn to love us, to return from time to time. They are our guest: I must entertain them. I owe it to them, and to the church to show myself friendly. I must not stand back and wait for others to greet them: this I must do. No congregation can make progress without faithful and efficient leaders. To the end that our leaders may be stronger and more efficient, I must give my support, my prayers. As long as they are true men, I must not embarrass them in the work.

“My home congregation has financial obligations, which are due at regular intervals. Whether I give or do not give, these obligations must be paid. If it is right for my congregation to pay its obligations each week, it is right for me to give each week. Though circumstances may force me to be absent at times, my contributions should find their way to the treasury of the church. I should “give as I have prospered” and not give as it relates to ‘perceived needs.’

“I know that the very existence of my congregation depends upon the attendance of its members. In fact, the attendance is the life of the church. For this reason, I must attend the services…all service, if I can. For all that I have, I would not have it said my congregation perished because I would not attend the meetings.

“I want my home congregation to grow, to multiply in members. Therefore, I must set to the work of winning souls for Christ. This I do by preaching and persuading; this I can do by persistent effort; this I can do by bringing them to our assemblies.”

Accountability is one of the means God uses to bring about solid growth and maturity with the freedom to be what God has created us to be. Read some of his ‘accountability passages’ as we ponder this idea:

(Matthew 9:12-13)  On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. {13} But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

(Matthew 11:28-30)  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Christ is more than a tradition, or belief. He is a Person who knows our needs, feels our pain, and sympathizes with our weaknesses. In exchange for our trust, He offers to forgive our sins, to intercede for us, and to bring us to the Father. He cried for us, died for us, and rose from the dead to show that He was all He claimed to be. Conquering death, He showed us that He can save us from our sins, and bring us safely to heaven.

Matthew 10:28-31  “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. [29]  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. [30]  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. [31]  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

(Luke 12:6)  Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies ? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

The apostle Paul warns the Christian community against the evil of judging one another concerning certain doubtful or debatable practices where one Christian holds one opinion and another a different opinion. He then concludes this portion of his argument with a reminder of every Christian’s accountability at the Judgment Seat of God. He writes: But why do you judge your brother or sister? Or again, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” 12 Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God (Rom 14:10-12)..

The stark reality of Scripture is that every person, Christian and non-Christian, is accountable before a sovereign God (see Rom. 3:9-19) and will one day have to bow before Christ (Phil. 2:9-11). Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked” (Luke 12:48b).

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 30, 2018 in Church

 

One response to “What I Owe God and My Local Congregation

  1. Eleanor L. Francis

    February 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Amen. Not only my money but my resources should be used in a way that honors God.

    Like

     

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