Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Love My Church Part 6

This is based on an article from Hal Seed (accessed here on February 13, 2014).

Hal Seed writes, “A quick read of the book of Acts or the letters in Revelation proves that Jesus loves his church. He died for it, prays for it, lives for it and is going to return for it.

[But] let’s be honest: It’s not easy to love the church. It’s easy to love Jesus. Loving His bride is another story. Churches are filled with frail and fault-riddled people. Every church has a unique personality. All are loved by Jesus, but not all are loved in equal measure by each of His people.”

I agree, loving Jesus is so much easier than loving His bride, the Church. But just like the love of a spouse in marriage, love of the church is more a choice than a feeling.

Based on Hall Seed’s ten reasons that he loves his church, I have ten reasons that I choose to love Jesus’ bride, the Church. They are in no particular order – this is not a ranked list. This week, reason number six:

6. Entrepreneurial.

To be “entrepreneurial” means to undertake a task or enterprise with considerable initiative and risk.

That describes the Church. As members of the Church our task is to “make disciples of all nations” by “teaching them” what Christ said and did and commanded and by “baptizing them.”

This task or mission has been undertaken with Christ’s initiative. His first step was out of heaven and into our world as one of us. “Immanuel” – God with us! Then Peter and the disciples took the initiative and proclaimed Jesus to be the Messiah who died for the sins of the world and rose again. Stephen, Philip, Paul and the list goes on and on through history of men and women who took up the mission of the Church.

At incredible risk, I might add. Save one, all the original disciples were killed because of this entrepreneurial Spirit.

This risk of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ still exists today. Richard Wurmbrand wrote a book about the risk taken by many Christians called Tortured for Christ.

Dying for our faith is the ultimate risk, but there are others that are still risks, just considerable less so.
Ridicule, financial, personal comfort – these are all risks that a member of the Christian Church can face for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The outcome is worth it, however. People are literally dying to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the means of grace and changes people’s lives in this life and will change their lives for eternity.
Jesus Christ was “entrepreneurial” when He came to save you and me by being born to be our substitute, living the perfect life to be our righteousness by faith, dying on the cross to forgive all the sins of all people for all time, by rising from the dead so that we, too, might rise from the grave one day and ascended into heaven with the promise that he will return to take us to be with him forever.

This same Jesus Christ gives us his “entrepreneurial” power through the Holy Spirit (working through Word and Sacrament). We may face considerable – or not-so-considerable – risk in proclaiming this Good News.

This “entrepreneurial” Spirit is just another reason why I love my Church!

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