"We are pleased to let you know that we have decided to offer you the position. The job starts next week." I loved to hear those words when I was trying to get a job...especially if it was a job that I really, really wanted. Then comes the meeting with HR to get the policy manual, fill out all the paperwork, and go through orientation. By the time I was done, I knew what the employer was expecting from me. Every day I went to work and did my best to be the best employee that I could be. They told me the hours that I had to work and I was never late...even on snow days. If ever I couldn't remember what was a part of my job description, I could always look at the manual. If ever I had a question or concern about something, I could always look at the manual. And if it didn't have the answer or if I couldn't fully understand what was in the manual, I could go to a supervisor or HR, and they would help me.
It just amazing me that we can put such a priority on doing a good job at our job and then neglect what should be a much higher priority...going to church. I have heard so many excuses about why folks don't go or why they seldom go or why they don't go to Sunday school or why they don't go to evening services. I wonder if I would have still had a job if I had used the same excuses?! So, why don't we put a higher priority on church attendance? I believe it is because we don't love the church.
This last semester in Faith Bible Institute we studied the book of Ephesians. Again I was struck by chapter five and the duties that wives and husbands have to each other. (But that is another post.) The verse that really touched my heart is verse 25," Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it." Christ loved the church and gave himself for it! The church didn't even exist when Jesus died on the cross, but he still loved her and knew that she would come into existance soon. Jesus, God loves the church and gave himself for it. Are you starting to grasp what grasped my heart? JESUS CHRIST, GOD, LOVES THE CHURCH AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT!!!
How dare I get my priorities mixed up and put my job above the church. Jesus did not give up his life's blood for any job. He died for the church. How dare I make myself conform to the policies of my job and then turn around and do whatever I want when it concerns the church. Jesus loves the church. How dare I bite my tongue at my place of employment when someone offends me and when it happens at church, I get offended and leave. Christ loves the church and gave himself for it.
If I can discipline myself for work every day, then I can do the same thing for church. I used to get to work by 7:30am five days a week even though I didn't have to be there until 8:15. I used to leave work at the end of my work day, and not a minute early. I used to even go to extra classes so I could be a better informed employee, even though it was not required of me. When I was at work, I would give it my full attention. (I can no longer work due to disabilities.)
So, what is my point? What is the truth and blessing that I am trying to convey? Discipline yourself. Love the church. You won't be able to love it as much as Jesus does, but you can still love the church and give yourself for it. Go to Sunday school. Go to worship service in the morning and in the evening. Go to Life-group. Get involved in anything and everything that the church has to offer. Get into the "manual"...the Bible. And I believe that God will bless you with not only truth, but blessings in every area of your life.