Church Membership and the Value of God's Kingdom - Part 5, Volume 1
TEXT: John 9:4, Mark 8:31-38, Matt. 16:21-28
MEMORY VERSE: Eccl. 12:13-14 – “Let us hear the CONCLUSION of the WHOLE matter: FEAR God, and KEEP his commandments: for this is the WHOLE DUTY of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with EVERY SECRET THING, whether it be GOOD, or whether it be EVIL.”
To show that every labour will be rewarded, whether good or evil. The believer must also recognize that there is nothing hidden before the Lord. Obedience is the highest form of prayer; when we obey we establish a strong covenant with God.
Once upon a time, a farmer lost his watch in his barn. It was a very costly watch and after searching a long time among the hay, he gave up and enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn. He promised them that the person who found it would be rewarded with a lot of great things. On hearing this, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Prov. 20:5, 18. Just when the farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, yet worried, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance. The farmer looked at him and thought, “Why not? After all, this kid looks sincere enough.” So the farmer sent the little boy back into the barn. After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest failed. The boy replied, “I did nothing but sat on the ground and listened. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction.” Church members should both learn to listen and quietly follow divine instructions both from the leadership of the church and the Holy Spirit, and they will succeed in every sphere of life; than to be noisy and create unnecessary confusions that leads to fatal failures and eternal destruction. Prov 16:9, Prov 19:21
THE BLESSINGS OF SILENCE AND QUIETNESS
- A seed grows in silence, but a tree falls with a lot of noise. Destruction is noisy and is done publicly, but creation is silent and is always in secret. In your success remain silent as there is power in silence. Matt. 7:24-27. Unnecessary, foolish and unproductive church members make so much noise seeking attention most of the time, and yet produce nothing. Those who are serious grow silently and quietly. They cultivate silence and quietness; they are a great blessing to leadership of the church. Phil. 4:6-8.
- A peaceful mind thinks better than a worried and troubled mind. Sometimes the noise in our mind and life so clouds us that there is no clarity and direction on what to do. The mind easily gets so occupied with lots of thoughts that promote fear, problems, discouragement and anxiety but let peace guard your heart at all times as we serve the Lord with a true heart. Consciously clear your mind and heart; be patient and listen to the right teachings and leadership instructions, and you will succeed. Prov. 1:5-7. MAY WE SUCCEED EVEN WHERE OTHERS HAVE FAILED! Prov. 22:29, Prov 20:5, 18, Prov 16:9.
MEMBERS, LEADERSHIP AND CHURCH DISCIPLINE
- God has set up principles and rules; these create the boundaries and limits for men as they live on the earth. The same thing is applicable in the affairs of men and the church; where there is leadership without authority and discipline success will not be achieved. It is principles and rules that form the code of conduct and action of everyone and keeps people aware of the consequences of breaking the code of conduct. Judges 21:25, Prov 14:12, Rom 1:18-32.
- When people are conscious of their accountability to a higher hierarchy they are careful of the way they carry out their responsibilities so not to default in any area. The church as a holy place or rather a preparation ground for the saints must learn to obey the principles in the word of God, in other to achieve the set goals for heavenly race. Rom. 14:12, 1 Cor. 9:24-27.
- When sin and unruly behaviour is accepted among church members without warning, correction, suspension and expulsion, in fact discipline; that church is heading nowhere. There will be confusion and all kinds of disobedience both in the church and among the leadership. Eccl 8:9-13, Gal. 5:16-26.
- Sometimes you find a couple of church leaders who are too emotional to stand on the word of God when it comes to church discipline. They seek and prefer their friendship and relationship than obeying God's rules and principles, thereby destroying the church God. This gives disobedient members impunity to escalate in their evil ways of life. 1 Cor. 5:1-13, 2 Cor. 13:5-10.
It is time to be sincere as children of God, doing the right thing and serving the Lord as a strong church member, disciple of Christ and as one that knows that his reward is waiting for him here on earth and in heaven. 1 Cor. 15:58.