AtACrossroads.net Weekly Bible Reading BookmarkDay 1 – Matthew 16:13-20; Hebrews 10:23-25; Hebrews 3:12-14
The Church is far from perfect. We are a group of broken sinners doing our best to be ambassadors and representatives of the only one who was ever sinless and holy, Jesus Christ. It’s easy to throw stones at the Church. It’s even easier to ditch it altogether and go it alone. Notice the power of v.18 though! Through all the trials of this earth, and all the weapons Satan can muster, nothing will ever overthrow the Church of Jesus!
Day 2 – Ephesians 1:15-23
Ephesians 1 gives us another powerful account of the role of the Church: (v.22-23) It is the fullness of Jesus’ body! It is the instrument for which we receive the fullness of Jesus, who fills us up to the brim with himself!
Day 3 – Ephesians 4:1-16
Verses 1-7 tell us how important it is to “bear with one another in love” within the Church, keeping the unity of the Church. Verses 11-16 go on to talk about how we are each uniquely gifted to make up the “body” of the Church and how the Church is meant to bring about our maturity as followers of Jesus. In what ways has God equipped you to contribute to his Church? In what ways does God want to use the Church to mature you?
Day 4 – Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:11 – 6:2
This is a sobering passage about our growth as Christians within the Church. Notice verse 12 of Hebrews 5…though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again. Teaching and discipling others is a natural part of Christian spiritual maturity. If you have been a Christian for a long time, but are not sharing your faith with others and mentoring newer Christians in their faith, you have hit a major stunt in your growth as a Christian. The Bible describes this situation by giving us a picture of an adult unable to eat real food and instead is sucking on a baby bottle. Don’t let this be true of you. If your idea of church is simply a place where you sit in the seats and grow personally and/or gain knowledge, allow the Holy Spirit to use today’s reading to motivate and activate you into this crucial next phase of spiritual maturity. Ask your pastor who you can help disciple.
These verses describe the role of “pastor” in the contemporary Church. Notice the difficulty of this role. Also notice its biblically-ordained definition—that there is to be formal leadership with authority in a local church. This authority is not described in a dictatorial and autocratic sense, rather it’s described as a great weight and great responsibility. When people ditch the church and think talking to a few Christian friends is the same as the biblical model for church, notice how this key role of spiritual authority is missing. Encourage your pastors today, realizing the weight they carry.
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