The church can seem like a mansion sheltering many. The fact that it is served as a shelter for many is not necessarily convincing of being in great shape. The purpose of the preaching, and repreaching, and repreaching of the gospel is to the aim of bringing such building up to code, the code of the knowledge of the love of God.
Every time the gospel is preached, a leaky pipe is figuratively being addressed, cracks in the wall of beliefs are being filled, and the foundation is being revisited for soundness.
Paul once made a plea to the church in his writing to the believers at Philippi in saying,
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:1-5)
This call to consistency is one that acknowledges a dominant fault in the mind of the church. We often sing songs that do not align with the gospel. We often read Psalms that do not unveil the gospel. We often preach sermons that entirely go in the opposite direction of the gospel. We often consider and treat each other as anything but loved by God. In the end, our minds are temporarily led astray by fear, anxiety, hopelessness, as opposed to the love, peace, joy, hope, endurance and live that God is to us in Christ as testified by the gospel.
In the manufacturing world, due to laws and regulations, manufacturers are held to many standards of consistency when it comes to safety in their products. With every release of a new product, groups of all kinds of interest often research and review the released products to assure that rules and regulations are being respected as much as possible. One of the goals, I assume and believe, is to maintain and convey consistency to safety in the products being offered to consumers.
It is said that for a gasoline engine to operate well, there has to be proper compression, proper fuel and proportion, proper spark and proper ratio of such components for combustion to occur consistently. The fuel is neither the spark, nor the air. But each component in respect of what is necessary to achieve one agenda, combustion, is supplied at the proper time and amount. Without much consistency, without much determination to maintain focus and respect of the foundational goal, there would be little to no combustion.
The gospel came to help us love and endure. The gospel came to help us bring death to our misunderstandings and breathe through the life Christ is in us. The gospel came to show us how in the dark we are by showing us the light, Jesus Christ, the love of God.
And the combustion is the glory of God. For what we do, say and live is to be by grace to the revelation of the glory of God, the love of God for all mankind. Without grace, without the leading of the Holy Spirit, God in the minds of mankind will remain as one’s imagination versus another’s.
For if any man would come to the knowledge of who God is, he should be found complete in every sense already. Given such, Christ came by God to teach and assure us of who God is in all attainable measure so that we do not run away from God but toward him by the joy and peace revealed through the gospel.
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
If hearing the gospel doesn’t rejoice our hearts, then we’re probably more occupied with being heard than hearing what God has done to show how much he loves us.
Father God, even when we’re inconsistent in what we’re saying, we find it much troubling. It may be an indication that we’re out of focus by saying one thing while looking at another. The mind that knows you and the heart that cherishes you for who you are are both at peace beyond any man’s imagination. And none of such could come into being was it not for Christ to come and overwhelm us with such beautiful knowledge and contentment. And was it not for your Spirit dwelling in us, keeping our minds and hearts focused on things we cannot see and yet enjoy, we would have been left as orphans. I pray that our anxiety to be known or heard as right succumbs to your gospel which announces our righteousness through the blood of Jesus, and the blood of Jesus alone. If any joy is to be found, let it be in the knowledge of your love for us alone. I thank you for your love. Even if it’s for one day or one hour or one minute, let our Yes, be Yes, and our No be No with the assurance your Spirit serves us daily to the remembrance of Jesus. In your name, Jesus, I pray that our mind be sheltered always in the knowledge of your love, the love of your Father, for us, Amen.