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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Learning To Recognize The First Sign of Spiritual Decline

In review of 1 Peter 2:17 it says, Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.

Bottom Line:
Respect everyone, love the family of believers, fear God and respect those in leadership.

What this means to me:
I am to show proper respect to everyone, I am to love the family of believers I part of and Christians everywhere, I am to take God seriously (fear him), and I’m to respect those God has put into leadership over me.

What I’ve learned so far is that the Church is a Body, not a building, and is an organism, not an organization.

This is much like the organs of my body that fulfill their purpose, they must be connected to my body to be useful. The same is true for me as a part of Christ’s Body. I was created for a specific role, but I’ll will miss out on it if you’re not attached to a living, local church. I will discover much about my role in life though my relationships with others.

Romans 12 further points out that, “Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we?” (Romans 12:4-5 MSG)

If an organ is somehow severed from its body, it will shrivel and die. It cannot exist on its own, and neither can I. Disconnected and cut off from the lifeblood of a local Body of believers, my spiritual life will wither and eventually cease to exist (Ephesians 4:16).

A first symptom of spiritual decline is usually inconsistent attendance at worship services and other gatherings of believers. Whenever I become careless about fellowship, everything else begins to slide, too.

This verse reminds me to, “Love your spiritual family” (1 Peter 2:17 MSG).

Membership in the family of God is neither inconsequential nor something I should casually ignore. What I’m learning is that the Church is God’s agenda for the world. Jesus said, “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:18 NLT, second edition).

As I summarize today’s time I see that I am to continue to take God seriously and respect everyone (including authority), and I am too especially love the family of believers. I thank you God for the reminder this morning about me needing to continue taking you seriously. You want me to respect everyone including authority you’ve placed over me, but I am too especially love your family of believers. It seems God is confirming to me that my wife and I have found the church he would like is to start to commit to. As a result, I need to see what I can do to know start to serve in this body. Part of taking God seriously is to heed a warning and today’s verse is a reminder to be careful, for not plugging in and committing to a local church can quickly turn to Spiritual decline. We need others in our new home area to plug in with.