September 19, 2007

The Miracle Church

Scripture Reading — Ephesians 4:7-13

We all [need to] reach unity in the faith and ... knowledge of the Son of God and become mature ...  Eph. 4:13


There are two sisters who visit my church from time to time. They will not join a church because they cannot find a church without fault. They are looking for the perfect church. They see imperfections in everyone but themselves.

The apostle Paul would tell these sisters-and all of us-that we need to grow and become mature in the faith and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Author Lewis Smedes gave wonderful advice to imperfect people. In his book Shame and Grace he said, "Grace-based people live lightly with their imperfections because they see their imperfections as reason to be grateful and are thankful to be limited creatures with unlimited potential." In other words, our maturity grows as we recognize our limits as human beings and grace expands our view of God and one another. We need to view our imperfections as an instrument that helps us "supersize" our thankfulness for God!

Paul wrote this letter from prison. But that did not dampen his gratitude for God's grace. Paul knew he might suffer terribly, but in the meantime he strained to be all that God called him to be in Christ Jesus. Paul was surrounded by imperfection, and yet he stretched to attain to "the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Let's thank God for this inspiring example!


Dear Lord, help us to spend more time thanking you for your gifts to the church and less time complaining about the church. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen


Devotion topics: Christianity, Discipleship