The house was dilapidated and run down. It was clear that this house had seen better days. But those days were long gone. I was certain that no one had inhabited that lonely house for at least a decade. No one maintained the structure and the signs of neglect were apparent. I bet that the contractor of this house never intended for this home to be vacant. I wonder if he had visions of families loving each other and caring for one another within the walls of that home. Because that is what a home is designed for, right? Homes are never built to sit empty. Families are meant to dwell in homes. This is the same for us. For our faith. But we sure like to complicate things, don’t we? We need to understand The Simple But Remarkable Purpose Of The Church.
God has been constructing us, building us up into the people He longs for us to be. And we were not created to be alone. He created us to be in a family. In the family of God. Our churches, the houses of God, are meant to have people living in them. Yes, I know the church building is just a building and that we are the Church. But it’s the living people that make the church what it is…or what it is supposed to be:
A safe place for the broken.
The Intent Of Our Enemy
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced a church split. I have. And was it ever a mess. People were bloodied and torn. Not from someone on the outside. No. Not at all. The battle involved only the people from within. You don’t get away with such behavior in a small town without people knowing about it. And we were sure getting quite the reputation.
You see, the enemy was at work in this situation. He wanted to destroy our Heavenly Father’s reputation, His character. This is his MO. What he does. If he can get people to believe that God is not loving, that He is not full of Grace and Mercy, well then he’s happy. And believe me, he was very happy with what was going on within our church family.
He assailed our church family and brought complete and utter destruction. I think there were many who made his job quite easy with the following sins:
- False accusations.
With so many so quick to anchor themselves to such sinful behavior, all our enemy had to do was sit back and watch the devastation, whispering lies here and there just to keep the momentum going.
Whenever this sort of thing begins to happen – and it will happen – we have a choice. We can push back and refuse to give the enemy a foothold. Or we can willingly go along with his evil plan of destruction, adding our own fuel to the fire.
The purpose of the church is to push back on the enemy’s agenda.
Renovations of Restoration
But there is Good News, my friends. Our heavenly Father is in the restoration business. He can take that old, dilapidated house and do some major renovations to restore it to its former pristine condition.
One of the most important roles of the Church is to provide a safe place for the broken. I don’t think we need to look very far to see just how broken this world has become. The Church (the people) is supposed to be a place of love. Kind of like basecamp. A place where we can rest and refuel and be ready to continue with our purpose – and that is to bring the hope of restoration to the broken.
But we can’t be what we are supposed to be when we are attacking each other. We fight the restoration process when we tear each other down. This includes both inside our home church as well as the worldwide Church.
The purpose of the church is to help cultivate God’s restoration plan.
The Master’s Master Plan
Jesus’ master plan is to build His Church. And He wants to use us to fulfill His plan. Yes, there will be opposition. There will be challenges. Although we will have to fight, we shouldn’t be fighting each other. The battle is not an earthly battle; it is a spiritual battle (see Ephesians 6:12). Our best fighting is done in prayer.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that my point here has been confirmed by an email I received last night from someone within the church. The content was in direct opposition to the building process. Ladies, let’s be honest here. We can have the tendency to create so much drama around circumstances that do not warrant it (well, no circumstance warrants drama). Can we just STOP IT!? It’s enough already! We need to offer so much grace to each other – because failing to extend grace to each other is destructive and a hindrance to His Masterplan. That email was a case in point.
However, Jesus will succeed in building His church. There is no doubt about that. I guess the real question is will you help Him build? Or will you oppose His inevitable victory? It’s not a matter of whether or not He will fulfill His plan. We already know the truth about that. It’s a matter of what side you will choose in the building process.
The purpose of the church is to fulfill the Master’s masterplan.
Years ago, a dear friend told me that her husband doesn’t like the Church. He said that he meets God on the ski hill so that’s where he’d go Sunday mornings instead of going to church with his family. For me, this was only one of many red flags that told me something wasn’t quite right. He believed the lie that he did not need a church family. I’m sure that we all know someone like this, don’t we?
If he understood the true purpose of the church, he may have confessed and repented of his sinful behavior. This may have lead to cherishing his wife as he should have all along. He would not have chosen to have a long-term affair and his impending divorce may have been prevented. If he understood that Jesus was in the business of building lives through the church, his life might look much different than it does now.
The purpose of the church is to walk this journey together. Never alone.
The glory of God resides in His house, in our hearts. Our hearts are His home. He is building His home within us. He is renovating and restoring us. Let’s dwell in the fullness of Christ so that our homes, our hearts, our lives, will shine with His glory.
Let’s be a safe place for the broken.
May this be a good reminder to us all as to The Simple But Remarkable Purpose Of The Church.
Next week, I want to talk about how we, as a church, and as individuals can help fulfill this masterplan.
Read more posts in this series:
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