Man of God Caring for the Church of God

By this stage, we all have it down, right? The church is not the steepled building on the corner. It is not made up of pews and podiums and inhabited by parading minstrels or philandering preachers. The church, as revealed by the Lord in the Gospels and the apostles, especially Paul, in the epistles, is composed of every dear, regenerated believer. As we grow in our physical and spiritual life we are encouraged by led by this life to minister to those around us. As a young teenager, we may serve and care for the children. As a college student, the teenagers and children need our portion. As we move out of the college-aged spectrum and into the “come on grow-up and get into the real world” age spectrum our service expands to encompass all the dear saints.

This last Wednesday, a bro had a time of fellowship with those that fall into this “young adult category.” His burden and speaking followed Paul’s speaking to Timothy, a young brother, like-souled with Paul whom he charges to care for the church of God. Based on 1 and 2 Timothy, our brother, charged all of us in these various stages of development (ages 20-40+) to be a Man of God caring for the Church of God. The following are the fourteen points (as heard by yours truly, and I did not write down notes, so, umm…yeah), but before I get to them, let me tell you something that impressed me from the very first one: the points are not a “to do” list. If we are talking about caring for people, I might have started out with saying, “be a good listener,” or maybe take some counseling or psychology courses so you can give good advice. But from the get go, it is a matter of our heart, our being, our person.

First of all, We need to accept God’s arrangement. Where we are, who we are with, say amen to the Lord. He has arranged your particular situation just for you! Next, we need to be a Man of God. Not a man of good. We aren’t talking about a WWJD? situation. (Wow, that’s old…anyone still remember that whole thing, the wristbands with the “What Would Jesus Do? ha. I am dating myself.) To care for the Church of God, we need to come to the Man of God. The Lord Jesus is the one who cares for the church of God. His life in us is what can do it. Then we must have the eternal life. Eternal life is in the word of God. We must be those nourished with the word so that we can be those who “uplift the weary with a word.” We must be those full of truth. We cannot be full of doctrine. Doctrine does not minister to others. The letter kills, the spirit gives life. When we come to the word in the morning, we must come to be nourished that we would have eternal life and be those full of truth. We must have the mystery of faith and of godliness. We must be people of faith. We need to be those who stand against death through the exercising of our spirit. This is a fight, and we must be those always ready to engage in a battle against any darkness, death, and even passivity in the meeting. We must have an active, living spirit. The enemy’s goal is to bring death to the church at every moment. We cannot be passive we MUST exercise our spirit. We must be those who exercise to manifest God. Remember the spirit is with our spirit!!! This will require that we be those who stands against our natural disposition. Paul knew Timothy’s disposition was quite different from his own. This is why he told Timothy that God had not given him a spirit of cowardice. He wouldn’t have said that Timothy’s natural disposition been to be overbearing, and take-charge. Timothy was more likely to have a retiring and quiet disposition. He had to stand against this so that he could accept Paul’s charge to care of the church of God. To care of the church of God requires that we become a slave of Christ. Recall that I mentioned that the church is made of people. Caring for the church is not in the arranging of chairs, cleaning of meeting rooms, and vacuuming floors. Caring for the church of God requires caring for the individual persons. It is inquiring after a saint’s child, it is asking about their health, it is about asking “How are you doing?” and it not being merely a polite inquiry dictated by manners and used as conversational fodder. When you ask, it is because the answer matters. This requires being able to go in and come out among God’s people. The church is made up of all different personalities and dispositions, different ages and stages of development, and you must know how to be with each one. We need to learn to properly relate to every one in the spirit.

Finally, this is where our brother’s burden lay, “It matters to Him concerning you.” Our God is infinite. He is awesome. He is grand. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. He OVERFLOWS the amazingly ginormous universe. ¬†And yet, this very God cares about every particular of every part of you. Let me tell you a little story, a number of years ago, I was sitting at a stone table on the third floor of Geisel Library at UCSD. It was rather early in the morning, and a tiny bug of some kind was traipsing across the top of the table. It looked like a ladybug to a certain extent. I was curious of this little critter since I had never seen one like it before. Well, this pea-sized little thing had four itsy-bitsy legs and on these teeny legs there were minuscule bits of fur/hair. It was easily visible in the light of the sun and my better than perfect vision (oh to be young again). I was astounded. God, that infinite God I noted above, took the time to make sure this little critter had everything it needed to live its life on earth. And saints, IT MATTERS TO HIM CONCERNING YOU! Oh, Lord. I was touched once again, that this is our God. This is His heart for us. He is the Man of God caring for the churches. We don’t have to propose in our hearts or respond like the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai, with “All you say we will do!.” We don’t have to go the opposite direction and despair and quit before anything has happened. No, saints, we need to “Let THIS mind be in you!” Remember, the slave of God? He had the heart to serve God and man. He alone can do it. He alone can be it. Just open to allow His heart to be reproduced in you.

Amen, oh Lord, as we continue to grow in our various stages of development, make us useful vessel. Make us those with your heart for the church. Make us the reproduction of the Man of God that we may be those working together with You to care for the church of God.