Church Is Not Church Without U

Beloved, As we are having to continue to grapple with the consequences of this pandemic, Covid-19, I hope and pray that you are not struggling too mightily to stay encouraged in your faith. As we preached about the last two Sundays, when we are struggling, we need to have a valuable conversation with God in the name of Jesus Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit. This valuable conversation is between us and God; but, we need something else. We need each other. My life is what it is right now because of the church. And, when I type "because of the church:, it has little to nothing to do with a building. It has little to nothing to do with programs. It has everything to do with the people, my brothers and sisters in Christ. The church is supposed to be an organic, living, growing, moving body of believers in Jesus Christ. We are supposed to represent Christ to the world. We are supposed to be counter-cultural to the culture of the world. We are supposed to be in this world but not of this world. We are supposed to have our sights set on Heaven as our eternal home. We are supposed to represent a choice of a different way of living to those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. We are supposed to be. We are supposed to be. We are supposed to be. We are supposed to be in this thing called life together. Our togetherness, our unity, our solidarity is what gives us strength as the Body of Christ. It does not work any other way. You have other clubs, associations, and entities that you pay dues to as part of your membership. And, usually, they want you to attend a certain number of meetings or gatherings to make sure that you are active. Beloved, in the church, Jesus Christ paid your dues for your membership and your presence and activity within the Body of Christ is how you respond to Jesus' wonderful, incredible, magnanimous act of grace in offering you salvation. And, it is not you alone. Again, we are supposed to be in this thing called life together. You see, church is not church without yoU. In Hebrews 10:24-25 it is put this way, "And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some." Beloved, Covid-19 has thrown a monkey-wrench into how we can gather together; but, let us keep it completely real, some were not gathering together before Covid-19. Covid-19 has simply become an excuse to not gather together...while some will gather with everyone else and everywhere else other than with their church family. Know this, the church is better with you than without you; but, let us not be foolish, you are not the church all by yourself and you are better with the church than without the church. Your better you is found in the church not outside of it. Your best you is found in the church not outside of it. Your born again you, your saved you, your sanctified you, your Holy Ghost filled you, your fire baptized you, your new you who is trying your best not to go back to being your old you is found in the church not outside of it. You can make excuses and call them explanations but your habits tell the real story. Are you church or not? God wants you to be who God has called you to be, church; but, you cannot be church if you are not in the church. Beloved, I am trying to provoke you. I am trying to antagonize you. I am trying to stir you up. Why? I want to see the love of God coming through you in your prayers, your feelings, your thoughts, your words and your deeds. I want you to be church. For, we, as a church family, are only completely church when you are with us. So, church is not really church without you. Come together church for Noonday Prayer. Come together church for our sermon on The Light radio/internet broadcast at 3pm. Come together church for our final Summer Learning Series session this evening at 6:30pm via the HOPE Wednesday Zoom protocol. And, come together church for worship service on Sunday at 11am in-person, on Facebook Live, and on Zoom teleconference. If your habit has been to stay away, for you to truly be church, it is time for a change. We have plenty of ways to connect to be church. Be church with us. Why? Remember, God loves you and I love you too! Be blessed, Rev. Cain




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