The Church: A River Of Grace

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I liken the church to the Nile River in Egypt. Only it is river of grace, a stream of spirituality watering a dry land thirsty for God with living water. The church is a spiritual supply of living water to a dry and secular desert of a land.

It is up to us as church members to keep the river of grace going, to purify the waters of doctrine, and to maintain a steady resource of  water to supply those in the spiritual desert it flows through.

The churches bring to mankind the living water spoken of by Jesus to the woman at the well. “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I give shall never thirst; but the water that I give shall be... water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)

To keep the stream of grace that is the church going is the duty of the members. The people in the churches have to be committed spiritually to do this.

Be a good church member committed to the responsibility of maintaining streams of grace and living water to a thirsty world. It is of the highest priority that we keep the living waters moving through the spiritual desert.

The churches are a great redeeming river. The river may split up into many branches, but there is some grace in all the rivulets and streams. Do not be taken aback by different streams carrying the living water. The point is the church brings the living water to the world no matter how different the channels.

Be prepared to sacrifice to found a congregation and keep it going. Nothing significant is done without sacrifice. Would your family do as well if you did not sacrifice for it? No, of course not.

Church members must be prepared to keep the churches going as a gift to God for His mercies and to spread the Gospel. They must attend church regularly to worship God together, work to advance it, be ready to reform it, and die to protect it. If it comes to that, and you never know, because this is a sick world, but our comfort is that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

Your commitment to the church should go far enough to include suffering for God as acceptable, right and necessary at times. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake ...”  (Matthew 5:11)

Do not seek to suffer, for that would be sick, but be willing to suffer if that may be needed. Jesus did not want to suffer. He prayed the cup might be taken from Him. But the hour was upon Him. He was taken, suffered and crucified. But He rose on Easter.

If your time to suffer for the church comes, accept it as gracefully as possible, which may not be altogether graceful. Suffering is a hard thing to do. But the pattern God laid down is for Suffering Love to redeem. That means we as well as Christ must suffer to redeem when needed. Do so if Grace is calling.

Then you are redeeming through Suffering Love, an instrument of God at work. Take up the cross and follow the Lord. In love that dares to suffer, help advance the Kingdom of God. Is this not the Christian Way?

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Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.