by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” NASB [Please read verses 1-16 for the greater context]
What is in my heart may not win friends and may not influence people the way I hope. I see something that is existent in the Church today and one few seem to be willing to address. My devotionals are designed to be encouraging so for me to venture into something that would require the detail and length to adequately address, such as this, makes me cautious and concerns me.
In the Body of Christ, we have the Church, the Ministry, and the Problem! Of course, that demands explanation because on the surface it is meaningless and could lead to a terrible misunderstanding of what I am talking about. The idea of ‘Covenant Community’ is a belief that consumes my heart, as a Christian and a preacher. It burns in me like a fire that refuses to abate. Therefore, regardless of how it may be received or understood, it is a message that I cannot avoid.
Incorporated into this thought of ‘Covenant Community’ are some important facets of Truth and vital pieces of the spiritual puzzle. I believe that I see with a significant amount of clarity where God wants to take us as the Body of Christ. I also have a sense of inadequacy in knowing exactly where to begin in addressing this reality. I sense a certain level of inadequacy in presenting what I see. I am a very small fish in a very large pond and others with renown could present this with more receptivity, I am sure. However, it is burned into my heart and the Holy Spirit won’t let me walk away, so we dive in. I hope and pray this will be beneficial and ultimately a blessing to you.
I know what it is to have enormous physical and emotional pain. I know what it is to feel that you have been abandoned by God and man. I may not know the pain you feel or have felt, but I know what I feel and have felt. In some measure, what I am going to address has a prophetic tone and anytime there is a message that has that tone there is great danger of it being misunderstood or misapplied. It most assuredly opens the door to harsh criticism of those who disagree or disbelieve the message. But, before you render a judgment, I ask that you hear the whole matter and then decide.
All of us need to engage in reevaluation and reexamination of our hearts and our positions from time to time. That is not an unusual condition for me to find myself. In days gone by, the Lord has challenged me to reevaluate everything in my life. He has challenged me in my views of ministry, life, my dreams and purposes, everything. That can be and, at times, was painful because of the honesty He required.
Covenant Community – – What is it? Why do we need it? How do we attain it? All questions that are valid and hopefully in some measure I will answer satisfactorily. I believe that it is the desire of God for the Church today to become His Covenant Community in every local expression. He wants us to become a Covenant Family.
Let me make this declaration: “Unless the local expression of the Church becomes a Covenant Family it can never become a Covenant Community and will never be fully assimilated into the Body of Christ in a universal sense.” What I mean is that it will never become the Church Triumphant, enforcing the Victory of Calvary in this world until it becomes a Covenant Family and a Covenant Community.
Lest anyone think I am saying that the Church of Jesus will fail, IT WILL NOT! We may fail individually and in the local community, but the Church Universal will not fail. The Church Jesus is building will pull down strongholds and defeat the authorities and powers of darkness. What I am saying is, we may have to make some changes in our attitudes, understanding, and actions to become a viable part of that Church Triumphant. I hope we all want that desperately. Today’s pandemic is opening the door for that to become a reality in a larger measure than most would have thought or believe.
I am going to pause there, knowing that I have not adequately defined my objective and may have left you wondering where I am going with this. However, if you will join me in the next devotional, we will consider some major changes that need to occur in many hearts and local congregations.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!