Ephesians 4:14-16 – “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there 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]
Without rehearsing all of the discussion of the previous devotional let’s jump into the water and begin to address what is in my heart regarding ‘Covenant Community’ and where we are in today’s Church.
We mentioned major changes that could and would have to occur in the Church for us to become a Covenant Family and a Covenant Community, walking in the fullness of His Power in this present world. One of those changes is our understanding of The Church as well as the individual’s role and function in the organism called The Body of Christ.
I believe that requires the fitting, placing, and developing of the Individual Stones into a rightly framed and built house. It will require a clear view of the vision and purpose of our Lord for His Church. It will require a total commitment and surrender to that Vision and Purpose and He will, of necessity, become Lord of All and First before Everything or Anything. It cannot be a casual relationship, it must be All In.
It is my conviction that we in the Last Days that the Bible predicted. We could focus on the negative, but I choose to focus on the Harvest that God has Promised and Predicted. The Bible tells us that many will ‘fall away’ but it also speaks of the Great Harvest and Ingathering of Souls that will occur. [Matthew 13;17-20, 29].
Too often we focus on the numeric but the Bible identifies that the End Times will be marked by a Church that has come to full stature (Ephesians 4:13-16), is without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27), and is a sharp threshing instrument moving mightily against the powers of darkness (Romans 16:20). That is exciting!
The Last Days will be marked by a Great Visitation of the Holy Spirit and will result in the ingathering of multitudes into the Kingdom of God. It will be the Greatest Harvest the world has ever experienced! That is exciting! I believe that is illustrated and emphasized in Peter’s miraculous catch of fish, Joel’s vision of the latter rain outpouring, and all indicates that the Latter House (Church) will far surpass anything that has existed heretofore. That is exciting!
Regarding the Harvest, it is clear, the vehicle God will use is the Church, universal and local. The harvest is to be caught and kept. That means that the Church must become a Covenant Family and a Covenant Community. It becomes the vehicle through with the Army of God is fielded and funded. It will provide real answers to real problems for real people. It will no longer be about noses and nickels but lives and victory. Transformed lives impacting their world for the Kingdom of God in a Covenant Community.
It goes without saying that in this Harvest many are going to be saved and come into the local churches throughout the world. Here is a problem in that vision. The multitudes that are born-again and come in will bring with them a multitude of problems. No one of us got rid of all our problems when we came to Christ, they won’t either. We all came in with baggage and hang-ups, questions, and fears. All of us! If you recall in Acts 6 that as the number of disciples increased the number of problems increased proportionally. It is automatic that with more people there are more problems and the need for more answers. Real answers, not theoretical postulations.
How do we handle that problem? When you have multitudes of people with a multitude of problems that means more work, ministry, and a greater need for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. That cannot be achieved with the One-Man idea of church ministry or even a single team, it requires a Body Ministry effort. Unless we become a Body and a Covenant Community this effort will fall short of God’s design and desire. I am not sure how we arrived at the place where we became satisfied with one-hour or a couple of hours a week and call that the church and its ministry. As a result of one-hour weekly, many are left weak.
I know that I am treading on thin ice but want to dig a little deeper and even then, know that I will not scratch the surface of the problem, the promise or the potential. However, hopefully, it will inspire thought and personal investigation and introspection.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!