Friday, April 15, 2011
The Church In My MIND
Even in Paul's time of ministry affliction, the church remained something that Paul truly loved. We see this clearly in Philippians chapter 1. In verses 3-6 we see that Paul kept the church in his MIND. This involved loving the church through his intellect. - how he thought about them. This was "fleshed out" by Paul through four principles:
First, every time someone in the church came to Paul's mind, Paul thanked God for them. Verse 3 says, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you." Loving the church, even in difficult ministry times, can occur as we take time to thank God for those who make up the church each time God brings them to our mind.
Second, rid yourself of every negative thought about those in the church. In verse 4 Paul said that he "always offered prayer with joy" for all of them. People do things that hurt. Do your best to rid your mind of every negative thought about those who have caused you pain. Replace those negative thoughts with thoughts of joy.
Third, realize that there involvement is needed. You may not always agree with them. You may have been hurt by them. But the truth is that each member of the Body of Christ still plays a vital role in the church. Paul, in verse 5, speaks of their "participation in the Gospel." Every believer, even the ones we struggle with the most, is a vital member of Christ's body.
Fourth, remember that God is making them into the image of Christ. In verse 6, Paul reminds us that the God "who began a good work in us will complete it." God is not done working on you, nor is He done working on others in your ministry. You're not perfect yet - neither are they!
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