Word for the Week...OCT 10---16 / 2005

(v.17)" And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the Church.(v.18)  And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons.(v.19) Serving The Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.(v.20)  And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,(v.21) Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." 

Here, in the first Century, we see many elders / bishops; ('episcopoi' Gk.) to one Church.In this 21st Century we see many Churches to one bishop ! How times change! We obviously need accountability and responsibility in the Body of Christ, at all times and in all places. But at what cost? Are there not dangers in power-seeking and control? Do people really feel comfortable with one who wields a heavy baton? or is there another way?...a way of power-sharing and concensus? A way of humility and sacrifice? We can glean from this passage that Paul was anything but a megalomaniac, whose lust for domination kindles fires of antagonism wherever he goes !!! None could challenge Paul, because he backed up his words with a lifestyle to match! Paul 'walked the talk' and we had better do the same... if we want to convince the world that Christ really does make a difference to/in one's life. The Church of Laodicea is alive and well folks!, or so it thinks!!! Would Paul really go down well in our sophisticated, exclusive gatherings?, or would he, too, be on the 'outside looking in', like so many others ? Some years ago, a 'pop' song lyricist wrote...'What if God were one of us? just a stranger on the bus'?!   Isn't it time that the Church got to grips with reality? Instead of competing with the world, providing a True alternative, showing love and compassion to the many hurting people who are struggling their way through life, with little or no knowledge of The Saviour--Jesus Christ, our Lord. When we DO the will of The Father, as Paul also did, we can say that we know the meaning of repentance and faith !  (James 1:27).        May The Lord Bless you.    

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