May the grace, mercy and peace of God, our Father, and of Jesus, our Lord, be with you. Allow me to submit to you by the Lord Jesus that for a church (a community of believers) to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and therefore be healthy, it must not only remember, but also understand that it is Jesus, the AMEN, exalted on the right hand of God, who owns it.
Revelation 1:20 – As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
In the Book of Revelation, as He spoke to seven of its churches, Jesus reminded them of this very fact, in at least two distinct ways: By declaring that the churches (and its leaders) are in His hand (Rev. 1:20), and by demonstrating in excruciating details just how much He knows about the life of each church. He knows not only the state of your church, but also where it comes from. He knows every single activity that is taking place inside your group, whether in public or in secret. He knows how your church has progressed (or digressed), where it is heading, and what your group must do given its current state.
In fact, NO ONE KNOWS BETTER about the state of a church than His Majesty, our God, and Jesus, our Lord.
Not only remembering, but understanding this fact (that Jesus owns the churches) gives us the most essential ingredient in the life of a church. A CHURCH MUST BE CONNECTED TO JESUS OR IT WILL WITHER.
John 15:4 – As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
AND TO BE CONNECTED, ITS LEADERS MUST BE EXCLUSIVELY DEDICATED TO PRAYING AND SERVING THE WORD.
In the Book of Acts we find this very practical truth in action. The early church was growing, and growing rapidly. And among the many ministries the church was performing, one of them was to ensure that everyone, among themselves, especially those in need of help like the widows, would receive food, daily. An issue arose as the greek-speaking Jews started to complain that their widows were being neglected.
Please note that the very fact that this church was performing this ministry among themselves speaks volume about the life and love that must have been present among the members! A beauty to behold indeed!
Nevertheless, note how the Apostles handled this matter.
Acts 6:2-4 – 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
The twelve Apostles did not say that this ministry was not important. Matter of fact, the instructions they gave to the people to choose seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirt and full of wisdom speaks highly of their position regarding the importance of this matter.
But what was even more important than daily food was the need for them to be continually in prayer and to continually serve the people, the spiritual food, the Word of God. The Apostles understood that NOTHING should come in the way of spending any less time with Jesus. As leaders, they should continually be in prayer. They must devote themselves at the feet of the One who OWNS THAT CHURCH, to receive daily grace, life, and blessings so that they will continuously feed the flock entrusted to them. They must not distract themselves, even with valid matters of the church.
Oh that you will appreciate the wisdom given to the Apostles, for they did not neglect the matter brought before them. But something more important, more valuable, they were instructed never to neglect, no matter the cost, for in them did the very life of the church hanged: Prayer and ministry of the Word.
And perhaps here lies the greatest failure of many of our churches. Our leaders do not understand their most solemn duty, the one duty they must preserve at all cost, to be in prayer, so that they may receive the daily grace they need for themselves and for the people.
If you are a leader, and recognize that these words are TRUE, then repent and assume your duty, as a servant of the LORD who desires to be called faithful.
For those of you who might aspire to be a leader. You desire a good work, but may this letter serve to caution you of your most important, and only duty.
And to all, abide in the Vine, the Lord Jesus in prayer, that His life may flow in you in abundance.
In Jesus Name. AMEN.