Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:18-20
“And He is the head of the body, the Church. He is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:18)
The Church is the body of Christ. With all its imperfections and shortcomings, it remains His body here on earth. Of course, the weaknesses and shortcomings we see in churches are there because of each of us. We have to be realistic about the Church — it is made up of sinners like you and me.
However, in the eyes of Christ, the Church is beautiful; it is His bride. And He alone is the Head of the Church. He is the supreme leader and sustainer of His Church. Christ nourishes and cherishes His Church (Ephesians 5:29). Christ has made His church holy and without blemish by the redeeming work He accomplished for the members of His body.
Occasionally I meet people who say they are followers of Christ, but do not believe in “organized religion.” The Church is not “organized religion,” it is the body of Christ and we are expected to be a part of a local body of believers. When we confess Christ, we become a part of His covenant community. It is in the body of Christ that we grow most spiritually.
While Christ is the one and only legitimate Head of the Church, He has provided elders and deacons as officers to serve under His authorities. The elders are charged to “shepherd the flock of God” (I Peter 5:2). They are responsible “to care for the Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). The deacons are called to be servants and ministers to God’s people, by taking care of their needs (Acts 6:1-4). Thus elders and deacons have a huge responsibility that Christ has assigned to them and they are accountable to Christ for their calling and ministry as elders in His Church. We should pray regularly for the elders and deacons of our churches.
The Church is precious to Christ. He purchased each member of it with His own blood. Therefore, we are to love the Church and are to participate in its worship and ministry. We are to pray for the growth of the Church and we are to serve Christ in and through the ministries of His Church.
Lord Jesus, I know that You love Your Church. You are the Head of the Church and You purchased those who belong to it with Your own blood. I pray that I will serve Your Church to the best of my ability. I pray for the growth of Your Church around the world. I pray for the elders and deacons of my church. Protect Your Church and may I be a faithful servant of Yours through the ministries of the Church.
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