Charles Spurgeon called the church the dearest place on earth.
The book of Revelation refers to the church as the bride of Christ.
The church is the body of gathered believers in Jesus Christ that come together on mission to pray, fellowship, learn, worship and tell the rest of the world of the blessed hope.
Many complain about the church. Many claim Christ but not His church. They are missing out on so much.
I have been an official part of the Church since my salvation at age 16 but I was a part of the blessings of the church long before that. I grew up in the community of faith. I did not grow up in a perfect church but it was a dear place. It was a place that people loved me, tolerated me, and tried to tell me about the love of Jesus. Each week volunteers would put up with my smart attitude, my biting sarcasm and my rebellious spirit. They would put up with me because they knew my only hope would be found in Christ and that is what they were offering me.
Finally at age 16 Jesus arrested my soul. He radically changed my life and called me to invest in others. I cannot overstate the blessings (physical, spiritual, and emotional) I have experienced through the people of God as a part of His Church.
Here are a Few:
I have been taught the word of God by dozens of unpaid teachers.
I have been loved when I was unlovable.
My best friends have come from within the church.
My wife came from church affiliation.
When I felt a call to go on a mission trip to a foreign country at age 19 and could not pay for it, a dear older brother would finance the trip in its entirety for me. This trip would change my life and solidify my calling.
For the last 13 years the people of the church have paid my salary.
When each of my children was born the people of the church bought thousands of dollars worth of diapers, clothes and other baby supplies.
Casseroles came after the babies because of the church!
When someone close to me died it was a church member that called or visited to lift me up in prayer.
I have grown closer to Christ as a result of learning from others in the church.
I have dear brothers and sisters in India, Argentina, Canada, Haiti, Honduras and many other places in the world that I share a common bond with through our faith in Christ.
I have been able to use my gifts through the church.
Now I am beginning to see the next generation that I have had the opportunity to invest in become serving members of the church. This may be the greatest blessing.
I have laughed, cried, prayed, preached, loved, sacrificed, and been eternally blessed through the Bride of Christ.
Thank You JESUS for your Church.
How has the church been a blessing to you?