This morning as I was preparing my Wednesday night Bible study I came across an interesting verse in Psalms 26:8, “O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.” In his commentary on this verse, Charles Spurgeon tells of a dear lady who was deaf but attended the preaching service of the church every week. When the minister asked this dear lady why she continued to attend the services even though she couldn’t hear a word that was being said she replied, “Though I cannot hear you, I come to God’s house because I love it…” Her comment stands in such contrast to the philosophy of many in our day who say they love Jesus but not the church. I would like to submit to you that to love Jesus means that we also love His church.
When David wrote the words of this Psalm, of course, he was speaking of the Temple as the habitation of God. What many Christians tend to forget today is just as the Temple was in the Old Testament, the church the dwelling place of God today (see Ephesians 2:19-22) In David’s day he would have thought about the Temple as being the dwelling place of God, but today the dwelling place or temple of God is the church. This is why I say that to Love Jesus means that we must also love the church. The church is now the dwelling place or Temple of God.
I understand that there are things that we would all like to change about the way we do church or the things that sometimes go on within the church. But this does not change the fact that we as followers of Christ we are called to love the church. It doesn’t surprise me when I hear those who don’t know Christ tear down the church, but it breaks my heart to hear Christians who seem to never have anything good to say about the church. To love Jesus means that we also love His church. Rather than tearing down and criticizing the church, I would urge all of us to stop and remember what David said, “O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.” I would like to invite you to take a moment and comment on why you love the church. It may be something that you love about the church in general or perhaps you have a specific way that the church has ministered to your need. But take a moment right now to share with everyone why you love the church in the replies. Let me start us off by sharing some of the reasons why I love the church:
1.) Jesus loves the church and died for it (Eph 5:25-26)
2.) Jesus has commissioned the church to be on mission with HIm (Matthew 28:19-20)
3.) The Keys of the Kingdom have been given to the church and the gates of hell will never prevail over us (Matthew 16:18-20)
4.) Jesus has gifted the church with Spirit-filled leaders (1 Corinthians 12)
5.) Jesus ministers to my physical, spiritual and emotional needs through the church.
6.) Jesus is fulfilling His plans and purposes through the church.
7.) The church is my family
Let’s see how many things we can add to this list.