Devotional Day 4 - Love Your Church

Hey North Church friends,
 
I want to remind you how profoundly loved you are: 

  • You are the beloved of the Father. He loves you so much he did not spare his own Son but gave him up for you (Rom 8:32) 
  • You are beloved by Jesus who, though he was God, did not count equality with God as something we could grasp but emptied himself and came to serve us all, ultimately giving his life up for us willingly so we could be restored to a right relationship with our Creator (Phil 2:6-8) 
  • You are beloved by the Holy Spirit who does not fear the contagion of our sin, but enters our hearts to purify us from all of our uncleanliness (Heb 9:14)

It is out of the abounding, steadfast, never-changing, and powerful love of the triune God that I wish to encourage you through this personal devotional to love in a few different ways over the last couple of days.

Verse: I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. - 1 Tim 3:14-15

Love your Church: North Church is not a building (that should be pretty clear to all of you who gathered with your community on Sunday). We are an organism, a living thing.

Throughout church history, we see that the body of Christ has always been powerfully resilient and grows stronger when it deals with pressure and challenge. This is what I am confident is happening during this strange time. We also see that the church is an institution with a structure. The structure, when functioning as it should, is designed to help the flourishing of the organism.
 
North Church is not unique. We’re just like the Church has always been: an organism with an institution that works together for the care of the people and the glory of Jesus. You, who are reading this, are her people. You are the organism. The institution is the systems, structure, staff, and elders who help organize things like these messages of support, online services, care structures, all the things that make the church “go”, and so on. We’re like a small business that is designed to care for the church organism rather than provide goods and services. 

People of North Church, we need the support of the body also. Please pray for us. Pray for the elders and staff as we take on significantly different loads and responsibilities while still continuing with the work we’ve always done. Pray for wisdom as we prepare to adjust our budget and programs as needed because we want to be wise and good stewards of your time and giving.
 
As you are able, please continue to give. If it is possible, please give over and above your normal giving during this time so any budget shortfalls that may come for those who need to reduce their giving can be covered by your excess.
 
Please love North Church during this time -- the organism and institution. Love cannot be magically conjured from within, but must overflow out of the love we received from God.

Questions:

  1. What does it mean that the Church is the “pillar and buttress of truth”?
  2. Spend some time in prayer for the elders and staff of North Church
  3. How can you tangibly love your church right now?

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