The Church in the Word
In this mile-a-minute culture, we don’t like to wait for things anymore. We are used to getting things fast and simplified. Unfortunately, it is easy to carry this attitude over to our worship life. If God has something to say, we expect it to be distilled to a 10-second sound-bite. We are still looking for a quick and easy guide to spirituality.
Tragically, many churches have bought into this consumerism thinking. But true spiritual growth is not fast and simple. True spiritual growth takes time—and lots of it.
Getting back to that one thing
Instead of seeking to find a church that is run more like a spiritual supermarket, it is time for us to slow down and consider Jesus’ words to the busy, preoccupied Martha: “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her'” (Luke 10:41–42).
The Bible gives us some insight into what that one thing is.
- For David, that one thing was fellowship with God and His people (Psalm 27:4).
- For Mary, that one thing was sitting at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38–42).
- For Paul, that one thing was moving forward spiritually (Philippians 3:13).
In the same way, we should sit at Jesus’ feet, fellowship with God and His people, and want to move forward spiritually. If we don’t focus on that one thing, we’ll end up doing everything and accomplishing nothing!
God has provided His church as the place for this one thing to take place. It is our departure from His original principles that has put the church in the weakened state we find it today. Can you imagine what would happen if the church returned to its first-century roots and started turning the world upside down for Christ? It would have a powerful effect. Like the church after the day of Pentecost, people would be asking, “What does this mean?” and “What shall we do to be saved?” (See Acts 2:1–39.)
Contemporary Lessons from an Ancient Church
One of the key characteristics of the New Testament church (Acts 2:37–47) is that it was a learning church.