I wouldn’t normally get away with saying that, but the evidence is there for all to see! She’s now 32 weeks pregnant with twins and her bump is…incredible!! (Incredible in a good and exciting way obviously!!) Anyway, after our scan last week we were told that the twins were both head-down and likely to make an appearance well before the 40 week mark!
As a family we are now working around the clock to get everything ready for the babies to arrive. Cleaning the house, stocking the cupboards, getting all the dusty ‘baby stuff’ down from the attic and sterilising it, reading books and checking websites…not to mention all the new stuff we’ve had to buy (like a 17kg travel system!)
These twins are going to change everything.
So why are we going to all this trouble? Well, it’s simply because while we are excited about the birth (me probably more than Michelle!) we want our babies to grow and to prosper and to thrive. A filthy, ill-equipped house would be a dangerous and potentially disastrous home in which to nurture such fragile, precious young lives. By getting our house in order I believe that we are loving our unborn kids before we’ve even met them properly.
So as I was walking the dog this morning and thinking about how much time, sweat and money was needed to get our house in order for the new arrivals, the thought struck me that church should be no different. Any church worth its (literal) salt is praying for God to bring about new birth in their midst:
“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3v3)
We want to see God’s salvation because nothing is more exciting for the life of a church than seeing people born again and spiritual new life begin. But how many churches are waiting for God to ‘deliver’ people into their family, whilst giving absolutely no thought or attention to getting their house in order? Are they willing to love their new arrivals before they’ve even met them properly?
Here’s a few thoughts on the matter:
- Some churches need to expose and eradicate the filth of sin in their midst. The most unpleasant house to be in is a stinking dirty, house full of clutter and disease! A church that is not vigilant in preaching and pursuing holiness and righteousness is not a fit house in which to raise new believers!
# The cost of this may be people kicking off and leaving, but give me a small clean house over a big, dirty house any day!
- Some churches need to “stock their cupboards” with the resources that are needed. For new believers to grow in our churches we need to provide them with faith-filled, gosepl-literate quality people who are equipped and effective with everything needed for making disciples in the modern world.
# The cost of this will involve investing valuable time in people, getting strategic, Spirit-filled men and women in to teach and to encourage them, and also dipping your had in your pocket for relevant courses, conferences and materials for ministry.
- Some churches need to modernise. Simple as! They are still holding onto ancient traditions and religious practices thinking it’s somehow being holy. It’s not – it’s being irrelevant and idolatrous. Would you want your children to be born and raised in a 19th Century house or a 21st Century house? Why apply different rules to your church?
# This will no doubt involve slaughtering some sacred cows and treading on the toes of Pharisees, but so long as love is our motive and the gospel remains the foundation, there is always room for changing the decor and the facilities of the house to make it more welcoming, homely, safe and secure!
I pray that God would bless us with abundant salvation in these dark days.
But let’s play our part and get the House in order.