A Long Hard Swim
By Ronnie Wyatt
While sports fishing off the Florida coast, a tourist capsized his boat. He could swim, but his fear of alligators kept him clinging to the overturned craft. Spotting an old beachcomber standing on the shore, the tourist shouted”, Are there any gators around here?!” “ Naw," the man hollered back, "we haven’t had gators around for years!” Feeling safe, the tourist started swimming leisurely toward the shore. About halfway there he yelled to the local man, "How'd you get rid of the gators?” "We didn't do nothin'," the beachcomber said. "The sharks got 'em."
Isn’t that just like life? Just as soon as you get rid of the gators, you have to fight the sharks! Do you know that God has made a way to help you with your swim through life? He calls it the church! The Apostle Paul writes to a young Pastor friend of his and says, “Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth”. (1 Timothy 3:14-15)
These are some pretty good descriptions of what a church should be. First, the church is called “God’s Household”. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? God forgives you of your sin when you place your faith in Jesus Christ, but that’s not all. He invites you to be part of His family!
Second, the church is referred to as, “the church of the living God”. Too often those who come to Christ go through life like they serve a dead God that cannot help them at all. But the church is there to help us experience the power of the living God through the love of His people!
Third, the church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. It is God’s desire that we grow spiritually and grow to know more about Him. The more we know about Him, the more we know Him. The more we grow to know Him, the more we grow to love and trust Him! The church is where we are helped to learn the “pillar and foundation” of God’s truth.
Do you want to experience the love of God through the relationships of those who love you? Get involved in a local church. Do you want to feel the warmth of being part of a family that accepts you and cares for you? Get involved in a local church. Do you want to grow closer to God by learning the real truths of the bible? Get involved in a local church.
Often time I will hear someone say, “I don’t have to go to church to have a relationship with the Lord.” There is some truth to that. You don’t “HAVE” to go to church to have a relationship with the Lord. That is true in the same sense that you don’t HAVE to fly a plane or ride on a ship to get to England, but it is a long hard swim without one. You CAN make it to Heaven without having to go to church because the only thing that guarantees your Eternal Life is your faith in Jesus Christ, not church attendance. But, to try and make it through this life without a loving church family is a long hard swim!
Verse of the week:
“… I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Ronnie Wyatt travels for Crosseyed Ministries as a Christian Comedian, Evangelist, Conference Speaker, and Author. www.crosseyedministries.com