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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of June 4, 2012
In most businesses, success is measured in numbers: amount of profit, number of customers, volume of sales, percent increase in revenue, etc. In the church, it can be easy to slip into the mindset of measuring success by numbers: number of members, amount of donations received, total square footage of the church building, number of regular attenders, etc.
However, God desires that His people adopt a different definition of success. In the church, success should be measured by transformed lives--not big membership, big budgets, or big buildings.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with being a big church; however, a big church doesn't necessarily mean a successful church. That's because filling a church with people means nothing if lives are not transformed.
Transformed lives are lives that are on fire for God. In Revelation 3:16, God is talking about that spiritual fervor and fire: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm -- neither hot nor cold -- I am about to spit you out of my mouth."
Rather than filling a building with lukewarm people -- people who play spiritual charades -- God desires that His people live transformed lives that worship Him wholeheartedly.
The Israelites lacked the genuine and sincere worship that results from transformed lives. In Isaiah 1:10-14, God rebukes them for their lack of true, heartfelt worship: Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah! "The multitude of your sacrifices -- what are they to me?" says the Lord. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations -- I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.
The Israelites served God with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him. Similarly, rather than filling a church with people who can feign worship, God desires that His people live transformed lives.
God wants to be the most important thing in your life. Sadly, many Christians let the opinions of other people control their own decisions, altering what they consider to be important.
Proverbs 29:25 says, Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Your relationships with the people you're around could be a snare to you if let them control you. However, if Christ is more important to you than any relationship, then he will control your relationships, guiding you into right, godly ones. Make Christ first place in your heart, and he will control and direct your relationships.
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