By: Waylon Bailey ~
It’s fairly easy to look at church through the eyes of selfishness. In fact, it sometimes seems it is the only way people look at church.
The apostle Paul noted it as well. He pointed out that he had no one that would look at church except for their own interests. “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares for your welfare” (Philippians 2:20).
How easy it is to please ourselves! How hard it is to please God!
How can we become churches that please God?
I obviously can’t exhaust all the possibilities, but we can consider what we each can do to bring us closer to becoming the church that pleases God.
First, we can remember who owns the church. The church was instituted by Jesus and is for the purpose of exalting His name.
We must see the church as it really is. It is not mine or yours; it belongs to God and God alone.
Second, we can do church God’s way. After all, the New Testament gives us a vivid picture of the kind of church that pleases God.
Many of the New Testament letters were written specifically to the church to give the church guidance for the future.
If you would like to see some of that guidance, I suggest you read Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. This is a letter of Paul almost totally dedicated to the belief and behavior of the church.
When we follow this guidance, we will be well on our way to becoming the church that pleases God.
Third, we can emphasize the needs of others. Jesus gave us this example as He sacrificed Himself for your needs and mine. As we give of our financial resources and seek the welfare of others, we will be following the example of Jesus.
Paul encouraged the church at Philippi to take on the mind of Christ and to follow His self-giving example. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Jesus sacrificed Himself to be a blessing to others (Philippians 2:6–7).
Paradoxically, when we follow this simple plan, church will be more meaningful and more enjoyable than at any other time.
It’s simple – – selfishness destroys and takes away while self-giving builds up and encourages.
Let us make our churches those that please God.