Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I was cleaning up some genealogy papers and ran across the memorial sheet of my husband’s aunt. This photo was undated, but appears to have been take in the early1920’s. Mayme was born in 1905, and went home to her Lord in 2009. Included in her obituary was: “Mayme was a long-time, active member of First United Methodist Church in Lebanon.” That’s a town, too, not the country!
Do you think you could be considered a long-time, active member of your church? If not, why not? It really doesn’t take much to be considered an active member. The majority of those simply show up for services on Sunday morning and bring an offering of some kind. They consider this sufficient, for Paul wrote:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV]
So, in order for no one to consider them boasting, they simply attend. Perhaps they didn’t read what James wrote:
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. [James 1:27 KJV]
Or, from another of his chapters:
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. [James 2:18 KJV]
The people who know you best will probably write your obituary. What will they say about your faith? Is it displayed in any work you do to bring glory to your Father in heaven? Not works accomplished in obedience to laws without faith, dependent upon them for salvation, but obedience to the word of Jesus:
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. [Matthew 25:40 KJV]
Also note in James 1:27 it says “fatherless”, not orphaned nor motherless. I can assure you there are fatherless children in your church. And, there are widows, too. How much pure religion are you practicing today?
It really is a simple thing to become active in your church. The first step is building your faith:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. [Romans 10:17 KJV]
Then by praying:
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. [1 Timothy 2:8 KJV]
By then you’ll know where to serve Him. There’s a place waiting for you, both here and in heaven.