DAY 8 - Read Daily08-11-2019 | Emily Middleton | YOUTH
Day 8 - God’s plan for his people - the local church
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—
Questions For Reflection
- If you attend church, ask yourself what your motivation is. Is it with an ultimate desire to bring glory to your Saviour? / If you don’t attend church regularly, why? Do your excuses stand in light of what the Bible has to say?
- Why does attending other meetings during the week not replace fellowship with your church? (look at Paul’s instructions for a church in 1 Timothy ch3)
- What benefit can attending church have in your own life?
Devotion Transcript (Watch on Baptist Youth Youtube Channel)
As a follower of Christ, which of these statements best describes you?
A - You try your best to be at church every week.
B - You go to church out of habit.
C - You feel pressure to be at church but if you didn’t have that pressure, you probably wouldn’t always go.
D - You don’t go to church because you don’t have time.
E - You go to Scripture Union and so you don’t see the point in going to church as well.
If the church has lost its importance among followers of Jesus, it’s no surprise that it has also been rejected by our secular society. Statistics show that between 1980 and 2015, the number of church attenders in Britain plummeted from 6.5 million to 3 million.
People would rather listen to the world around them than God - an attitude that was also embraced by the Cretan people at the time when Paul was writing to Titus.
In Titus ch1 v 5, we are given two reasons why Titus was sent to Crete:
- Firstly, he is to bring back order to the churches on the island - unfortunately, they had been ruined by the influence of corrupt Cretan leaders who were falsely claiming to be followers of Christ.
- - Secondly, he is to “appoint elders in every town” - in every church community, there were to be leaders who would teach the gospel truth.
Paul knew that the salvation and godliness of the Cretan people depended on who they were listening to. With leaders in every town proclaiming the gospel, there was the potential for the whole island to put their trust in Jesus. As the gospel truth was faithfully taught by these leaders in their churches, followers of Jesus could become more godly and the same applies today.
‘But what if I’d rather hear this truth somewhere else?’ - you ask. Yes, you attend Scripture Union each week. Yes, you read your Bible. Yes, you can access sermons online. However, none of this replaces your church. Search the New Testament and nowhere will you find followers of Jesus who weren’t members of local churches. Your church is incredibly precious and here are some reasons why:
- God can use it to increase your faith. Often we aren’t able to see sin in our own lives and the church opens our eyes to how we need to change. Paul writes in Ephesians ch4v15, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him Who is the Head, into Christ”.
- - In a complicated world with so many different beliefs, we can lose our way and question our identity. The church points us to the truth - that as followers of Jesus, we are “children of God”. (John 1:12)
- - Life can be full of hardship and often it feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Church reminds us of our steadfast hope. Life on this Earth is temporary and we look forward to spending forever in Heaven. (Psalm 16v11)
- - The Bible gives us the picture of the church as a body. The individual gifts of every member are necessary for the body to thrive. (Romans ch12v4-8)
As Paul wrote to Titus on the island of Crete, he understood the importance of the churches - sources of truth in the midst of “liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons”. May we, as followers of Jesus come to value our church - God’s plan for His people.