“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27
At our Board Training last month, DJ Schult cited the book, Built on the Rock, the Healthy Congregation, as an encouragement for our leaders to be in regular Bible study and devotions. This book, written by respected church reconciliation consultant, Ted Kober, presents biblical insights and observations of many churches. Kober writes, “The healthy churches I encounter benefit from larger percentages of people in regular Bible study. Their leaders demonstrate scriptural knowledge and trust in Christ as they practice repentance through confession and forgiveness. Unhealthy churches have small numbers of people who know God’s Word or apply it to their own lives…Healthy churches are those whose leadership and membership are solidly grounded in Christ, nourished by God’s Word, and able to apply it to their lives…Church leaders and members who are unfamiliar with God’s Word and fail to apply the Word to themselves are spiritually immature. The result? Their churches are unhealthy. The lack of spiritual maturity is shown in their inability to admit their faults and forgive one another. The consequences? Great harm is done to individuals, the church as a body, and its public witness.” He also writes, “The lack of a church’s health becomes revealed in conflict.”
As Jesus parable instructs us, we want to be securely founded upon Christ, the Rock, so when the storms of conflict come, our congregation remains strong.
Paul says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3: 16) Letting “the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” is necessary for spiritual maturity. And bearing good fruit comes from spiritual wisdom and understanding, gained from an increase in the knowledge of God. “…we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9b-10)
Let us “increase in the knowledge of God” by studying and meditating on the Bible often with others and in personal devotions.