By Donna Wittlif
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46, ESV).
What do you want for God’s church? To put it another way, what are you willing to give up and do to make that happen? It is easy to wish for great attendance, a spiritual worship service, beautiful singing, a sermon that moves me, prayers that voice my deepest yearnings, and fellowship that lifts my spirits.
There is a difference between “What I want from God’s church” and “What I want for God’s church. “From God’s church” suggests that a member fills a place on a pew when he feels inclined. He listens to the sermon that was preached for someone else. Perhaps he sings if he feels like it. Maybe his mind follows the words of the prayers that are said, or his thoughts may drift elsewhere.
On the other hand, “For God’s church” implies that a member is doing something to advance God’s kingdom. He is present at every given opportunity if he can be. He teaches a class, sings with gusto, embedding the words in his heart. He eagerly hears the sermon, learning from God and searching for gems that he can use in his Christian walk. The prayers sink deep into his heart, and he also call on God’s help for the lost, the ill, and those who need help. When worship is over and he goes home, he uses what he has heard and learned to help others.Are we actively searching for the pearl of great price? Are we mere spectators, or are we helping God’s kingdom grow in ourselves and in others? May we bear fruit in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10).