Many congregations are dying because they are trying to live in the past, just carrying on, and going forward without the awe of Jesus Christ. Yes, there are fond memories of the Lord’s past visitations in some churches. But Christ’s purpose for His church is so much greater than what most Christians have ever experienced or believe is possible. When a church experiences the awe of God as He manifests His presence and love in their midst, there is great joy, love, and tenderness.
God’s plan for His people is boundless, and His purpose is for eternity. Christ established the church to be God-centered, not people-centered or need-centered. As it hears and knows His voice, the God-centered church experiences love, tenderness, passion, rest, and God’s awesome presence.
Proverbs 2:1-5 says, “My son, if you accept My words and store up My commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
Rekindling a reverent attitude of humility and tenderness is essential. Jesus taught, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4) Paul wrote, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10-13) He also urged, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) Peter wrote, “…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’" (1 Peter 5:5)
Tenderness is the fruit of humility. It is able to produce in one’s heart an awareness of sin and the desperate need for God’s grace. This fruit calls believers to brotherly affections toward others, especially the children of God. Tenderness causes a person to be gracious, gentle, patient, and hopeful in the face of moral decay. It does not compromise God’s holy call to love. Tenderness prevents man from looking down on or disrespecting others. It motivates people to be servants of God.
There is nothing like standing before the awesome glory of God to put man in his proper place and correct his distorted view of himself because it takes the power out of man’s self-righteousness. Only the awesome glory of God in His holiness can shine His illuminating light accurately on the depth of man’s need, and His grace provides for his rescue.
Choate Baptist Church welcomes you to join them for Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., Sunday Morning Worship at 11 a.m., and Sunday Evening Worship at 7 p.m. They also meet for prayer on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Brother Odom’s message can be heard on KAML 990 AM and KTNR 92.1 FM each Sunday morning at 8:30.