Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bloom Where You're Planted

“Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” (Psalm 92:13)

         We could limit this verse to its historical setting of the Old Testament Temple or even the New Testament, mystical Body of Christ; but why should we, when we can just as easily (and even more helpfully, I think) equate it with the literal “house of God,” spoken of in 1 Timothy 3:15? Surely, for purposes of edification, it would do no disservice to the past Temple to apply the principle of this verse to a corporate body of believers in today’s Church age. With that in mind, let me paraphrase the verse and the principle: Christians who are grounded in a good church do better than those who are not.

         The operative word here is “good,” of course. And it should be pointed out   that by church we mean people, not brick and mortar. Nor is number of any consequence (Matt.18:20). A handful of believers banded together in a covenant of love, observing New Testament principles, as laid down by the apostles (principally, Paul), can meet all the requirements for a New Testament church; while a thousand people meeting in a beautiful structure, who disregard Biblical doctrine and policies, constitute nothing more than a social club.

         I well understand there are Christians who have been hurt in some church, somewhere; and I know it can happen in so-called “good” churches. But exceptions are only exceptions because they are not the rule. I am aware, too, that church attendance and affiliation can be emphasized to the extent that some people make it the supreme gauge of spirituality. But the fact still remains, the early believers gathered together in individual bodies on the first day of the week to break bread in communion, hear the Word of God expounded (Acts 20:7), and receive offerings (1 Cor. 16:2). And here is another fact you will acknowledge if you are honest: The best Christians you know, who are physically and geographically able, are known to be found with God’s people on the Lord’s day. Again, any exception is just that: an exception.

      You've heard the little saying, “Bloom where you’re planted,” the thought being, though you may not like where you are, you can still excel. Well, this verse promises even more. If you and I are not scattered here and there, hopping from one group to another, but are actually “planted” in fellowship with a group of believers, we can not only bloom…we can positively flourish!


           “Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy.”

                                                                     — George Swinnock (1627-1673)


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