Christ's Church

Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Listen while you read: "O Lord Of Heav'n And Earth And Sea"1 (Lyrics)

John 17:9 – I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. (NIV)

I see a lot of memes on Facebook that appear to condemn the church for not being the church that the world expects. The memes usually attack the church for being hypocritical and not compassionate enough. There is some truth to what is posted, but these barbs often do not offer a solution. It's very easy to poke the church in the eye for being so blind, but the negativity of those posts doesn't act as an encouraging remedy; instead, they discourage folks from changing because no guidance to do so is being presented.

When Jesus established the church, He didn't go looking for perfect people — He wouldn't have found them anyway. What He did do was to take a bunch of sinners and set them on the right path toward God. Despite their weaknesses and faults, sinfulness and selfish ways, He managed to put together a band of devoted people who would try to live their lives according to His teachings. He never expected that they would achieve perfection, which is why, in today's highlighted verse, we have something that Jesus constantly did: He prayed for the ones given to Him by God; He prayed for His church.

Today's church has many problems and issues, but that's what happens when sinful people are called by God. Despite the setbacks that the pandemic brought upon the church worldwide, the world still needs Christ's Spirit of compassion, healing, and love to fix our broken planet. This is why Christ is still praying for His church, and this is what we should be doing for our local congregations, national denominations, and international situations. The church is Christ's bride and will always exist, even beyond time itself.

Point to ponder: What should I be praying for in my local congregation?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, the church exists because You brought it into being. Its purpose is to spread the good news of the gospel through word and deed. Despite our sinful and fallen ways, You still pray for Your church and for us. Help us to align our prayers with Your will for the whole church. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good word, John.

    Thanks John, thoughtful devotional. Blessings.

    Thanks John,
    Very nicely phrased and extremely appropriate.

    Good afternoon, John!
    Thank you for your insightful message and prayer today.
    Grace and Peace to you!

    Thank you for sharing! Good stuff! I liked the “points to ponder”. Prayer is the only hope for our churches. They need to be awakened!
    In the name of our Jesus.

    Thanks, John, for your devotional today. Yes, that pandemic sure set attendance down as so many now find it easier to stay at home and just watch the service online. I find it sad each Sunday seeing so many empty pews in our church and definitely pray for more attendance. However it is still important that we continue to go forward with our faith and continue showing others the kindness and care as Jesus would do. Blessings for these special writings you do.

    Good morning, John,
    This is very interesting to me because I just read a similar account of the church in the book “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism” by Timothy Keller. Recently it was mentioned in a devotional, so I ordered it from the library and last night the section I was reading near the end of the book was about the Church community. When I get the same message twice, I believe God wants me to notice and learn something. This statement is important “Today’s church has many problems and issues, but that’s what happens when sinful people are called by God.” Jesus didn’t come to save the good. He came to save the sinners. Keller writes “Churches rightly draw a higher proportion of needy people. They also have a great number of people whose lives have been completely turned around and filled by the joy of Christ.”
    The second part of the book is called “The Reasons for Faith”. I learned so much from Keller’s thoughts and it was all backed up with quotes and real experiences of the people.
    I need to ponder your question and pray for insight. Thanks for sharing on a very important topic in today’s world. Blessings.

    Amen and amen, John. To God be the glory. Blessings.

    The second paragraph of your devotional is so on-target. So many look at the church and expect perfection, but, as you said, churches are full of sinful people called by God.


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