"Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).


Archived Devotionals

June 8, 2020

 

As We Return to Our Churches . . .

My Dear Friend,

     Stay-at-home orders are being rolled back across America and Christians are beginning to gather again in larger numbers. As we return to our church meetings, this is a perfect time to reflect, reassess, reform, and revive.

     Let us reflect: have all our former ways of worship and kingdom work been biblical, New Testament, according to the simple but spiritual pattern of first-century church life and ministry modeled in the Book of Acts and the epistles? Or have we been doing many things simply because other churches do them, religious celebrities promote them, or sincere but immature Christians in our congregations have wanted us to do them - but without any witness of the Holy Spirit or marked spiritual improvement in our lives?

     Let us reassess: which works, programs, expenditures, and other activities we formerly practiced were of lasting value and which were temporal and worthless and only distracted us from our vital Christ-given commissions and ministries? Were we in any way compromising with sin? Were we teaching and preaching what the Spirit was saying to the churches or merely tracking and repeating popular themes and fads?

     Let us reform: changing our goals and methods in every ministry, program, and activity to conform to the New Testament standard as we understand it. Let us turn from everything sinful to those things that draw us closer to the Lord. Let us remove everything that grieves the Spirit and replace it with everything that pleases Him.

     And then, let us revive: or, stir ourselves to live again in the Lord's sight, refreshed by His renewed presence, nourished by His freshly expounded Word, helped by His inspiring favor, guided by His all-wise Spirit, and energized by His unfailing power. Then we will be what Christ wants us to be, a spiritually dynamic, fruitful, culture-changing movement in our communities and cities - who are still shaken, troubled, and confused by all the fear and strife this Coronavirus has brought.

     As we do so, God will turn this harmful intrusion into a helpful improvement. He will cause our pandemic to work for our perfection - or purification and growth into spiritual completeness, maturity, Christlikeness - and turn our fruitless disorder into His fruitful order.

     Pastors, elders, teachers, leaders - I humbly but earnestly beg you, do not return to the old ways without prayerful self-examination and childlike willingness to make any and all changes God desires! Rather, let's allow God's rod to have its way. Let's learn from this love-induced period of chastening and awake.

     And after awaking, let us arise! And shine! "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light [new light to shine in this darkness]" (Ephesians 5:14). This is our New Testament destiny and it will be fulfilled before Christ comes.

     May the church rise up throughout this and every nation, rise up to fulfill its destiny, rise up to be in fact all the Father called it to be, all the Son bled for it to be, and all the Spirit came to make it: a mighty, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, Word-sowing, fearless force of passionately united believers before whose ministers and message no force on earth can stand! So be it!

And it will be so,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645