2 Words in 1
How to behave, in the House of God?
By this shall all men know, YOU are MY Disciples
How to Behave, in The House of God?
Some things are hard to hear; and we even get dull of hearing when we become satisfied with where we are. Gathering up people who say the things you only want them to say, is just another attitude of those who are lukewarm. Paul had been writing some things he wanted to say to Timothy, his son in the faith. He did have plans to come and see the young minister, but just in case he was late in getting there, he felt he needed to impress some teaching upon him.
He had just been talking to Timothy about how the Bishops and Deacons should be qualified and how they should present themselves. In the closing remarks of that chapter, he made another intense and to the point statement. He said, I’m telling you all of this, “that thou may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God.” If I’m honest, I don’t know that I really ever noticed that line before. There is a verse in this text that has often been misquoted among us. It’s about the line that says, if a man cannot rule his own house, how can he rule the house of the Lord?
That’s not what it said. It never said, “rule” the house of God. It actually said, “care for” the House of The Lord.
What he was saying is that if the Bishop cannot be in charge at home, if there is some kind of mess with the children or there is some big commotion at his house, he’s not able to care for the Lord’s house like he should. If there is turmoil at home, his mind is tied up with those issues; he can’t give the church, the people of the Lord, the love, care and concern they need. If there is no peace at home with he and his wife and they cannot work out their differences, he is distracted. It meant the same thing for the Deacon, and their family affairs also.
When the Word said that things should be done decently and in order, it meant, that there were certain ways we were expected to act in God’s house. Not being patient, being greedy for money, being on some kind of power trip, demanding everybody do as you say and letting your family hurt others in the church, because they are out of control, is not the way we are to behave. Not in God’s house.
It would likely offend some people if any one were to say we never learned how to behave in church. Suggesting, that there is a code of conduct that Jesus Christ expects in His church. If I am wrong in this, I ask for forgiveness. But I do believe, it is His word.
People need rules. I know we don’t like that, but we most often cannot be trusted to do the right thing on our own. That is why it was and is, so very important to study and know God’s word for yourself.
It might appear, that we may have at times substituted God’s rules for men’s rules. Jesus said, that His yoke was easy, and His burden was light. The rule book many have put together doesn’t always follow the Word that was written.
God knew about humans. Paul encountered false brethren and likely every other problem one might face in dealing with church life and it’s people. It was why God had him write it down; the correct way to operate in the house of the Lord.
Doing it our way, will always hurt a lot of good people.
By this shall all men know, YOU are MY Disciples
Some years back I heard a man being out-front about what church he belonged to. He seemed quite sure of himself and came across as feeling very certain his belief was the right way.
I can see him standing there, even now. I asked him a simple question. How did the scripture say, people would know that we are true followers of Jesus Christ. He quickly began to answer that it was how we baptized, that we knew the Godhead and if we spoke in other tongues. When I told him what Jesus said, he looked very surprised.
How much do we love one another. Christ made if very clear; “As I have loved you; love you one another” (John 13:34-35). How do you dress, like someone who loves other people? How do you speak in tongues, like a person who is known for loving others? I understand that if we love people, we want to tell them what we believe is the truth. But that’s not really what it said, is it?
I still see myself standing on that hill, overlooking the Holy City. It was at the place that Jesus looked over it all, and wept. He said, “Oh Jerusalem, if you only knew how much I loved you” (Matthew 23:27) Oh yes. He preached to people. He also taught them many things He felt they needed to know. But it was His very real compassion; the fact that He could not pass someone in need, and not be moved. He cared about all of them; He couldn’t seem to help it.
I shall never forget, that there is a small shrine there at this place. On the front of it, is an emblem of a mother hen, gathering her chicks under her wings. I was so moved, as I walked the streets of that city. I ambled along through the small streets, the way He tread as he carried that cross. But it was the last leg of our journey, that stirred me the most. We each walked up the steps, as they would have taken him from the cell to stand in front of Pilate. I recall being frozen to the spot; I could not move. I cried out to one of those who were there with me. “I can’t do it. I’m not worthy to walk in His footsteps.” I’m not today. I am worthy through Him; but alone, I’m nothing.
To love one another, as He loved us. I don’t know how we missed that. In my heart, I cannot reason how many of us might have made other things so much more important. How could we condemn and judge each other, over so many other matters, and forget the most important thing of all. What if we were to find out one day, that some of those we spoke so very harshly of, may have loved Him, and loved other people, more than we did. I don’t know that we can love each other, the way He loved us. I’m not sure we even know how. But I think we could. And I think we just might, before He comes back for us. In these closing days and hours, one thing is sure.
Others will know who His true followers are. By the way they love people.