A preacher was proofreading an article for publication when he noticed a sentence which read, “The chrch was untied.” Of course, the sentence was meant to read, “the church was united.” Other than their definitions, the only difference between the word “untied” and “united” is where the “I” is placed: and you cannot have “church” without “U”. Such a small, insignificant thing, but it makes a vivid contrast. “U” (you) and “I” are most important in the local congregation of the Lord’s church. We must not allow ourselves to become “misplaced.”
Abraham Lincoln said, “I like to see a man proud of the place where he is living; and I like to see a man live so his place will be proud of him.” This same principle is very well applied to Christians. A Christian should be proud of the congregation of which he is a member, and members should live in such a way that they local church can be justly proud of them. Are you proud of your home congregation? Are you so working and living that your home congregation can be justly proud of you?
The local church provides you and me with all the blessings associated with membership in the Lord’s church. The local congregation provides:
The bond of fellowship – Acts 2:42-47; 1 John 1:8-10
The strength of edification – Ephesians 4:15-16
The joy of public worship – Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 14:15
The balm of comfort – 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
And the lift of encouragement – Hebrews 3:13; 10:24
Every member of the local church is to be identified and associated with a local congregation. It is important that each and every member be keenly aware of his or her responsibility to the local church.
Each member is vitally important. Notice the emphasis which is placed on the worth, power, and responsibility of the individuals in these texts:
1 Corinthians 16:2 “On the first day of the week let each of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”
2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those are His,’ and ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Romans 12:2-8 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
If each and every member will take his given responsibilities, the mission of the local church will always be accomplished.
I am only one, but still, I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not fail to do something I can do.”