Associations

members only blue stampThere are lots of associations in the business worlds. There also associations in the academic world as well as church world. Associations are made up of individuals with a like purpose from different places or companies with structure to organize, improve and consult with others in the same field of work. A couple of examples are American Medical Association or Auto Care Association – there are thousands of associations in our country. I belong to the Georgia Association of REALTORS as well as the National Association of REALTORS and there are other associations inside those associations. The largest “association” that I belong too is the church.

The church is a group of people who believe in God and they are organized to study and grow in their knowledge of God which builds greater faith. Some churches teach and believe things that are not in the Word of God. There are churches who have their Bible or something similar. I have accepted the Bible as the Word of God and the words of God. Just being part of the church and associating with the church doesn’t define my faith. My faith is God is deeply personal but it is shown and displayed by my commitment to other believers.

The Apostle Paul “gets in the weeds” a bit with the church at Corinth about associating. I remember teaching my kids about choosing their friends wisely in school and that instruction still applies today. It applies to me as an adult. I still have to choose who I associate with wisely. I can become known by the people I hang out with. Paul makes it clear that the association of the church has a very specific purpose and it’s not just another club or association that you belong to. Check this out….

When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11 NLT)

In the associations or organizations that I belong to, there are rules or codes of conduct that are vital to the function of the organization. Paul is spelling out that that there are also code of conduct inside the church.

I believe that as we walk out our faith, our church can help us grow and mature quicker than simply trying to do our faith on our own. Jesus is the head of the church and He calls it His body of sorts. We all have are different, but members of the same body. I want to be a contributor to the growth of Christ’s church here on earth. I believe the church is in a unique position to help each other through suffering and struggles that come with being a human being living on earth. We celebrate the Creator and seek to walk in His Way and live out the purpose for which we were created in the first place.  I’m thankful for the church and specifically the church that I’m part of.

Pressing On!

Dwayne  

Lawlessness

 

'Permitted by law', under 'Legal'I remember watching Back To The Future II with the movie set in a time and place where there was little or no law. The wealthiest people did pretty much what they wanted, because no one in law enforcement would challenge them. I can’t imagine what that might be like. I’m pretty sure that people in power get a free pass on some law breaking, but they are to be held accountable for their behavior just like I’m held responsible for mine.

The problem in Israel was that they had no leader who was being used by God to lead the people. The very last sentence of the book of Judges sums up the trouble they faced. Check this out….

25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. (Judges 21:25 NIV)

It is sad to think about what life would be like without the law and accountability that it brings to our society. I’m aware that many people break the law and some get away with pretty bad stuff for many years.

We are right in the middle of a presidential election. I’m not sure at this point which one will win. I know which candidates I like better than others. I know which candidates I would trust my family with and which I wouldn’t. Here in the USA, the majority elects one person to lead. If I didn’t vote for that person, it doesn’t matter – the majority wins. I am concerned about some of the rhetoric that I’ve heard in this campaign. It appears to me that each candidate has some significant philosophical differences. I’m not concerned though that the law of the land will go away with one leader rather than another.

I’m thankful that the Lord is my Leader.

His law code is the basis for much of our law code.

His code of Love, which includes surrender and sacrifice, is at the very core of our culture. It needs to be cultivated so that it grows as we learn to love and respect each other. We do have the freedoms to do a lot of things as we see fit, but there are certainly boundaries around all of us.

Pressing On!

Dwayne