I grew-up in a Christian home. My parents and three of my four grandparents are (were) members of the Church. Many of my earliest memories surround assembling with Christians and having other church members over our house on Sunday evenings. Growing up there were two major influences other than my family they were Church and school. My adult life reflects those influences – I am a preacher, married to an elementary school teacher. Church involvement was never an option and neither was respecting and loving the Church. That is not to say my parents forced my involvement, but their example and instruction insured that I would dedicate myself to Christ and His Church. They taught me to love the Church. What I love about the Church, I learned from those before me.
I love the Church in view of the fact that God loved Her enough to PURCHASE Her at a sacrificial price (Acts 20:28). How can I not love the people for whom my God and Creator gave all that He had to give to sanctify? How can I turn my back on the Church when God was willing to not spare His Son so that the Church might exist? I love the Church because God loves Her.
I love the Church that is PRECIOUS to Her Groom (Eph 5:21-33). Paul’s description of the Church as the betrothed of Christ is a beautiful portrait. When ever I see a long-lasting marriage relationship that is beautiful and I see the way the husband dotes on his bride of many years, I think about Christ doting on His betrothed Bride – the Church. I think of how He is preparing Her for the day He presents His chosen Bride to the Father. How proud He is of Her beauty and accomplishments that glorify Him. I love the Church because the Christ loves Her.
I love the Church that has the PROMISE of an eternally joyous relationship with Her Husband (Rev 19). We as the Church – purchased and precious – await the day when we will welcome the Bridegroom who promised to come and take us home with Him to His Father’s house (John 14:1-6). I love the Church because the faithful will one day reunite in heaven with the Father and the Son.
I love the Church!