The Church and 12
Let’s talk about church and the number twelve. Church, you remember, that place you go (or you feel you should go) on Sunday morning. Right? You pay your one hour penance to God in order to receive His benefits. Sadly, I think that’s how a lot of people feel about church. But why did I combine church with the number twelve?
Twelve is the number in the Bible that represents God’s government. When God completed a people for Himself from the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it was Jacob’s twelve sons that became the heads or leaders of all the people. Big responsibility! There were three generations of wandering nomads and nothing much to do out there in the desert and we are talking about a lot of people! It’s was God’s idea to appoint leaders. God’s government or leadership at that time was intended to keep order, deliver His justice with authority, and receive His direction.
When Messiah had fulfilled His assignment of redemption the twelve apostles’ leadership (another twelve) or government was inaugurated. The Church’s mandate then became more spiritual in nature and yet some type of government or leadership was needed. The Church would now provide a place of worship that drew you into the presence of God, taught His Word effectively for living in the Kingdom of God, and encouraged fellowship and unity among the believers. The leadership of the Twelve has exponentially evolved throughout the world guiding Christians for centuries. Do they make mistakes…yes, but with God’s grace and forgiveness they carry on their assignment.
How is the Church is doing today? Look at your own life. Do you find yourself in a church whose worship-style draws you into His presence? Are you growing in your ability to trust God with your life? Is His Word taught so clearly that you leave desiring to read and understand more of it? Are you connecting with individuals to give and receive encouragement in your walk with God? Are you actively using your spiritual gifts? If your answer to any of these questions is “no” then I encourage you to find a church that meets those needs. God desires you to connect with Him and with other believers; if you’re not, determine why.
The Church remains under God’s divine government plan and that’s serious business. We should be praying for our pastors and leaders, not complaining about them; do you realize they are held accountable to God for us? Scripture tells us that the requirements for leaders in the church’s government is stringent (1Tim. 3) and that they will judged more harshly (Jms. 3:1) in their teaching. That is cause for our prayer support.
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. (1 Timothy 5:17 ESV)
So go to church next Sunday and determine if you’re in the place God wants you and be an encouragement to all of the leaders.