The Church and Twelve
Let’s talk about your church and the number twelve. Church, you remember, that place you go (or feel you should go) on Sunday morning. 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. God completed a people for Himself from three chosen generations of patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob’s twelve sons became the heads or leaders of all the people and that was a ginormous responsibility! There were three generations of wandering nomads and nothing much to do out in the desert; we are talking about a lot of people! It’s was God’s idea to appoint leaders; His government or leadership was intended to keep order, deliver justice with authority, and receive His direction. The mandates are similar to the Church today.
When Messiah completed His assignment of redeeming the world the twelve apostles’ leadership (another twelve) or government was inaugurated. The Church’s mandate then became more spiritual in nature, however, some type of government or leadership was crucial. The Church provided 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 out their assignment.
How is the Church is doing today? Well, look at your own life. Do you find yourself in a church whose worship-style draws you into God’s presence? Are you growing in your ability to trust God in your life? Is His Word taught clearly so that you leave desiring to read and understand more of it? Are you connecting with individuals 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, be honest with yourself and 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 the requirements for leaders in the church’s government is stringent (1Tim. 3) and they will judged more harshly (Jms. 3:1) in their teaching. That’s 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 be and encourage your leaders.