I was struck recently by a sermon preached by Carter Conlon concerning what marks a great church. We could also ask, "what marks a great Christian?", for this truth applies indivudually as well as corporately.Is it having incredible revelation and insight into Scripture? Is it works in the community? Is it missions? Is it great faith? Is it miracles? We can have all these things and yet be nothing without love. (1 Corinthians 13)Love for one another is the true mark of greatness in God's kingdom. "By this will the world know you are my disciples..." It's easy to love when others are "lovable" in our eyes - if they are agreeable to our understandings and our ways of doing things - but what about when there are differences of opinion or when someone just seems plain unlovable, even though they are a brother or sister in Christ. I think God has so many different people in the Church simply for proving this matter of love and esteem for others in our hearts. Will we allow God to test us in this matter in His way?I have been blessed to a certain measure by God with a hungry heart and wisdom and understanding. But I have allowed these gifts of God's grace to puff me up, I am arrogant and proud, looking down on some others in the church instead of getting under them and lifting them up. I thank the Lord for dealing with my pride and giving me a brokenness over this sin. Pride produces a blindness and deafness to where God Himself cannot even speak into my life at times. Lord, have mercy on me. My prayer is for a heart of love; for a perfect heart and a willing mind to go where the truth leads me.In Christ,Ron
Here is the link to the Carter Conlon sermon titled The Indisputable Evidence of a Great Church...http://sermon3a.tscnyc.ws/2010/mp3g/20100919S1.mp3In Christ,Ron
A great Church is a peculiar people possessed by the purposeand Spirit of GOD!!
_________________Martin G. Smith