Many people would obviously give many different answers to that question. In the book of John, Jesus gives seven “I am the” statements. In these, not only do I see what Jesus is, but what He is to me.
* “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35) - Jesus is my satisfaction. He fills my life with His love and blessings. If I crave spiritual growth, He
makes sure I find it. If I desire peace, He will grant it. He will never leave me hungry.
* “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) - Jesus is my enlightenment. When I go to His word for advice, He always show the
right way. I am ever finding great words of truth and wisdom as I search the Scriptures. He will never darken my life.
* “I am the door.” (John 10:9) - Jesus is my passageway. He is the doorway from death to life – the transport from uselessness to
usefulness. As long as I remain faithful to Him, He will never shut me out of heaven’s blessings.
* “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:14) - Jesus is my protector. He watches over my soul and shields me from that which would cause
eternal harm. He will never let Satan the wolf get to me if I do not want him to.
* “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25) - Jesus is my life force. - He is the one who created me, saved me, and continues to
sustain me. He will never let death rule over me.
* “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) - Jesus is my path to righteousness. He desires what is best for me, and I can find all
truth and goodness in Him. He will never steer me wrong.
* “I am the vine” (John 15:5) - Jesus is my support. He holds me up when I am weak. He strengthens me when I need it. He gives me power to succeed. He will never let me down. Jesus is my everything. Without Him I am nothing. With Him I have everything. It is as the song states: “He is my everything, He is my all; He is my everything, both great and small; He gave His live for me, made everything new; He is my everything, now how about you?”
I want to tell you about our lukewarm members. I’ll not call them by name. I am afraid I would miss somebody! But I’ll draw you a picture.
He looks like this:
1. He attends fairly regularly. Oh, he will miss on some occasions. For instance, if one of the children gets sick, and the entire family can’t worship,
he’ll stay home too. Or, if company comes he’ll miss the morning service, because he can go at night and take the Lord’s Supper. Or, if he is a little
“under the weather” he finds it easy to miss. But generally, he is at the services.
2. He attends quite often on Sunday night, but he will miss the evening service a little easier, a little more often, then he will miss the morning
service. The weather can get too cold and the roads too bad to come back at night, especially if he was present that morning. And he comes some on Wednesday nights, but he misses them even more often than he does the
Sunday night service.
3. He worships in the proper form—in fact, he may even be insistent that certain traditions are followed. He sings - if he is in the mood for it, and
if it is a song he knows and likes. Otherwise he will look around, observingly, at the other worshipers and make mental memos ofsome of the
sour notes he hears. He takes the Lord’s Supper - nearly every Sunday - but he seldom
really thinks of the cross when he does. He gives when he is present, however, he sometimes finds it convenient to cut his contribution to
accommodate the monthly bills which seem to get bigger and bigger each time. Too, he sometimes sends his contribution to other places because “I don’t like some of the things that go on here.”
4. He prays in private - but only in times of distress or when he feels a special need.
5. He reads the Bible, but only occasionally. However, he intends to form the habit of daily Bible reading soon. He has started a few times in the past, only to get side tracked within a few days.
6. He makes a few visits in the interest of the church - but most of his invitations are general, and indefinite, then he makes excuses for his friends.
7. He is ALWAYS dissatisfied with the zeal of others, and complains at the shortcomings of the church. But he is happy - at least not critical - of his own
8. He is quick to blame the church for any of his own shortcomings - it is the fault of the church if his children lose interest, if he does not grow spiritually himself, etc. Apparently, he takes no account of the spiritual growth of others who hear the same sermons and attend the same Bible classes! He fails to reason that if they can grow, he can too.
Being a small church is not necessarily a vice. Sure, there will be challenges and difficulties, but God’s power to do great things can be
accomplished with few or with many. In fact, God often chooses to use the underdog to showcase His power! A numerically small church can be a
giant in faith and good works. A small church can still leave a big footprint in their community for Jesus!
However, don’t be deceived!
Being a small church is not necessarily more virtuous either. It’s not a badge of honor. Being small doesn’t guarantee that you are more faithful,
more holy, or that you are in a better position to grow. Many churches are small due to their own lukewarmness and inactivity. They are small
numerically because they are dwarfs in faith and good works. Their influence will be minimal, and their existence will be short lived. Their
attitudes and actions must radically change. The key is this — it’s not about the amount of people in the pews, but it is
about the amount of faith in the hearts of those in the pew. Whether we are few or many, let’s be people of great faith. God can do amazing things
with a people like that!
“Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory
in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all the ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).