For thus said the LORD of hosts (after his glory sent me) regarding the nations that plundered you: Truly, one who touches you touches the apple of my eye. Zechariah 2:8 (NRSVA)
If that's the way they act down there, I don't want anything to do with that church! Such is the statement you might hear from a Christian who has grown cold towards the church – or an unbeliever who has come in contact with the humanity of a church member who is less than Christian-like in his actions.
Churches aren't perfect; but neither are those who judge from without. Have you heard the poem dedicated to those seeking a perfect church?
I think that I shall never see
a church that's all it ought to be.
A church whose members never stray
Beyond the straight and narrow way;
A church that has no empty pews,
Whose pastor never has the blues,
A church where discouragement cannot speak,
Where Elders "eld", and Deacons "deak";
Such perfect churches there may be,
But none of them are known to me.
So friend, if you find a church that's like I've said,
Don't join it, brother, You'll KILL IT DEAD!
The experience of too many people when it comes to their perception of the church is discouragement, disillusionment and disappointment. It’s because of the imperfection they find with the saints in church. People find hypocrisy, duplicity, disloyalty, cut-throat competition and power plays; these are acceptable practices on most reality-based TV shows, but nobody wants to go to church with that kind of person.
God’s prophet, Zechariah wrote down for us what God thinks of His people, the real church, the Body of Jesus Christ - he calls her the apple of God’s eye. That’s a great old expression.
ð You can see that look in a new father’s eye.
ð You can see that look from a Grandmother as her toddler granddaughter waddles across the floor into her arms.
ð You can see the apple of a man’s eye when he has just restored a ’32 Roadster.
The church (New Israel) is considered the apple of his eye. We are God’s very treasured possession which he will never give up.
And when it comes to “meddling” you don’t want to mess with the apple of someone’s eye! Especially God!
The church is God's. I doubt He is the author of some of the foolishness that goes on in churches when relationships break-down, and programs and attendance crumble; but the real church, God's family of believers, is His for keeps.
And that makes the real church precious in the sight of God.
For You, Today…
Pray for your local church.
Pray for God’s church in every part of the world.