Monday, August 01, 2011

Great Congregation

 9I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
 10I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. 

Great Congregation

Who is your great congregation? David, the psalmist, said, I have preached [proclaimed] righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.

David was not a preacher; he was a shepherd boy who became king. As such, his "congregation" changed from that of other shepherd boys to those in the courts of his kingdom. Every Christian has his own personal congregation, determined by his own lifestyle, career, and other activities.

When one becomes a child of God, he does not do so in isolation; as one lives his life to the honor and glory of God, it is evident to others that a change has taken place. Whether one speaks of this change or not, his changed life as well as changed desires proclaims the Gospel of Christ to his own personal congregation of people.

As Christians, we should be ready to respond to those around us who notice the change in our lives and begin to ask questions.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15, King James Version)

Like David, God gives to each and every believer his own, personal, great congregation. This, of course, begs the question. How faithful are we in proclaiming the hope that is in us both by our actions and also by the words that come out of our mouths?

I, being a timid person by nature, often froze at the idea of telling others about Christ. What I discovered, however, was the ease in which a word or two could be simply inserted into every conversation. Sometimes it was just a matter of commenting on the beautiful weather God had given to us; other times it was simply offering to pray for someone who had shared their own troubled lives or difficulties with me.

It amazed me at how often simple comments would lead into conversations about God and His faithfulness. We must remember that God has made us just the way we are; it is not necessary for us to stand on the corners of our cities and preach the Gospel. Rather, we Christians need to pray for God's grace to help us live in a manner which is pleasing to God. By God's grace, we have been transformed into new creatures: old things have passed away; all things have become new.

Let us, then, join David in saying,
I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

God Bless You,
Linda

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