Church Is A Messy Place
[ Preached by Pastor Kenneth Chin at Acts Church Malaysia on 25 August 2018 ]
We have different interpretations and opinions on how we view church.
Some may view church as a school to seek biblical knowledge and guidance from spiritual leaders, yet some may view it as a place to make new friends.
What is the church’s nature of business?
If church is a hotel, chances are, we would probably seek to keep everything nice, clean, and pristine. It would give us the liberty to check-in and out as we want, but it would not be home.
Read | Matthew 11:7-9
If we come to see beautiful clothing and garments in church, Jesus tells us that those clothed in “soft garments” are in kings’ houses or palaces.
If church is a hospital, it is probably spewed with blood, cuts, and wounds because broken and hurt people come to church seeking healing from their pain.
Today I propose to you that church is a messy place! But what indeed makes church messy?
As a leader, people may cry over your shoulder and it is messy! By a touch of the Holy Spirit, people may fall over each other and it is messy!
Church is a messy place, but God called us into His business, and His business is a messy ministry.
People are messy.
People are synonymous with pain and problems, and even though they are Christians, it does not mean they are exempt from real-life stuff. They still go through financial problems, career problems, and family problems.
Do you know that just because you are a Christian by name, it does not mean you know the power of God that can transform you and change your life?
Churches should understand the realities of what their people are going through.
They must not just seek to convert people but reach into their hearts, showing them Christ’s love, and making them feel understood.
People come into church with all shapes and sizes of baggage, sin, and problems. Even though they seem to “put wheels” on it to make it look good, it does not mean they are free from it, they are still carrying guilt, shame, anger or unforgiveness around.
People in church may not see everything, but God does. May you be encouraged with the knowledge that Jesus came to deliver you and set you free from the mess in your life.
Being a part of the church often reminds me that I am more sinful than I often dared to believe.
God’s grace is beautiful.
If a church is preaching the true word of God, every sinner will feel sinful because the sin nature in our hearts will be exposed. God’s desire for us is not that we feel condemned but convicted.
The commandments were given to show us that we cannot fulfil them without God’s help. There is power in recognising, with humility, that you are a sinner saved by grace.
You need to position yourself to have and be nothing and let the enemy deal with God in battle for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Alone we can do nothing, but with Christ we are more than conquerors!
You may come in hurt, but you will go out whole.
Read | 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
Just like Paul, we all have a thorn in our flesh. We will get tempted until the day we pass away from earth. Even when you fall into sin, God is faithful to cleanse you daily when you confess and repent. It is a daily prayer and His grace is sufficient.
So if you feel like you are in a bad place, it is all okay, welcome to church – the hospital where we can find Jesus, the master physician who did not come for the healthy but the sick and the sinners like you and me.
Read | Luke 5:31-32
I am more loved and accepted by Jesus Christ than I often dared to hope.
Church is a celebration of people saved by grace. It is not a party of perfect people but one of messy, forgiven people. And amid that mess, God’s ever sufficient grace is made perfect in our weaknesses allowing us to show people the same undeserved grace and love He so freely gives to us.
Written by Ivy Wambaa
Edited by Hailey Chung