Usually, the church receives several calls a day from telemarketers. “Hello, this is the Seagoville Church of Christ.” “Yes, may I speak to the youth director?” “May I speak to the person who coordinates fund-raisers?” “May I speak to the person authorized to make changes in your phone service?” “May I speak to the pastor?”
And sometimes the telemarketer says, “May I speak to the owner or manager of your business?” It’s tempting to reply: “Yes, you may. Here’s how to reach him. Hang up the phone, get down on your knees, bow your head, and say, ‘Father in heaven . . .’”
God is indeed the owner of the church. Of course, the world and everything in it belongs to him. But the church is God’s special possession by purchase. Paul tells the shepherds of the Ephesus congregation to “pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
No question, God is the church’s owner. But is he truly the manager of my business? If I’m entangled in a sinful lifestyle, is God managing my business? If I’m overcome by countless fears, is God managing my business? Or am I trying to manage it myself? Jesus says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46).
“May I speak to the owner or manager of your business?” “Yes, dear telemarketer, you may. But you have to know the pass code. It consists of five letters: J-e-s-u-s. It is in the name of Jesus that we believe. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray. It is in the name of Jesus that we are immersed for the forgiveness of our sins. It is in the name of Jesus that we have access to God – and no telephone is required.