The Church in St. Louis

But to Him who is able to do superabundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power which operates in us. - Eph 3:20

A Real Church Life

" is not that the church life is always exciting, always jubilant, or always encouraging, but it is always
real, and experiential...."

I love the church life in St. Louis! It is not that the church life is always exciting, always jubilant, or always encouraging, but it is always real, genuine, and experiential.

You may wonder, then,
what I mean by "church life." Well, simply speaking, the church life is a living with the believers in Christ, the children of God, in a locality to experience Christ together. it is just like a family life, except we are in God's family. That's why we call each other "brothers and sisters." Our time together does not consist of social events or religious gatherings; rather, the church life is a living, a 24-7 living. In the church life, we enjoy, pursue, and gain Christ, we sometimes struggle, worry, argue, we may fail, we may feel disappointed, but we rejoice while we cry. All these, by Lord's mercy, only bring us closer to Christ.

Of course, some may be troubled and leave the church life, but for those who are still here, I am not ashamed to say that we are willing to let the Lord to work in us. It
isn't that we ourselves can be improved or become better people, but all because of Lord's mercy we can love Him more, know Him more, and touch Him more through everything in the church life. When you see the Lord's working on each individual and among us, you will admire how He is willing to reveal Himself to us and how he desires to build us up. We know and have confidence that our focus is not on "us;" our focus is on "Christ" and on the "church" that He is longing for. Therefore we can boldly say the church life is nothing but a process, a training ground, a perfecting place, an exposing area, for us to know Christ and grow into Him, and for the Lord to gain us. What a grace!

I really thank the Lord for
placing me in this church life, in this group of brothers and sisters. We may be different in many ways: spiritually speaking, some are strong, some weak; some are mature, some fresh and young; some are well-versed, some still confused. But I can testify that we have touched something genuine, something deep, and something very profound, and we can still go on further. We are not afraid of offending each other; we only fear not supplying each other, not encouraging each other, nor seeing the vision clearly altogether. When I look back, I am amazed at how much I have experienced Christ and how much I have grown in Him through this church life.

To this point, I have to stop to praise the Lord that, on this earth, there is such a place that He has put us so that we can gain Him. What a blessing and privilege we have. How can I not love the church life? We have this precious Christ within, and brothers and sisters without. We have wonderful times, and we also have difficult times. Many times I want to give up, but the love of God keeps me here. Deep in my heart, I know that this is not something we can attain from human society or personal pursuit. It is a life that is so high, so marvelous, and so heavenly that I would have never dreamed of it. I have never touched Christ so much in my whole life. I am glad I have no other life; this is my life.

I believe, in the days to come, we will continue experiencing more Christ in the church life in St. Louis. May the Lord gain more of our hearts, grant us a much higher vision, and may His sufficient grace also abound greatly among us.

be to Him, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.