A reagent is a substance that is added to another substance that is being tested. The reagent is looking to triggering a reaction. That reaction reveals something about the substance being tested. A reagent aims to produce a reaction, usually visualized by a change in color on a test strip. Reagents are used to determine blood glucose, ketones, pregnancy, chlorine, and now the well-known COVID-19 virus.
Here are six reagents
— six detectors —
that may well reveal who is leading your local church.
#1 — No one is as close to God as them: In the Lord’s day, the attitude among the religious leaders was that no one was as close to God as they were. They were the standard of godliness. “The average Joe or Mary” could never be as holy as they were in God’s eyes. However, as the Lord called attention to, it was the widow who put in her mite that was far more loving and sacrificial than the religious leaders of her day.
#2 — Do as I say, not do as I do: It was not that what the religious leaders said was wrong, it was that they did not do what they said to do — “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”
#3 – Burden Add-ers: The religious leaders added weight to men’s spiritual souls and backs. After listening to the religious leaders teach & preach, the weight only felt greater. What a contrast to the words of Jesus — “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,” and I will give you rest for your souls. 
#5 – Money, not people: Biblically, money was always a good test of one’s godliness. How did one get their money? How did they feel about their money? And how did they spend their money? One of the first reactions to the Covid crisis among far too many local churches was “the money” — “Here is how you can continue to give while not being able to attend church!” — As if they didn’t know and understand. I dare say that few pastors lost a paycheck, but some of God’s people did — some without any regard. 
#6 – Served rather than serving: It was really all about them, not God’s people. The religious leaders of the day were about being served. They were at the forefront and sitting in the chief seats. They watched others working. They were above such activity themselves! That is why Jesus had to repeatedly correct the thinking of His disciples about greatness — The greatest among you are those who serve.
1. One of the reasons that Dana Ortland’s book [Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers] has had such remarkable success and readership is because it strikes a chord that is sorely missing today — The Lord’s Heart For His People. It will probably be the book of the year among Christian readers!
2. With some, it is still about the money. For some local churches, whether God’s people come back to church is only a money issue. The proof will be in whether those who have little to offer financially are dismissively ignored or marginalized, as in the Lord’s day.
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