Hebrews 10:24-25 (Holman Christian Standard Bible), “And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Our human nature sure can be a pain. Even though my new nature in Christ is His nature, that old man sure tries to resurrect itself. I have been thinking about the importance of belonging and faithfully attending a local church. I love mine, hate to miss any service, and so whenever the doors are open, you will find me there. However, for a lot of people that just isn’t so. I don’t understand it frankly, except to chalk it up to that same human nature. We quite often find ourselves in a pickle or face to face with what seems to be a grand predicament, or maybe a whole set of problems all at one time. We find ourselves looking for a “specialist” who can set things straight. Now days we don’t have to even “let our fingers do the walking” through the yellow pages, all we have to do is grab our smart phones and do a quick search.
How many of us will run to a doctor, lawyer, therapist, psychologist, dietitians, financial advisor, or counselor? We expect them to fix or at least help us with our mountain (trouble). I expect that from the world, but why are God’s children going to the world first? Our senior pastor brings this point up quite often. We run here and there and when they can’t fix it, or we end up facing yet another issue days later, then we turn to God. How many time have we heard, or God forbid, said, “The only thing left to do is pray”? No, we should first pray! He is doctor, mentor, counselor, father, advisor, He knows us inside and out, He knows our problems, issues, weaknesses, and He knows exactly what we need, and when we need it.
Once we get stuck in the worlds ways of handling problems, we end up running to all of these appointments, setting our schedules around them. We wouldn’t miss one for any reason short of death! You know how hard it is to reschedule an appointment with a specialist. But, when was the last time you missed church? We will miss a service, a prayer meeting, or bible study for the smallest reasons. Did you stay up too late, the kids weren’t cooperating, the dog ran away, your favorite show is on, or just too tired, well then stay home. God understands… right?
I think that is so backwards. How do these worldly people with some fancy letters behind or in front of their name rate as more important than our brothers and sisters in Christ, or more able than God?
How easy is it to tell a doctor all your embarrassing bodily issues, to tell a counselor all of your weird dreams or troubles, or talk about your financial mess to a financial advisor? How hard is it to go up and ask for prayer during a service, or to call a friend from church to confess your mess and ask for prayer? It shouldn’t be that way.
I remember a conversation with a family (relative) member about sharing something with my pastors and their reply was, “you told your pastors that!” I answered, “if I can’t tell them, who can I tell.” God places us, hand picks us for each local body. If we seek Him, He will put us with believers that are to now be our FAMILY. Sometimes we may act a little dysfunctional, just like our natural families, but unlike in the natural, we have a supernatural Father! He will help us work things out when we are humble and real with Him, each other, and ourselves.
A local church is where we can share our troubles and our triumphs. We can pray for one another, laying hands on the sick, helping out, and encouraging one another. If “Church” to you is just a building that houses a social group who sometimes asks for your money, or if “Church” is something you do once a week, month, or year as a duty, then you might as well stay home. However, if “Church” is a family that happens to meet in a building, and you go to be with your Father and be in relationship with Him and your brother and sisters, you’ll want to go.
I’ll say it again. I love going to church! Is my church family perfect? Ha! No, but do we love each other? You bet we do. Most of them know me inside and out. They’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ungodly parts of me. I can be real, they know they can too. I am committed to them, and to the growth and upkeep of our family. I pay my tithe, I volunteer, I help out where I can, I offer time, resources, and finances to my church. We hang out together and not just at service.
Everything going good for you? Great! Go to church and give God the glory. Having some issues? Get up, no excuses, and GO to Church! You’ll find help there. “But, my church isn’t like that…” I hear you say.
Find a new one! So what if your parents, or your boss go to “that church”, ask God to place you in a church family. Then listen and obey. You may have to sit through a few services, visit a few churches, talk to a few people, but God will help you find your family.