Happy Sunday all. At our house it is church day, but two of us won't be going. I have a sick one. My youngest daughter has "something", maybe the flu. She has a 100 degree temperature, head ache, runny nose, her stomach hurt this morning, and a cough. It is going around here. I hope to avoid it. I am going to stay home with her today. She is on the couch resting. We have been reading "Little House in the Big Woods" aloud to each other. This morning I read a couple of chapters to her until she fell asleep.
I don't really like to miss church. Not because I think that going to church makes God like me, only Jesus can do that for me. Not because I think that going to church gives me a better standing before God, only Jesus can do that for me. I enjoy going to church for many reasons. I enjoy singing praises to God with other people who are doing the same thing. I think going to church is important if you are a Christian. God called us out and set us apart when He saved us to be the church. To be His body, to be a community of people who are all a part of the same mission, to tell others about the gospel. When God saves you and you become His child you are part of a new family. Guess who they are? The church. Yep it is a family reunion every Sunday. If you are a "stand alone" Christian, when the wind blows you will fall over, when the trials come, you won't be as strong as you would be if you were standing with your arms linked with others. I realize that we can have good "Christian" friends and that does help, but it doesn't take the place of going to church and being part of the body and family of Christ regularly. We are called to serve one another, to love one another, to pray for one another, how do we do that if we are not involved with one another? Yes, we can serve our friends, families, and neighbors and we should do that, but that does not take the place of church.
God is a triune God, Father, Son, Spirit. He always has been and always will be. He has had eternal community. We are created in His image. We need community. We need to be involved in a church. Yes we can commune with God in our gardens, when we look at His creation and praise Him for it, when we sing a praise song to Him from our heart. We are always to be in a state of prayer and worship. None of that takes the place of gathering together as saints. None of that takes the place of going to a church. We are called to give of our first fruits, how do we give if we are not an active part of a church. We are called to serve with our gifts. How do we do that if we are not involved in a church?
Internatinal Standard Version of the Bible 2008
Hebrews 10 : 25
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another even more as you see the day of the Lord coming near.
Jesus is coming back, every day that passes brings us closer to His return. Noone but God knows when He is coming back. We need to be encouraged and to encourage as we anxiously wait His return.
Normally I would say something like, "okay now I am going to get off of my soap box and go on with my day". But you know what, preachy or not, I am only sharing the truth from God's word. You are not getting my own personal opinions here today. You are getting what I have learned through sermons and from reading God's word. So if you are offended by reading this, talk to God about it. See what He has to say.
Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "Today if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as when they provoked me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers tried me by testing me, and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, 'they always go astray in their heart; and they did not know my ways'; 11 as I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest.'" 12 Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end; 15 while it is said, "Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked me." 16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
Below is a link to a sermon about the above passage from http://www.desiringgod.org/