|Our older son Ted and his family lighting an Advent wreath at their church.|
A friend once declined an invitation to attend church with me. She said she was very close to God, but she didn’t need to attend church to commune with Him. I understand. I must admit that at times I feel closer to God while communing with Him at home than I do while worshipping in church. But I also know that I need to fellowship with other Christians. Here’s why:
- Faith is affirmed. As I sing a hymns, I realize that Christians around the world are singing the same words of faith. I am not alone. God is not a figment of my imagination. Some of the best minds in history have wrestled with the scriptures and found them to be true.
- Faith is informed. As I listen to sermons, attend Sunday school and hear testimonies, I learn about God and recognize His Spirit at work in our world.
- Service is valued. The church offers a place to use my talents, skills and spiritual gifts. We all want to do great things for God; a local congregation offers the best place to start, even if it means doing small things for God in a great way. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT) states: “Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one.” Sure we can serve God alone; but we accomplish more together.
- Worship is magnified. There’s something about praying with others, singing with others, even listening with others that makes me feel part of something bigger. My praise increases as I join others in worship.
- Relationships are enhanced. Jesus commands us to love one another (John 13:35). It’s important to rub shoulders with other Christians so that we get to know them and they get to know us.
- Witness is strengthened. I am able to re-enter the Monday morning work-a-day world strengthened in my faith and motivated to make a difference for Christ. My presence in a congregation shows others that I am serious about my faith.
- Families are solidified. We sing “Bind us together, Lord,” and our hearts are knit as a congregation and as a family. We shape our children’s souls as we walk the journey of faith together. Even the youngest learns from us that church is a special place.
- Sunday becomes special. By beginning my week with worship, I set the day apart to concentrate on God. Remember we are commanded to keep the Sabbath holy; God blesses us as we honor him on the first day of the week.
Hope to see you in church this Sunday. Leave a comment to share which of these reasons (or what other reason) is important to you in attending church.
P. S. If you need a book to guide you in connecting with God every day of the week, visit our website www.friendsoftheheart.us or Amazon.com to order Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides, also available in e-book format. And thanks to those of you who have told us our devotional book has blessed your lives.
|Our younger son Terry and family upon his graduation from seminary.|