(Pearl, Ms, USA)
Welcome Back and Happy Summer to you!
Thank you for visiting with me each month. As I looked back over the topics we have covered, I noticed one very important topic missing. When striving for a life full of VICTORY in Christ, we must not overlook the importance of CHURCH!
Hebrews 10:24-25 says this...
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
The writer says that we should consider how we SPUR one another toward love and good deeds and that we should be ENCOURAGING one another....as we MEET TOGETHER.
There are 2 common reasons I hear for NOT going to church regularly.
1. “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.”
2. “I don’t feel like I am a part of things.”
It is true that you do NOT have to go to church to be a Christian, but VERY FEW Christians who do NOT go to church would describe their life as Victorious in Christ Jesus. Jesus refers to the church as His Bride. We are a family of believers. While going or not going to church certainly does not make you more or less of a Christian, it DOES affect your spiritual growth rate and it affects your intimacy with the body of Christ.
You cannot feel “a part” of something to which you do not belong. In order to “feel” like you are part of any group, you must spend time with that group. This is a universal principal. Whether it is a gym, a church, a club, a class, or a sports team, you simply cannot feel connected to a group with which you are not involved on a regular basis.
Look at the early church in Acts 2: 44-47
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The early Church was united. They enjoyed their time together and they added to their numbers because people wanted to be a part of what was going on in the body of believers.
Finally, we all need church for protection. See what scripture says about Satan (the enemy of your soul) in 1 Peter 5:8-9:
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Satan is not looking for someone to ruff up a bit. He is not looking for someone to give a hard time. He wants to devour us. He wants to completely destroy us. Just as the animals on the African plain know that there is safety in numbers when it comes to facing a hungry lion, we too, as Christians, find safety and security when surrounded by fellow believers. Just as an African lion preys on the young, weak, hurt, or broken animals, Satan preys on the same types of people. Satan also takes a cue from the African lion in his attack, the lion separates his target from the herd and Satan separates his target from the church.
Once separated from the safety of the group, the young, weak, hurt, or broken Christian is left to stand against Satan on his or her own. Even the strongest of Christians are foolish to try and go it alone....but few strong Christians try.
Christ knew what he was doing when he established the church. One definite way to cripple you and deny yourself all the victory that is rightfully yours in Christ Jesus is to try and go it alone. Not only will you mature more slowly in your Christian walk, but you will also miss out on the joy of being part of the family of believers AND you put yourself in grave danger by trying to face Satan on your own.
One of the EASIEST steps to living victoriously is to GET INVOLVED in Church. You get what you give, so don’t stop with just going to Worship Service. Get involved with Sunday School, Bible Study, and any ministry that you are gifted for!
Until next time....