Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Encouragement and Worship

Chuckle:  Parachute recall notice: On page 7 of the instruction manual, please change the words ‘state zip code” to “Pull rip cord
Quote: “There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.” --Katherine Butler Hathaway
    "Let us not give up (not forsaking, KJV) meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25 NIV).
We may attend church services out of devotion to our Lord; to participate in worship; to pray; to enjoy the beautiful music; and to hear a relevant sermon. These are all appropriate reasons for faithful attendance which benefit us greatly. But, have you thought about how your presence encourages others? Notice what God's Word says:
"Not forsaking" is the more clear KJV rendering. The call of these words is for faithfulness in common worship and fellowship. Here, God issues a solemn warning against setting a bad example by abandoning public worship. The active Christian life, inspired by love, is kept alive and growing by people who care enough for their Lord and one another to assemble together.
"Encouraging one another" reminds each of us to consider the discouragement we bring to the Christian church when we deliberately remove ourselves from its services. We see there is much more to worship than listening to a sermon and saying a prayer, as important as these things are. In this passage is more evidence that God is interested in having our relationship with Him borne out by the way we relate to other people. Encouraging one another should be a major objective every time we come together, as well as other times when we make contact.
I have heard people say, "I'm a Christian and have a close relationship with the Lord but I can maintain that relationship without attending church." Or, "I can worship the Lord without attending church." Of course we can worship God other than in a corporate worship service, but it is God's plan and instructions that we should not neglect coming together. In addition to worshiping God, the interpersonal relationships which are developed provide a source of encouragement even in the worst of times. Relationships are strengthened, fellowship becomes warmer, and mutual encouragement becomes a powerful force in the lives of worshipers.
I've heard people say "it doesn't matter which church I go to," when they really meant, "it doesn't really matter which church I stay home from!" How about you? If you are already a faithful church attendee, then consider this an affirmation of your faithfulness. If not, perhaps it has given you another reason to be faithful -- to be an encourager. Your faithful participation in worship services serves as a witness to your devotion to our Lord
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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