Thursday, January 5, 2017

Three Reasons to Attend Church this Sunday

‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions. I wonder if you’ve included in your to-dos for 2017 the commitment to regularly participate the corporate worship of God? Many of us have the idea that going to church is something we should do, and that it is something that is good for us, but we struggle to put this desire into practice. What would happen if we committed to attending weekly worship services and stuck to that commitment?

  1. Our deeds will match our confession of faith. The truth is, all of us are works in progress. We declare with our mouths that “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and then struggle to implement that truth in our lives. If Jesus is our Lord, then we will want to do what he commands. One of the things God desires from us is regular attendance with a worshiping community. The author of Hebrews challenges us, “Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten in the habit of doing.” (Hebrews 10:25). Regularly attending worship helps our words match our deeds. If Jesus is our Lord, we will join others in worshiping him as such.
  2. We’ll discover God’s presence. I know that we can discover God’s presence in all sorts of different places. I often stumble upon God during time with family or when I’m hiking through brush looking for butterflies. I also know that the one place Jesus promised to show up is among the gathered people of God (see Matthew 18:20). I recognize that we don’t always feel God’s presence in worship each week. We cannot manipulate God into showing up. God shows up when and where he desires. Regular worship helps us to be ready when he does.
  3. We might be the presence of God in another person’s life. The temptation to skip worship is great. We think about how good it will feel to sleep in or get some quiet time just to ourselves. We know we might miss out on something at church but figure the only person we are hurting is ourselves. What if we are the instrument God intends to use to bless someone else? What if it’s your smile, your singing, your handshake that God uses to speak to another person. What if your presence encourages someone else’s attendance? What if that person, encouraged by your presence, hears the life-changing good news of Jesus Christ?

The full quotation from Hebrews is this, “Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:35). Regular participation in worship encourages the body of Christ to be faithful until Christ’s return. I know that I am regularly encouraged by the presence of God’s people each week. I encourage you to put church on your calendar this week. If you don’t have a regular church home, I invite you to worship with us at Southland this Sunday.

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