Updated: Jan 4
Acts 2:42 (NKJV)
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Why do we attend church? I think this is a very fair question and one that new and seasoned believers have at least thought about, after all, the Lord gave us the Bible to allow us the opportunity to read and understand His commands on our own, so, why attend church every week?
As a new believer, I thought that church was a requirement, and treated it as such. I would go, check the box that I attended and then I moved throughout the rest of my week, seldom thinking about the message or the impact it should have had on me. I will admit to everyone reading this devotional, I was only going to check that box, church was a requirement, not a passion, not a conduit for my growth as a child of God. I thought going to church would lead to eternal salvation, I was attending with the larger picture in mind and really only hoping that I was going “enough”. Is that the point though? Is God taking attendance? Most likely not.
Now, eventually, I came to the spot where I began to go more and more. At first, I thought going every other Sunday would be pleasing to God, after all, I was giving Him half of my Sundays. What changed? It went from being a requirement to a desire. I saw church for what it was meant to be, a place and time to grow in my faith. I found out first hand that the more and more I learned about God, the more evidence I found to support my faith. The more I heard about Jesus, the more I wanted to strengthen my relationship with Him. Faith, after all, comes from hearing, hearing the word of God! The Lord has placed some great teachers in my life and I am being continually filled by those who dedicate their lives to this vital work. Teachers led by the Spirit will often bring the words in the Bible to life, which gives us a great understanding of what the Lord is saying, and the commands He is making. Something reading alone cannot do. Now, do not get me wrong, there is a tremendous benefit involved when we read and hear from the Lord on our own, but we also need council from our more seasoned brothers and sisters.
Fellowship is vitally important as well. This world we live in is dark, negative, and demanding. We gather together on Sundays to be among like-minded believers. This not only reassures us of our faith but also brings us to a certain level of accountability. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to build each other up, naturally, a verse like this lends to the idea that we are all going to have to be lifted up at some point. It can be so comforting to hear from a brother or sister that has experienced the same troubles that we are in, especially if they are on the other side of that trial.
Are you going to church to check the attendance box or are you going to have your faith restored and multiplied? There is a tremendous difference between the two. Go to church today expecting that the Lord is going to fill you with tremendous faith!
Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
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