Go to Church

“Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

 

When I was a teenager one of the ‘things’ to do was fill out these huge questionnaires about yourself, and then email it to your friends. They asked questions about everything; your favorite color, birthday, best friend, favorite food…when was your favorite day of the week? I always chose Sunday. As a teenager I absolutely loved church and was involved in every way possible. I sang in the choir, was in youth, I went to Sunday school…I loved it.

As I got older, things began to change. Life made it difficult to be able to be as involved as I had been in the past. As I began to pull out of church it became easier to find more excuses so I wouldn’t have to be involved. And then, the greatest excuse of all, I had babies. 6 days of the week I can find shoes and socks for my daughters, but let a Sunday morning roll around, and they impressively disappear. It’s easier to give in on mornings like that and say.. ‘let’s just stay home, let’s spend some quality family time together’. So you start staying home a couple of Sundays. To make yourself feel better you read your Bible, maybe throw in a couple of extra chapters. You satisfy that nagging feeling by telling yourself that you still maintain your ‘relationship’ with God. After all, at least you study the word of God, which is more than the hypocrites that attend church regularly do. You can point out the members of the church that claim to be holy and devoted Christians, only to hear them talk about their crazy weekends with this or that person, that definitely wasn’t in what one might call ‘right standing’ with God. Why would anyone want to associate with those hypocrites?

But the word of God is clear; it really doesn’t leave much room for debate, though millions of scholars through centuries of time have spent many hours on their theories. The book of Hebrew reads in chapter 10 verse 25..”Not forsaking the assembling of yourself together.” Though I’ve enjoyed many debates throughout my life, this really can’t be taken too far out of context. Come together with others and provide encouragement and support for each other.

Jesus desires his people to be with each other, agree together, and bind together. There is just something about believers coming together, unified, and approaching the throne of God. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20.. “For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.”

I have gone through trials in my life that literally drew me to my knees in pure defeat. I can clearly recall the brokenness that kept me from even forming the words to pray. In those times my friends, my God given family, would physically pick me up and join with me in prayer. In the midst of my storm, through hurt and bitterness, I could feel the peace that passes all understanding. My family carried me to Jesus when I wasn’t able.

Forsake not. In other words, GO…go to church. You may not feel like going, you may not want to go at first, but that doesn’t change the solid fact that we are to go anyway.

In saying all that, I’m sure not disregarding that there are those who have been hurt in church. I certainly have. They are hard wounds to heal, they are deep. Those kinds of wounds cause you to desire to seek God from the safety of your living room. I’ve done that. I’ve felt the awesome presence of God in my living room, but being cast down and hurt does not change Hebrews chapter 10:25, “Forsake not”…Go to church.

So, I go to church. I believe God has finally lead me to a church home after several years of not having one. It’s a nice feeling. I stood beside one of those members of my family I had written about earlier, and worshipped our amazing Savior. My spirit felt renewed, and my heart felt lighter. So tomorrow, I’m going to church. I will not forsake the assembling of myself together with other Christians. Even on the days I don’t feel like it…the cold mornings where it’s much nicer to sit by the fire… but my spirit needs renewing. So I go to church.

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2012 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm  Comments (1)  

Preparations

“Let us rejoice and shout for joy [exulting and triumphant]! Let us celebrate and ascribe to Him glory and honor, for the marriage of the Lamb [at last] has come, and His bride has prepared herself.” Revelation 19:7

 

“…and His bride has prepared herself.” I remember the day I was married. I was so nervous before I walked down the aisle. I was scared and excited, anxious and calm all at once. I had dreamed of that day for years, and finally it had come. For all the uncertainty of what life would hold for me in those moments, I remember that I felt beautiful. I had prepared myself for my groom. My hair had been curled and pinned just right within my veil. My makeup had been done with precious detail. A dear friend at that time had helped me into a beautiful gown, and all the traditions were followed…with something old, and something new.. something borrowed and something blue. I felt radiant, just as a bride should, because I had prepared myself just as a bride should.

The word refers to the church as the bride of Christ. There are beautiful scripture that depicts the love and return of our Savior as the bridegroom coming after his bride. The depictions are beautiful in my mind’s eye, maybe because I have been a bride, maybe because I have experienced the reception of all my preparation. My groom’s face told the story that it all hadn’t been in vain.

But our Savior isn’t looking for an outward display of beauty. He is searching for a pure heart and a clean soul.

“She has been permitted to dress in fine (radiant) linen, dazzling and white–for the fine linen is (signified, represents) the righteousness (the upright, just, and godly living, deeds, and conduct, and right standing with God) of the saints (God’s holy people).” Revelation 19:8

Though the theorist of our time would like to depict Christianity as having ‘many’ ways to God in simply being a ‘good person’. That isn’t what Jesus taught. The word of God teaches us that there is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ. The word also teaches us that yes, we should be a good people, but being a good person should be a result of a heart that is obedient to Jesus.

I have been told on several occasions that I am old fashion. To some that may be offensive, but in my way of thinking, it’s just right. I can’t afford to grow lax in my convictions because my bridegroom hasn’t returned. The preparations are still being made.

What is your focus in life? Are you living day by day to fulfill your own desires? Do you do what feels right in the moment? Or are you anticipating that your present decisions affect your future? Are you preparing yourself for the bridegroom?

No man knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return. There aren’t any mathematical equations that can help us determine the day, but the word does reveal through prophecy that the day is drawing near. And because of this, I urge you, if you haven’t began to prepare yourself, do so today. Make the decision to follow Jesus Christ, to live a life that honors Him.

A bride doesn’t just throw herself together a few minutes before the wedding. She makes plans, she needs help. She takes time and adorns herself in a beautiful and fine gown. A clean soul, a pure heart, a mouth that speaks words her groom can recognize, this is how the bride of Christ should appear. And all our preparation will be worth it when we hear our bridegroom say, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2012 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm  Leave a Comment