Church Goers!

Why are we really going to church? Is it because we have nothing better to do or is it a social event? Do we think our attendance will reserve our place in heaven or is it just a status thing?

If we’re going to a building, just because it’s Sunday or to Mid-week services, and we’re simply going because it’s the thing to do, we’re wasting our time and taking up space better used for another purpose.

The body of believers of Jesus Christ—all of us—comprises The Church. For many, we assemble in one location to fellowship with other believers and to encourage one another to stay in the faith.

If we think that we have to go to church to worship God—we really don’t know Him.
If we think that we have to go to church to hear The Word—we really don’t know Him.
If we think that we have to go to church to praise Him—we really don’t know Him.

And at about this point—some might comment—Paul tells us “not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together” and he does. But does he say when, or what time? Does he tell us which building to go to when we assemble ourselves together? No, he doesn’t and it doesn’t really matter which building we enter.

What matters the most is this—having a relationship with God, knowing and understanding His purposes for our lives, knowing and understanding His Word so we can increase our faith, every time we hear it. Knowing and understanding His Word is not just for the preachers or the deacons but for every born-again believer—who dares to get to know Him and stay in fellowship with Him.

I am absolutely amazed at the number of people who are involved in “church work” but have no relationship with God. They think only the pastors or church leaders need to know The Word and sit in service after service, getting nothing out of the event other than a time to meet up with folks and to brag about much they do in and for the church. This attitude then—is the result of religious affiliation, rather than being in relationship with God. Of course, before we can claim to have a relationship with God, we must understand and accept the work on the cross, by which we are made joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. And Jesus has said, “No man gets to the Father, but by Him.” He did not say “mother” or “it.” He was clear about God being our Father, but we cannot make this claim until we know Him.

How can we acknowledge someone having a love relationship with us, if we don’t know them? This love relationship is two-fold—God loving us and us loving Him. He said in His Word, that “if we love Him, we’ll keep His commandments.”Now, how can we say we love Him when we do not know what He has said or why he said it? David said it best, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You!”

I defy anyone who has ever read His Word–with understanding–to claim they can support anyone living in opposition to God’s Word or that they have a relationship with God, but refuse to believe His Word!  And for those who want to debate the issue—do this first—read the Gospel of John and Romans—in their entirety, asking God while reading to reveal Himself. Then and only then can a rational discussion be held about being in relationship with God.

If our heart is open to hearing Him when He speaks, we won’t just go to church to be going, but we’ll be anxious to hear more of what has been spoken to the messenger in the building, and not just because he or she is there. Relationship with God, means we hear Him when He speaks and we know when others are not saying what He says.

So, we can go to our buildings whenever we go, but we need to allow Holy Spirit to establish us as part of—The Church—the Body of Believers who need no building before we go. And remember this—our service to God is not in going to the building, but in living the life we proclaim to have with Him and in serving one another as He leads us to do it.

Can I get an Amen? How about an “ouch?

Once Truth is spoken, whether we believe it or not, accept it or not, God knows all and we will be held accountable for responding to Truth or not as He determines.

He’s Doing Amazing Things!

“Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!” (Psalm 126:3 NLT)

Singing a song of praise for all The Lord has done is as natural to some people as breathing is--when we acknowledge Him.

Throughout the Psalms, we see prayers, songs of contrition, repentance, and praise for all the amazing things He has done for the people He loves.

What I’m reminded of in reading this entire Psalm is that the captivity or bondage of people is a result of willful disobedience on the part of those who are held captive. When we continually ignore God when He speaks through those He has chosen to be a vessel of communication, we reap the consequences of our actions. God has never planned for His people to be held captive, but He allows it when we refuse to turn away from ungodliness and turn back to Him.

And when we turn back to Him, we can reflect upon the time of captivity and understand that even in the state of bondage, He never leaves us, but patiently waits for us to get our act together.

Those who were held in exile rejoiced in returning to their homeland. We, who have been held captive to our fleshly dictates–whatever they are and they are different for different people–can rejoice and sing praises to Him who does all things well for our benefit.

Many are those who were held captive to all sorts of addictions–who lost homes, jobs, family trust–and yet were brought back to a state of total redemption and trust in The Lord for what He allowed them to go through, yet brought them out to His glory.

Many are those who were held captive to their own ideologies when they thought they were based upon sound doctrine, but discovered their faith was in religious affiliation and when they discovered Truth, were turned around and turned to Truth in relationship with God–who loves us so much, He is not willing to see any of us lost or held captive by erroneous beliefs.

Some are held captive to beliefs that their bodies are their own–thinking they can treat them any way they want and still know victory in long life. In spite of illnesses that could have been terminal, God has shown them a different path and now they praise Him with a renewed, energetic outlook of preserving their bodies to His glory.

Yes, our God is truly Amazing–look at how He loves us when we did not love Him. Look at the mercy He bestows upon us when we did not deserve mercy. Look at the favor He has given us with all–even though we did not earn it. He is truly amazing and we praise Him for being our awesome God, doing amazing things for our benefit, when we turn our lives back to living for Him!