I read this in a book called “God Moments” by “The Writers of encouraging.com”
“When we stay at home on Sunday morning, we are sending a strong signal that worshiping and praising God are not top priorities in our lives.”
It has been echoing in my mind, and brought me back to a time in my life where I stopped attending church. I justified it by telling myself that I worked hard all week, and deserved to do what I want on Sunday. I would spend my mornings reading the Sunday paper, reading books, and watching TV. I read the Bible now and then, and read Christian books from time to time. But, God was not my priority. I was my priority. What I was doing was putting me first, and God last. I fit Him when it was convenient, when there was nothing I wanted to do more than to spend time with God.
The result of this choice that I made was that I got very weak and was essentially spiritually impoverished.
I began attending services after an absence of several years, and noticed a tremendous difference in me. Not in the world around me. There will be troubles as long as we are in this world. The difference I noticed was in how I coped with the troubles of the world.
Attending a Sunday service where the Word of God is preached has the following effects on me:
- It is is like a vitamin B shot for the soul. It gives me strength to face what life throws at me during the week.
- Worshiping the Lord in song makes life’s troubles fade, and puts my focus on Him. It fills me with immeasurable joy and strength to face what may come.
- Equips me to fight those spiritual battles that come. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) says: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Verses 12-20 tell us how to equip ourselves – the full Armor of God. We will be unable to fight the spiritual battles that come if we are not adequately equipped – by being fed the Word of God.
- It instructs me on God’s Word and helps me to understand it better. This enables me to make better life choices, and to not be swayed by the ever-changing morality of the world around us.
- It helps me to grow spiritually, so that I may go from sipping milk to feasting on the meat from God’s Word.
- It allows me to have fellowship with other believers, which encourages and strengthens me.
- It provides a place to share the Lord’s Supper with other believers. Participating in the Lord’s Supper with one’s church family is a beautiful, empowering, encouraging experience. It is the command of Christ that we participate in the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis. Doing so is in obedience of his instructions in Luke 22:19 He says, “do this in remembrance of me”.
- It allows me to rejoice when new believers join God’s kingdom and to have the privilege of seeing people receive believer’s baptism.
In summary, I attend services because it pleases God, and because it strengthens, equips and encourages me.
We can stay home, and relax and become spiritually weak, or we can join a church family and receive all of the blessings that come with that. Spiritual strength, encouragement, food from God’s Word, and great joy!
Often, doing what God commands us to do turns out to be a great benefit to us, and brings is more joy than we ever imagined!