Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Don't Go to Church if...

I hear all the time that people have given up gathering with other like minded believers. They routinely tell me that their relationship with Jesus is much deeper than gathering to watch a "worship concert" and hear a teaching. And, surprisingly, I agree. It is possible to have a relationship with God outside the walls of the assembled brethren. But I would be remiss if I didn't say that I have also heard stories of great tragedy from those who wandered from fellowship. Families that broke up, morality that crumbled, and souls that were... well, lost because they wandered from faith. The scripture warns that we should gather frequently to make sure we are challenged by the Word preached and that we can worship (with or without music).

So don't go to church if...

You are looking to appease God by some form of religious "doing". Attending services doesn't necessarily please God. Some of the sickest and most twisted people attend services regularly... thank God, they need it! Gathering with the church is a way to insure that you will have a challenge to your mind and spirit by the Word; you will be given an opportunity to fulfill the biblical mandates to worship in song, in heart, in giving, and in service to others; and it insures you the opportunity to help others.

Don't go if you are selfish and only care about yourself. We are people who need each other and are unashamed of that fact. We have chosen to stick together and gather to make a greater impact than we might as individuals in this society. Together we can help the brother or sister who is short grocery money this week by all throwing in $5. What do people do who have a friend in need but don't attend church? In my experience, they send them to the church!

Don't go if you aren't serious about worship. At least here at CLC we are pretty determined to connect with God. Through songs, through silence, through meditating on a scripture, etc. we are trying to connect with the gracious one who saved us by his blood.

Don't go if you know everything. There isn't any room for your big brain in the place. Of course, the question isn't have you heard it before... the question is are you living it out every day. Are you loving? Are you kind? Are you giving? Are you selfless? Are you... like Jesus?

Don't go to church if there is no hunger for change. The last thing the Lord needs from his kids is another hard hearted and recalcitrant kid. The place is already slammin' full of hypocrites. (don't fear... there is room for another!)Soft hearts are demanded by him in order to be molded into the Jesus shape.

But for me I need it. I need my friends and my family to challenge me to live for Jesus the other 6 days of the week too.I need to be reminded that watching hockey isn't the biggest priority in my life- loving people is. I need to be moved by the testimony of fellow strugglers, i need to hear about miracles in other peoples lives, I need to be moved emotionally by songs, videos, images, and stories of the goodness of my God. It gets me through. But more... it gets me out of the church and into the world. This time with a mission to help another and point to a Savior.

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