An elderly lady, dreadfully crippled with arthritis, would hobble painfully to church on two crutches. It was an agonizing ordeal for her, and someone asked her how she managed to be at every service. Her answer was, “My heart gets there first, and my legs just follow after.” Can it be that we really do not have an attendance problem, so much as we have a heart problem? Consider these good reasons to attend every service:
* To have the Scriptures opened to us (Luke 24:25).
* To receive the comfort and encouragement which is found in Christian fellowship (Hebrews 10:24).
* To feed and exercise our faith (Romans 10:17).
* To maintain our spiritual fervor (Matthew 24:12). A coal of fire alone on the hearth will die; so we, by ourselves, will grow cold and lifeless.
* To set a good example for others to follow (Matthew 5:13-16).
* To seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
* To prevent backsliding (1 Corinthians 11:20-30). Absenteeism is invariably one of the first warning signs of apostasy.
* To obey God’s command not to forsake the assembling of His saints (Hebrews 10:25).
* To cast your vote for righteousness and godliness, and against the closing of the church building (Matthew 12:30).
Many of us feel fiercely independent, as though we don’t need anyone or anything but ourselves. Quite frankly, any who feel like that is simply wrong - everyone needs Jesus Christ: Let me tell you why:
In the first place, man needs Jesus because he is a man. The first chapter of the Bible reveals that God created the world and everything in it. Of all God’s creations, only man was created as a spiritual being with the ability to glorify God. While animals act by instinct to fulfill their natural desires, God enabled man to overcome his natural desires and seek his spiritual welfare. “This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Furthermore, man is not God.
We have needs that we cannot supply, namely guidance. We need God’s guidance to help us make decisions about our lives. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12). If we are to please God, we must seek his will.
In the second place, man needs Jesus because he is a sinner. From the time of Adam and Eve until now, the history of man shows clearly that he is a sinner. The Great Flood in the time of Noah was brought on because “the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Genesis 6:5). Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Because of sin separating us from God (Isaiah 59:1,2), we need a Savior.
Next, man needs Jesus because he needs help. As noted in Jeremiah 10:23, “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” We cannot guide ourselves in the spiritual realm, without help, and most of us learn faster with an example to follow. Christ is that example: “For hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21). We are exhorted to be “imitators of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 1:11.
Regardless of the situation we face or conditions around us, Jesus has shown by His life how we can deal with it.
Finally, man must spend eternity somewhere. “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus shows only two destinies, and we choose by how we live here in this life. The wicked and righteous are separated to the left and right. He then says of the wicked, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). In spite of our sins, God “wants all men to be saved.” (1 Timothy 2:4). The strongest proof of this is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Dear friend, whether you realize it or not, you need Jesus Christ in your life. Make Him a part of it – build your life around Him - before it’s eternally too late. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phillipians 4:13).
We don’t really understand the concept of fellowship as earlyChristians did. We talk about “fellowship meals” and “a fellowship hall;” however, just
eating together is not the only aspect of Christian fellowship. Just being together in the same place at the same time does not necessarily constitute
fellowship. The word “fellowship” originates from a Greek word that indicates a joint participation and having something in common. The early Christians understood this in a special sense.
The first time the word is mentioned after the death of our Lord is in Acts 2:42. There Luke records that the disciples continued in “fellowship,
breaking of the bread and prayers.” When we considerthat the church in the first century had no sign in front of their building, fellowship takes on a
different meaning. When we note that early Christians went through persecution from certain groups, fellowship becomes more beautiful. When
we look at earlyChristiansrelying and depending on one another, we see the depth of real fellowship.
Today, many of us don’t know the other members of the congregations of where we attend. We don’t know where they live. We don’t participate in
events with them. Our Sunday and Wednesday gatherings are often the only time we meet other Christians. Let us become more like the church of the New Testament. Let us reach out more to others. Let us be more willing to share our lives with those we love. Let us rediscover the beauty and joy of fellowship as the New Testament church did. Why not visit someone this week and get to know them better? You will get a great blessing and
understand better the joy of real fellowship.