What a privilege we have to become children of God and have a personal relationship with Him. But what about our personal relationships within the body of Christ? How do you view church attendance, involvement, and Christian fellowship? Is it a requirement for a Christian? Is it a duty? Is it even necessary?
Ezekiel 21 & 22
Church: Necessary or Optional?
Fellowship with God & Others
The writer of Hebrews sums up this section on the superiority of Christ’s priesthood by saying that we should enter into His presence with boldness, “a full assurance of faith,” and a clear conscience. What a privilege we have to become children of God and have that personal relationship with Him.
But what about our personal relationships within the body of Christ? How important is fellowship with other believers? How do you view church attendance and involvement? Is it a requirement for a Christian? Is it a duty? Is it even important?
Part of how God speaks to us and answers our questions and prayers is through one another. It’s part of how He grows us, teaches us, encourages us, and reproves us.
We are to “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (10.24-25).
I believe we should all be members of and actively involved in, a good Bible-believing church. There are times in all of our lives when we need the love and encouragement of others. We also need others to hold us accountable. That isn’t possible if all we do is come to church and slip out the back door as if we’re simply fulfilling our “church attendance requirement.” We need to get involved in some area of ministry and grow as part of a smaller group in Bible study, discipleship, and fellowship.
Do you agree or disagree? How do you view attendance at worship services and the importance of church involvement? Is it optional or a requirement? What do you believe it means to be a disciple and why? Share your thoughts at the bottom of this post.
Today’s Other Readings:
Ezekiel 21 & 22:
Patiently Inviting & Warning
As we read the prophets it may seem that God is saying the same things over and over. It’s easy to get weary of reading them. But as we read these prophecies concerning God’s judgment, we need to remember that God repeats things because we need to hear them … repeatedly. It’s His mercy and patience at work.
Even today, God has faithful men and women who continue to sound the alarm, to warn of the dangers of sin and compromise in our society. But many want to cover their ears, or worse, attack those who speak truth. They call us homophobes, mean-spirited, and narrow-minded and accuse us of trying to force our beliefs on others. But we need to be like faithful Noah who both encouraged others to get into the ark and warned of the coming flood. We need to speak the truth in love, inviting others to come into the ark of salvation while warning of the judgment to come.
Tears & Joy
This psalm was probably written about Israel’s eventual repentance and return from captivity in Babylon, but also applies to our repentance and salvation. Those who sow tears of repentance shall reap the joy of salvation.
Rebuke Versus Flattery
“He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.”
As a counselor, I take encouragement in this verse, but it has application to everyone because we are all called to rebuke, encourage, warn and counsel one another (Rom. 15.14).
It has truth for parenting, as well. Many people today want to be their children’s friends rather than parents, but parenting requires more than friendship. It requires the willingness to love our children enough to do the hard work of rebuking and warning, teaching and training, and risking that our kids won’t always be happy with our decisions, at least for a season.
How has God spoken to you today? Did you see a passage in a new light? Did you see an area where you need to grow and change? Did you find a promise to hold on to? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In the next few days, we’ll discuss trusting God in suffering, the key to the Christian life, and the question, “Where is God when life is hard?”
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