“Church: Necessary or Optional?” November 15

 

Church: Necessary or Optional?How do you view church attendance and involvement? Is it a requirement for a Christian? Is it a duty? Is it even necessary?

 

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 21 & 22
Psalm 126.1-6
Proverbs 28.23
Hebrews 10.19-39

 

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 fulfilling some “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:

 

& :

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 prophesies 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. Continue reading

“Flattery will get you!” July 27

 

Flattery will get you! - Could you be drawn away from God's plans in your life by flattery or some other temptation? What can we learn from Nehemiah about protecting our testimonies, our jobs, and our ministries?

Flattery will get you! – Could you be drawn away from God’s best in your life by flattery or some other temptation? What can we learn from Nehemiah about protecting our testimonies, our jobs, and our ministries?

 

Today’s Readings:
Nehemiah 6 & 7
Psalm 89.5-10
Proverbs 21.28
Acts 27.1-26

 

Flattery will get you!

 

& :

Flattery & Enticing Distractions

 

Chapter 6 reminds me so much of what goes on in politics and the media today.

¹ Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm.

So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (6.1-3).

As soon as someone starts to do something significant for God, influential people want to meet with him or her and, often, interview them for TV or some other media. Sadly, many have learned the hard way that most people in the media don’t really want to rejoice with them because they’re doing something worthwhile. In fact, most have learned that what they say and do gets twisted and misreported. And all it does is serve as a distraction from what’s really important.

When flattery or the enticement of national coverage or rubbing elbows with dignitaries doesn’t work, the enemy will often attack from within—sometimes using people close to that person. How many times have we read the phrase “unnamed sources say …”

Another way the enemy attempts to bring down servants of God is by taking advantage of our own sinful desires, often through an immoral sexual encounter.

Those encounters don’t always start with something obviously sexual or immoral. Often they happen between two co-workers or even people who work together in ministry.

It may seem innocent, at first, things like texting and compliments, but will often turn to flirting and spending more and more time together.

I thought it was interesting that one of the people mentioned in verse 14 was a woman, the prophetess Noahdiah! Even though nothing sexual is mentioned, what if Nehemiah had listened to her and began to develop a relationship with her? How many times has someone said, “We’re just friends” only to fall into temptation as the “friendship” develops? We need to be so careful of both the perception of something inappropriate and the temptations that we all face. Continue reading

November 15 “Church involvement: optional or necessary?”

church benches pewHow do you view attendance at worship services and the importance of church involvement? Is it a requirement for a Christian? Is it a duty? Is it even necessary?

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 21 & 22
Psalm 126.1-6
Proverbs 28.23
Hebrews 10.19-39

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 prophesies 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 ne 6 “Friends who will speak the truth – have any?”" href="http://donnareidland.com/june-6-friends-who-will-speak-the-truth/" target="_blank">speak the truth in love, inviting others to come into the ark of salvation while warning of the judgment to come.

 

Psalm 126.1-6:

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. Continue reading

July 27 “Flattery will get you … !”

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Could you be drawn away from God’s plans in your life by flattery or some other temptation?

Today’s Readings:
Nehemiah 6 & 7
Psalm 89.5-10
Proverbs 21.28
Acts 27.1-26

Nehemiah 6 & 7:

Enticing distractions

Chapter 6 reminds me of so much of what goes on in politics and the media today. As soon as someone starts to do something significant for God, influential people want to meet with him or her and, often, interview them for TV or some other media. Sadly, many have learned the hard way that the media doesn’t really want to rejoice with them because they’re doing something worthwhile. In fact, most have learned that what they say and do gets twisted and misreported. And all it does is serve as a distraction from what’s really important.

When flattery or the enticement of national coverage or rubbing elbows with dignitaries doesn’t work, the enemy will often attack from within—sometimes using people close to that person. How many times have we read the phrase “unnamed sources say …”

coworkers, temptation, just friends

Another way the enemy attempts to bring down servants of God is by taking advantage of our own sinful desires, often through an immoral sexual encounter. Sexual encounters don’t always start with something obviously sexual or immoral. Often they happen between two co-workers or even people who work together in ministry.

I thought it was interesting that one of the people mentioned in verse 14 was a woman, the prophetess Noahdiah! Even though nothing sexual is mentioned, what if Nehemiah had listened to her and begun to develop a relationship with her? How many times has someone said, “We’re just friends” only to fall into temptation as the “friendship” develops? We need to be so careful of both the perception of something inappropriate and the temptations that we all face. Continue reading