It's a great Sunday morning, I'm up early anticipating a great time in the Lord's presence at Pursuit Church. But then I'm always up early, anticipating a great day filled with God's presence! However today (Sunday) is extremely special because I get to share it with some great people who absolutely love Jesus like I do!
There is something very encouraging about being with God's people...especially when you're one of them. Listen to what the book says, "...and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." (Hebrews 10: 24-25) This writer of Hebrews is saying we must consider how to stimulate each other to love and good works by gathering together. When we don't gather, we're not stimulated! He says we need more encouragement today than yesterday. Why? Because the day is approaching. What day? The day Jesus comes, or the day we go to Him. Either way...it is "the day" we meet Him. The closer we get to "that day", the closer we need to be to Jesus. The word "stimulate" from the original language actually has the meaning of "provoking" one another. This is a hard-core form of encouragement. It is the kind of encouragement one receives in a gathering when God's Spirit shows up! This writer is saying you miss out on this type of encouragement if you miss the gathering.
Obviously some of the folks written about here were missing the gatherings, and they were missing the encouragement as well. They were not being stimulated/provoked to love and good works for Jesus. Instead they were becoming hardened and some were even falling away. Because of the positive effect gathering has on God's people, the writer here considers "not" gathering a type of forsaking the gathering.
The bottom line here is that two crucial characteristics of the body of Christ are missing as a result of not gathering together: Love and good deeds. These two characteristics are designed to carry beyond the gatherings and reach into the week ahead - out there in the world. When one habitually misses the gathering of the church they lack the encouragement necessary for love and good deeds outside the gathering.
So let me say to you...go to church. If you don't have a church...find a church. Find a church that is out there on the edge. Don't go to a church that has been steeped in tradition and religion for the past 50 to 300 years! Find a church where the people are not bonkers...but they ARE bonkers for Jesus. Hang with folks who simply won't stop talking about Jesus. Find a gathering of folks who are praising Him with all their body, soul, mind, and strength! Gather with folks who are worshiping in Spirit and in Truth. This is the way Jesus said we ALL should worship our God!!
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