GET TOGETHER – THERE IS A REASON THAT IT IS THE BOOK
Heb 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us 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.
This is and has been a very different time for Christians. First of all, I want to say praise the Lord for the many creative ways that the Holy Spirit has given Pastors and church leaders to get the Gospel out during this challenging season. Ever since becoming a Christian I have believed that the building is not the church that we the born-again blood bought children of God are the church. And I am in agreement that we don’t go to church we are the church. I am a strong believer in not just being a hearer of the word, but being a doer of the word. I didn’t have to go to Seminary to understand what Jesus was talking about in Mt 28:19,20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
With all of that said perhaps I should have had a subtitle to this message that said (There Are Actually Several Reasons). I can remember on the weekend that I got saved. It was on a Christian Retreat. There was a handout with Bible verses on it. I knew that I didn’t want to ever go back to my old lifestyle again. The passage from Hebrews 10:23-25 stood out to me.
Before I get to that first of all I want to say that when God’s people come together in corporate worship it is showing Him that He is first in our lives. We lay aside everything else to come and worship Him. Jesus answered the woman at the well’s theological question about where to worship Joh 4:23,24″But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Yes, we can worship Him any where we are at. But throughout the Bible God calls us as a people to worship Him corporately as His called-out people. Let’s look at some of the benefits of corporate worship and meeting in small groups.
We get to know one another when we meet together. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works The Greek term for consider here is katanoeo, kat-an-o-eh’-o. It means to observe fully: –behold, consider, discover, perceive. What a blessing it was when I realized that I had brothers and sisters who were human just like I was and that we could share our challenges and victories together. We could pray for one another. We could walk out our journey together. There is a stirring that takes place when we meet together. The King James Bible uses the English word provoke. The Greek term for provoke is paroxusmos. It can mean an incitement to do good. So, when we meet together, we are stirred up and incited to do good unto the Lord, our family, our neighbor, and even our enemies. When we meet together, we stir one another up by ministering to one another.
It has been my experience and I believe that the Scriptures would support this that when God’s people come together in corporate worship with a pure heart that His presence will be magnified. In the churches that I have served we have always prayed for the sick during our services, and ministered to others at the altar for whatever needs that a person may have. The Bible tells us in Le 26:8 “Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.” There is power when God ‘s people come together in one accord! There is power to heal! There is power to deliver from demonic oppression! There is power to see the lost get saved!
I love this passage about what takes place when God’s people are together in one accord at a prayer meeting : Ac 4:24 -31 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, “who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’ “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together”to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, “by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” I believe that when we come together in one accord in corporate worship that we can still see God do those things among us and in our culture.
In closing I don’t believe that I would be doing this devotional today if I hadn’t been meeting in corporate worship with God’s people, meeting in small groups and meeting with other Christians in one on one times of confession and encouragement. There have been many temptations that have come my way. There have been many personal challenges and times of discouragement. But praise God for the saints that God has brought into our lives that have stirred us in so many ways. Today let’s all pray for that time that we can get together and shake hands, hug one another, lay hands on the sick, take Holy Communion with our other brothers and sisters in the room with us. And then be ready to go into the world and be the church to a world that needs Jesus Christ so much.
Let Us Pray
Lord this isn’t a complaint. However, it is a request. We ask You today to move in such a way that Your people can gather together again in one place. Forgive us for when we took that for granted. We do thank you for the creative ways that You have given Your servants to serve You and to worship You during this time. But Lord as David wrote in Ps 122:1 ¶ <> I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.”(NKJV) There is no other House like Your House. As the sons of Korah sang and wrote in Ps 84:10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.(NKJV) We long to gather together in Your Name as your people to worship You and to love one another. Please Lord would You hasten the day?
In Jesus name
Thanks to all of you who have stirred and continue to stir J.J. and I in the Lord! We love you all