broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

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Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Monday, October 23, 2006

Get up and Go!

Dear Fellow Travelers,
We’ve been taking a look at a few habits that ought to be common to every believer. We’ve called them the 6 Basic Disciplines of a Godly Person, and what we have discovered is that these disciplines, though common, are where the Devil fights his hardest in our lives. We’ve already looked at the first 2 concerning God’s Word and prayer, and today we look at #3 - Attend a Bible believing church for worship and fellowship - and go there often.

I have heard literally thousands of excuses why people didn’t go to church. I have also heard a few real reasons, but, let’s face it, most of the time our ‘reasons’ aren’t even good excuses. We know we’re supposed to get up and go - goodness, most even know that God himself said, “Do not forsake assembling together”. But I confess, sometimes, especially when you are broken, you really have to take hold of yourself by the scruff of the neck like a naughty puppy and make the extra effort or you’ll just sit home and watch TV. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Why is going to church so important? There are two primary reasons, in my humble opinion – worship and fellowship. But the truth is that these two cannot be separated from each other. We worship the Lord with our whole heart, and in church we share that experience with other people. God’s blessing then comes on the “body” of believers and we are changed together. How amazing! Let’s look at the list …

1. We need each other. In a recent survey 80% of respondents gave “to see friends or family” as either the first or second reason they go to church. The opposite is also true: we will only stay in a church if we believe we will make real friends there.

2. Worship is better together. Yes, it is possible to worship the Lord at home and we ought to, but there is something special about doing it in a group of like minded people.
a. We sing along even if we can’t sing all that well,
b. We pray together and draw strength from touching God together,
c. We sense God’s presence as a group and for some reason it feels more authentic.

3. We learn from each other, getting insights we might never have known – two [or more] heads really are better than one! From preacher, teacher, and just ordinary conversation in the hall our brains are engaged by being together.

4. We are encouraged by each other. We all need a pat on the back now and then – and when things are going rough on us we need the strength we get from others who love us. The flip side is also true, that is, when we are strong and things are right in our world, it is good for us to share our strengths with others.

5. We touch one another – actual, physical touching has healing and strength attached that cannot be explained. A simple touch is enormously powerful, especially in our detached, sterile world. A shared hug strips away some of the ugliness from our lives and leaves us feeling loved and cared for.

6. We celebrate each other’s victories and share each other’s sorrows. When you do something good it’s nice to be recognized for it, and when you are broken or burdened its great to have someone share the load. A friend can be the difference between failing and staying the course.

The bottom line is that the church body is our “other” family – sometimes more important to us than our biological one, and we REALLY DO NEED EACH OTHER! So, find a good church where the Bible is taught as truth, Jesus is Lord of all, God is worshipped in spoirit and in truth, and you get to share your life with a few good friends.

Until we meet again,
Dwight
RevPapaD@yahoo.com

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