A verse of scripture has been on my mind a lot over the last few days. Hebrews 10:24-25 "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Growing up, going to church was never an option. If the doors were open, we were there. It didn't matter what was going on that day or night. I attended all of the worship services for Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, all Sunday School classes, Wednesday Night Family Training Hour, Revival services (no matter what night of the week it was or how long the services or the revival itself lasted), Christmas Cantatas, Easter Sunrise services and EVERYTHING ELSE IN BETWEEN! From a young age I quickly understood the importance of going to church, not just for me, but for everyone else! In reality, no one ever had to make me go to church. I wanted to go. Sure the reasons I wanted to go varied from week to week, especially in my teen years, and to be honest, many times I went just for the "social" aspects of youth group.
Many years have gone by and I have grown up quite a bit. I have my own family now and I am able to make my own decisions. No one MAKES me go to church anymore. It is my choice to go every week and I feel that I am obligated by God to make sure that my family attends every week with me. In fact, every Sunday morning since Rylee has been born, I walk throughout the house before we leave for church singing "We're going to the House of the Loooooord!" Unfortunately this sometimes does not inspire the rest of my family. (Most of the time Em and Rylee look at me with an annoyed look on their faces....but I sing it out anyways!) For me it is a joy to go to the House of the Lord! Sunday morning is not always the easiest day to get up. Em and I don't always get along on Sunday morning. (She is most definently NOT a morning person and I, as stated in my previous Blog, am a morning person....a conflict is bound to arise at some point) Most of the time we barely get out the door on Sunday morning. But when we get there, I know that it has all been worth it.
What concerns me is the amount of Christians who do not attend worship services on a regular basis. Some feel that they do not have time. Some find no joy in going. Some look for any excuse that they can to get out of going. Some feel that they must only fill a monthly quota. Some don't come because they don't like the people. Some don't come because they don't like the music. Some only show up for holidays and special occasions. Some don't come because they don't like the preacher, and yes, even some don't come because they do not like the youth pastor! What bothers me the most is that some Christians don't come because they do not see the need. I feel that this is a dangerous state to find oneself in.
I don't care who you are, how long you have been married, or how good your children are, your family needs to worship in the House of God TOGETHER! All families have trials and strife, but the families that I have seen crumble the fastest, are families that did not unite together in weekly worship together. There are exceptions to the rule of course. I also understand that not all kids that are raised in church grow up to become life-long believers in Christ. I do however know that children watch very closely to what their parents view as "priorities." Children will emulate mom and dad and most of children's convictions are passed on by mom and dad. So what do your children see as a priority to you? I know many moms and dads who would never miss a softball or basketball game. They do everything that they can and spend as much money as necessary to make sure that they can cheer on their child. But when Sunday comes around, there's always an "excuse." What does that show a child or teenager? Why would you expect them to grow up with any desire to be faithful to a church if you have not shown them the importance?
So now I go back to the verse from Hebrews that exhorts us to "not give up meeting together," and to "spur one another on toward love good deeds." We need each other and each of us needs to be willing to give of ourselves so that we may be a blessing to God and to one another. I need my brothers and sisters at my church just as much as they need me. So ask yourself this question..."How many people have been in need of me lately?"
See ya Sunday! :)