There are countless people today identifying as Christian, who read their Bible and pray daily yet never visit a church and there are those who never miss a Sunday service, yet Monday through Saturday their eyes will not as much as glimpse at the Bible and the name of the Lord will not leave their lips.
Neither of the above lifestyles fit with the biblical description of what a Christian should look like. Luke 6:6 and Mark 1:21 show that Jesus regularly went to church. Even when only 12 years old he remained in the temple while his parents left to journey home believing he was within their midst. Later, when they found him, “He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s House?” Luke 2:41-52.
Being a Christian on your own can be incredibly challenging. I have experience of this myself. The world is not always accepting of the faith and it can be extremely hard being singled out and labelled. For many years I have not been quite sure where I fit in. I have been at times very much part of the world and far from God and the next longing to be close to him and doing my best to imitate Christ. Lately, this has changed for me. I used to think committing myself fully to God would mean having less friends because as far I was concerned there were not many Christians of my age group around me, however, recently, I have discovered the opposite. I have made many new friends and my walk with the Lord has turned into more of a hop, skip and jump! I feel at home now. I occasionally have a wobble, but I have learned this is normal. Having people around me going through the same journey I can be encouraged at these times and be reassured. Now I know this feeling will not last because I am firmly rooted in God’s love and I am going to meet more brothers and sisters in Christ as I journey on. I now have the confidence not to worry what others may think about my decision to accept Christ, I know I am part of something wonderful.
In Colossians 3:16 we see what a church service should look like “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts, sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God.” It is so important to teach one another in the Scriptures, to hold each other firm when one slips away from the Lord, with gentle admonishment guide each other back and worship the Lord with instruments and voice. This gives us the opportunity to come together as children of God in worship to him. We are all given a different gift to be used in service to the Lord, 1 Corinthians 14:26 “What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.” To neglect to go to church is like living as a hand or an eye without the rest of your body, of course, impossible, and thus neither is it possible to serve God on one’s own, 1 Corinthians 12:17 “If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? Paul teaches us here that we all have something to share and give to the service of God and therefore it is necessary to find a church that one can serve in by whatever gift has been bestowed upon you.
James tells us, 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The power of the righteous is powerful and effective.” James recognises the importance of supporting each other. We need each other’s prayers through our struggles with sin or our difficult seasons.
Pop back to see my next post on finding the right church for you but in the meantime, have courage my brothers and sisters, reach out and get that powerful family of God network around you. If you are let down, do not be disheartened, a true brother or sister will come alongside you, so just keep your arms open.
Love and Blessings