October 14, 2023
Hebrews 10:25, New Living Translation
"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."
Going to church is a blessing we get to enjoy here on earth. Whether the worship service is traditional, blended, or contemporary doesn’t matter. We are still blessed by it.
It is important to understand that going to church should be a priority. We need to know that the church is special to God. The church is the body of Christ here on Earth and the bride of Christ in Heaven. So, don’t make excuses for not going to church. Find a bible-believing church you like and get involved.
Why is it so important to make church a priority? First, the church is so important to our spiritual well-being.
We seek gyms and lifestyles for our physical and mental wellbeing. However, other activities cannot offer what church can provide for us eternally.
If the gym is the natural place to pursue physical fitness, the local church is the natural place to pursue spiritual fitness. The church is God’s gymnasium. As a Christian man or woman, you are running a race and, if you mean to run it well, you need training that will help you reach and maintain peak performance. It is in the local church that you encounter the trainers who instruct and guide you, that you follow the training regimen God has planned out for you. It is here that you work out alongside peers who are training for their own race, so you can be inspired by their labor and so you can motivate them in return. If you are going to run to win, you need to prioritize your church.
We cannot chase other activities in neglect of the local church and assume that we (and our children) will thrive in relationship with Christ. Without these spiritually strengthening elements feeding us on a regular basis, our spiritual well will quickly dry up.
The local church is central to God’s plan for the world. In fact, in many ways the local church is God’s plan for the world. Much of what God means to teach the world, He teaches through the local church. Much of what He means to display to the world, He displays through the local church. Much of what He means to accomplish in the world, He accomplishes through the local church. The local church is God’s plan.
For believers, the local church serves as the spiritual health club, the place where we are trained to run our race. It is here that we learn about God, so that we grow in knowledge; that we worship God so we grow in love; that we are ministered to by God’s people so we grow in godliness; and that we minister to others so we grow in humility. It is here that we come under the care and oversight of elders, the trainers God has specially called and equipped to model godliness and to call us to it. The church exists to edify!
To run well, you need the worship of the local church. It is in the weekly worship services that you sing your praise and worship to God; that you read the Bible with others, that you hear a preacher give a message, that you join in prayer with other Christians, and that you celebrate baptism and the Lord’s supper.
When it comes to prioritizing church, good intentions may get you started, but it will take conviction and habit to keep you going.
Human beings have developed places where we can train our bodies and train our minds. God himself has given us a place where we can train our souls, where we can learn to run the most important race of all. It is through the local church that He gives His most precious gifts of grace. If you are going to run to win, you must prioritize your church and make it a "must" and not a "maybe".