Thursday, December 21, 2017

Is the Church Really Important?

It is so unfortunate that many people today who claim to be religious, do not feel that the church of our Lord as being all that important. However, we can clearly see in scripture the following:

God planned the church. The apostle Paul said this concerning the church: “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10-11). Therefore, if God did plan and purpose the church as the Bible says, then the church must be very important.

We learn also that the Holy Spirit revealed the church. The Lord’s church is revealed on the pages of the Bible, by the Holy Spirit. “how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Ephesians 3:3-6). There are more than one hundred references to the church in the New Testament. The church must be very important since the New Testament says so much about it.

Jesus died for the church. Jesus said to Peter after Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God that “on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). We learn from the pages of the Bible that “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Christ purchased the church “with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for the church that He loved and established.

May we all fully understand the importance of the blood bought church of Christ!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Preparing Ourselves for Worship

Most everyone realizes the need for preparation in our lives. Before we leave for work or school, we freshen up, comb our hair, and put on clean clothing. After a hearty breakfast, we leave the house ready to face the day's activities. 

Parents prepare and make sure that their school-age children are ready with their homework before they head to school. One hosting a get together values preparation and usually goes the second mile when company is coming. The menu is planned, grocery shopping done early, and the meal gets put on the table at the right time.

Preparation really does pay off! When we're well prepared, our lives are happier and runs smoother. We've all learned that facing a test in school without studying, getting to work late without our lunch, or serving guests after a long delay, disturbs us. We've learned the value of preparation in various areas of our day to day lives.

Therefore, don't we feel that our worship of God would be better if we made adequate preparation for it? I want to offer just a few suggestions that should make our worship to God much better on the Lord’s day.

First, we need to get up on time. It really makes a difference when we get up, get ready, and leave in plenty of time in order to arrive at the building early so we can greet our brethren, and begin focusing our attention on the privileges and joys of assembling together.

Secondly, we need to come with a prepared, seeking heart. Attending the assembly should not be approached as a matter of habit or burden of duty. It's an opportunity to get completely away from the world and be in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ and have a deeper contact with our God. 

Thirdly, we need to come with a prepared attitude. We need to come prepared to give of ourselves. If we come only to receive, we will, in the end, get nothing. The success of the assembly depends on people who are prepared to give of themselves. Assembling isn't just a matter of getting some people together. It's a matter of getting hearts, minds, and needs together. Our preparing for the assembly will most likely make all the difference in the world. Come prepared to worship our almighty God and to edify and encourage one another.