The Value of Christians Gathering Together

   Written by on September 7, 2017 at 11:09 am

logo-hevenerOften newcomers to town are church shopping. They sometimes want to know what they can get out of church socially and financially, especially:

Socially and economically:  they want to meet the most important people in town, the most potential customers if they are in business, and enjoy the finest building.

They see church as a type of club where people may purchase influence in the community.

Yes, churches are frequently seen as a consumer commodity rather than a place to strengthen one’s faith and assist in spiritual growth.  In addition, meeting together is for encouraging one another as well as for inspiration, fellowship, learning of God, and thanking, and praising Him.

In Colossians 3:16, the apostle Paul instructs the church: “ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace (thanksgiving) in your hearts to the Lord.”

David, the Psalmist, loved music and enjoyed writing about it when praising his Creator.  Psalm 95 reads as follows:

”Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
5 The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land….”

Although Christ often met with large groups,  He  also met with a few followers.  Jesus, realizing that His message would not be popular among many hearers, told these small groups, Coming TogetherPrayer, As A Response To GodCommunityPraying TogetherPresent, TheChrist With People In Spirit

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20)

We Christians often allow secular matters to crowd out our meeting with Christian brothers and sisters. When this happens, our values may become distorted and confused.  We forget what really matters in life. We may prefer to attend a football game, a movie, or pay a visit to the local mall rather than attend a church meeting where we can re-focus on our eternal destiny

In Acts 2:42, 46,  Luke records: “And they (early Christians) were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. … 46 And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.”

One of the most referred to meetings of early Christians took place when Peter was in prison for preaching Christ. The episode is recorded in Acts 12:  6 On the night when Herod was intending to bring Peter out (of prison), Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. There were guards on the doors, watching the prison. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and a light shone in the cell. The angel hit Peter on the side and woke him up. ‘Get up quickly!’ he said. The chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel spoke again. ‘Get dressed and put on your sandals,’ he said. So Peter did. ‘Put on your cloak and follow me,’ said the angel.

9 So he went out, following the angel. He didn’t think all this business with the angel was really happening. He thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They went through the first set of guards; then the second; and then they came to the iron gate that led into the city. It opened all by itself. They went out and walked along a street. Suddenly the angel left him.11 Then Peter came to his senses.

‘Now I know it’s true!’ he said. ‘The Lord sent his angel and snatched me out of Herod’s hands. He rescued me from all the things the Judaeans were intending to do.’12 Once he had realized this, he went to the house of Mary, John Mark’s (Mark’s’) mother. Lots of people were gathered there, praying. 13 Peter knocked at the door in the outer gate, and a maid called Rhoda came to answer it. 14 When she heard Peter’s voice, she was so excited she didn’t open the gate. Instead, she ran back in and told them that Peter was standing outside the gate.

15 ‘You’re mad!’ they said to her. But she insisted that it really was true.‘It must be his angel!’ they said.16 Meanwhile Peter carried on knocking. They opened the door and saw him, and were astonished. 17 He made a sign with his hand for them to be quiet. Then he told them how the Lord had led him out of the prison.

Do we, like these Christians, often pray for something of which we know God approves, but because of a lack of faith hesitate to believe the answer when it comes?

One of the reasons for coming together as fellow-believers is to strengthen our faith and our trust in our Heavenly Father.

Until next week, may God richly bless you and yours!

© 2017 Fillmer Hevener,

Editor’s Note: Our dear friend, Fillmer Hevener, died Friday evening, August 25, 2017. Dr. Hevener was passionate about sharing the word of God and weekly encouraged us and our readers. We will miss his emails, his words of wisdom, and most importantly, his prayers—for he frequently prayed for us, our children, and our staff. We will continue to run Dr. Hevener’s articles until the end of September. He was a meticulous writer and submitted his devotionals weeks in advance—an editor’s dream. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time and in the days to come.

                                                  

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