Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Do Not Forsake Assembling Together: We're Better Together!

Read: Hebrews 10:23-25, Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Acts 2:44-47, Acts 4:33-35, and Proverbs 27:17. 

God's Word teaches us that from the very beginning it is by His design that He never intended mankind to be or do life alone. 

You can check out the first several chapters of Genesis for instance where He didn't want Adam to be alone so He created Eve. Furthermore, Adam and Eve had a direct relationship with God as well because they, like all of us where create for relationship with Him and others.

Woven through out the Old and New Testament we see God placing an emphasis on relationships and specifically in the New Testament He exhorts us that we are a part of the body of Christ and we play a specific part in relationship with others.

While it may not always feel like it, we are truly better doing life together.  And together, we are a part of something greater than ourselves.
We all know that relationships with others aren't always easy and it can be messy sometimes, but, you can't expect to grow if you don't make gathering a priority as God intended with other believers. 

Through your engagement with the body of Christ, you need to receive exhortation from God's Word. You need to worship Him in song and through your life. You need the serve together with others and lock arms with others in the body of Christ. You need relationships with others no matter how you feel. You need to be a part of The Great Commission together with other believers. 

Again, you are not meant to go through life alone. 

God has called us to be His people and not only just an individual person in isolation alone.

I'll also add that the more we're alone without the sharpening of others in our lives, we will not grow effectively. Furthermore, we can quite honestly become skewed in our thinking about God and others because we don't have healthy relationships and accountability as we are supposed to speak into each others lives. Isolation breeds confusion and what I often call and increase in "stinking thinking". 

I've heard many "reasons" for why people don't go and only in severe cases have the reasons been a valid one other than for a season. And, NO, laziness, preference, or other experiences do not count as valid reasons to not be a part of the body of Christ. 

Maybe you live in a town with only a set of small churches? Do they honor and teach God's Word and keep Jesus at the center of what they do? Then go! Or maybe you have to drive a bit to go to a neighboring town? Go! I share this because it matters and as for me, for the past several years, my family and I drive almost 40 minutes to our home church because that's where God wants us to be.

I also know first hand that people get hurt in the church because the church is the people and we're all a work in progress. 

There was a time in my early walk with The Lord where I honestly almost left the church because I was repeatedly hurt by a couple pastors and others who misused their power and constantly put me down no matter what I tried to do. They didn't want to use me for anything as if I wasn't worthy enough or together enough for them as nothing I did was good enough.  They were constantly critical and hindered my walk and service to The Lord. 

When I was about to walk away, The Lord reminded me that my relationship with Him still needs to be a priority and that no matter what people do in "His Name", I need to keep my eyes on Him. He also reminded me again through His Word that I am His creation, a new creation, and I am a part of the body of Christ and in order for the body of Christ to fully function, we're all to be a part of it. Again, we are to keep our eyes on Him and serve, engage, and be a part of the body of Christ, His matter what. 

Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean you are to stay in the specific local body if it becomes toxic like my experience or the experience of others, but it does mean that you need to seek The Lord's counsel and keep pressing forward to find another local body you can be a part of as it's very important. This is what God encouraged me and others to do and over time I / we found a new home church. 

Maybe it's been a while since you've gone to meet with other believer's during a regular church service time? Maybe you've isolated yourself at home or elsewhere?  I have to ask's that honestly working out for you? I suspect not great because you're missing a part of the life that God intended for you to experience for His glory and your growth and good. 

I don't know what your reasons are nor do I know your specific past hurts. I also don't know why you've possibly chosen to isolate yourself from others. However, I do know that what does matter is that you trust God for a fresh start as you decide to take one step of obedience after another to engage or reengage with the body of Christ. Obedience is import for your growth and obedience to do what He instructs us to do has to be a priority over feelings or preferences. 

You are an important piece of the body of Christ whether you know it or not. You're needed. So, let me challenge you to not neglect or forsake meeting together with others because even with the messiness that comes with it sometimes, life is truly better together!  

May you move from from making it optional to making it a priority trusting that God knows what is best for you! 

Lets pray for each other that we'll do our part according to His Word as a part of the body of Christ because we can trust Him and our obedience to Him is what matters most no matter what we experience in this life. 

Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch 

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