6 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Hebrews 10:25 is a fairly well-known verse. It is often used as a proof text for church attendance. “If the church doors are open, you need to be there,” we are told.
Then, some people assume that church attendance is an end in itself. It is the measure of one’s Christianity. Go to church and you’re a good Christian. Skip a church service and you’re a bad Christian. Or so we are told.
But, when we read the verse before Hebrews 10:25, we realize that attending church isn’t an end in itself. There is no merit in simply showing up. We see in Hebrews 10:24 that there is a specific reason why attending church is so vital to our spiritual lives. It is the place where we “watch out for one another to provoke love and good works.”
Attending church services isn’t necessarily beneficial unless we are helping others (and being helped) to demonstrate a life of love to God and others and to do the other things that Jesus has told us to do.
In fact, what is the reason that a pastor preaches? Is it simply to get up each Sunday and say a bunch of words as people listen (or don’t listen) just so they can feel like they “did church?” Nope! It’s because one of a pastor’s primary objectives is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,” (Ephesians 4:12).
Just showing up to church isn’t necessarily beneficial. It is showing up with a desire to grow in Christlikeness and helping others to grow spiritually as well.
After all, the New Testament book of Acts recounts the birth and early life of the church as the Holy Spirit enabled them to “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). It is helpful to note that most of what is written to the pages of Acts didn’t happen in a church service. It happened as the church was empowered and instructed in their churches services and then went out into the world to make a difference. Most of Acts happened outside the walls of “church.”
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Lord Jesus, I can’t wait(!) to join with my church family again. There’s just something special about gathering with a group of fellow believers in my church family. But, help me to realize that church attendance alone is not what You desire. You want us to gather in order to be encouraged to become more obedient to Your Word so that we can positively and powerfully impact our communities with the Gospel. I pray that my church would experience Your power so that we could turn our communities “upside down” just as the believers in the first century turned their world upside. In Your Name I pray, Amen.