And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
(Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV)
Friend to Friend
My 9-year-old daughter Lucy calls it her second home.
It’s not an athletic field, the shopping mall, or the movie theater. Lucy’s second home is our church. Whenever the doors are open – whether it’s for main service or to paint backdrops for children’s church – she wants to be there.
I think we could all use a dose of Lucy’s enthusiasm when it comes to going to church!
My family started going to church when I was in elementary school. Back then, it was common to have Sunday morning church and Sunday evening church. We usually went both times, and I can certainly remember faking a cold or stomachache to get out of church so I could stay home and watch TV instead.
But now as an adult, I am very grateful my parents brought me to church when the doors opened. Not only attending church, but being involved in church was a priority in our family life. My parents served as ushers. I got involved in youth group leadership. Going to church was non-negotiable unless you were legitimately sick. Looking back, I can honestly say some of my closest moments with God happened inside that church when I was a teenager.
Both kids and adults need to form the habit of showing up to church every week to mature in their faith. Today’s truth reminds us of the value of meeting together, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV).
Not giving up meeting together… Some New Testament believers were deciding not to assemble with other Christ followers. This was a huge cause for concern. A person’s ability to persevere in obedience is dependent on meeting with other Christians for worship and encouragement. No one can live the Christian life in isolation.
What was true then is true now. Church attendance isn’t just about crossing something off your to-do list. It’s something essential for the health of your soul. If you stop going to church, if you stop listening to your pastor teach the Word of God, if you stop singing praise to God, if you stop talking to other Christians, if you stop praying with others, it won’t take long for your love of God to grow cold.
We need each other and that’s why God has provided the church as your second home. Some who identify as Christians don’t see participation in a local church as a must. Participation is seen as optional. But the New Testament urges us otherwise. Part of becoming a Christian is being united into one body of believers, the church. Speaking of Jews and Gentiles reconciled through Christ, the Apostle Paul writes, “Consequently you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19-20, NIV).
You are not alone. You are part of the family of God. The church can be your second home. It all starts with showing up every week and getting involved.
Dear Jesus, thank You that I am no longer a foreigner or a stranger, but I am part of the family of God. Thank you for the believers you have put in my life to encourage me. Help me to be a godly friend to others, a good listener, and a promoter of unity in my local church. Bless my pastor with wisdom and strength today.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you feel at home at your church or more like a visitor?
Are you involved in your local church? If not, what is one way you could serve?
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Need help in passing along your faith in Christ to your kids? Arlene’s book Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right will encourage you with practical ideas. You can connect further with Arlene on Instagram.