START HERE

Today’s Truth

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.

Let’s Pray

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,

Amen.

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?

More from the Girlfriends

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.

7 Responses to “Your Second Home”

  1. Jacqueline says:

    This is so true. Being involved & together makes all the difference 💜 Thank you

  2. Dana says:

    I could not agree with you more. I miss the days when I use to linger and communicate with my church family, attend a Sunday school class and get to know a group of people and just do life together. Now it is the great cattle call. We all moo in as someone hands us a set of earplugs because the music is so loud and then we moo back out to get in our cars. No one stops to chat. Last year I decided to look again for a community and when I would ask about a Sunday school I was told 2 things:1. They have life groups at someone’s house in the middle of the week. 2. People go online to meet now. Unfortunately, I work 6 days a week and usually evenings as that is when my clients are available so other than Sunday, I am unable to meet. Also, as a single, walking up to some strangers door is intimidating and EXTREMELY uncomfortable. As a single, I am looking for community and not a date. I did find several of these people’s comments offensive. Many people go to church to meet friends, to do life together, to spur one another on toward the good deeds. Not to find a mate. If it happens, praise God it was in the church and not the bar. I hope church is will understand that this is a place of community and needs to be a community, not just a concert that you put your earplugs I. And then leave. Honestly, I got a lot more out of listening to Tony Evans on a podcast than going through the motions of church and realizing how alone I am.

  3. Dana – I hope you will find a community church where people linger in the lobby again. We all need more of that. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

  4. Kathy says:

    I do feel at home at church. I feel our church is friendly and always welcomes visitors to make them feel at home too.

  5. Sherri says:

    Thank you for sharing this devotion. Last week I felt like I wanted to go to our mid week service but didnt see it through. This has been an encouraging word to me to get involved more at our church…somthing I think God has been nudging me to do. God bless you.😊

  6. abby says:

    love this…so true I just wish hubby and I can hang out with my fellow Christian bros and sisters, but it is hard bc I am disabled and cant drive/distance and I don’t want to put hubby out since we also do our errands after church (groc shop)…..love our church family I wish could do more. (also the distance but tried other churches, and our church is awesome. and plus I get to see my mom once a week. (or unless getting ready for our bake/mission sale in the summeere} also on the praise and worship team with my mom hubby does the soundbooth /help set up for a month ..whenever we had kids we made sure our foster kiddo were involved either with kids church or/and kids club..just could really relate to this.

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8