PSALM 27:4 – One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
THEME OF THE DAY. WHY DO WE GO TO CHURCH? There actually are quite a few answers to today’s nugget theme, but that doesn’t mean there are quite a few right answers to today’s nugget theme. Some people go to church out of religious habit. Others go for the social environment of meeting friends. Still another group attends church because it is a family tradition. And we may add on a fourth reason why people attend church; it makes them feel good.
When it comes to reasons for attending church, our list would certainly extend beyond the four I provided in the last paragraph. Yet, I think we could cut our list down to three Biblically-supported reasons why we should go to church and be faithful in our attendance.
First, God commands it – “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Friends, there is no way around it. God expects us to commit to faithful attendance and involvement in the lives of His people, and that primarily through a local church. However, there are a growing number of Christians who dismiss the church as not needed or unimportant in their walks with the Lord. This is simply a failure to understand what the Bible teaches concerning the church. But it goes further. As a pastor who cares for the sheep under my care in my church, I grow alarmed when I see inconsistency in attendance and minimal involvement in the church by God’s people. And yes, pastors “take attendance”, not to boast of numbers, but out of love for the sheep. I pray for my people who are on the fringe of church attendance and church life that God would awaken them to His desire and command for them concerning the local church.
Another Biblically-supported reason for going to church is in today’s scripture – “to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.” We come to church to meet the Lord, but not just so He will meet our needs. We come to Him to behold Him; to encounter Him, and that through His Word preached, His communion table observed, prayer, and fellowship with His people. Is that how you go to church? Me? Is there a heart of anticipation, even expectation, of meeting Him as His Day approaches?
A third Biblically-supported reason for going to church is we need it. God created the church as a community of His people for their mutual support, encouragement and growth. King Solomon provided an excellent principle that applies to our need for one another in God’s church – “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). In pertaining to the church, what might be considered “a threefold cord” not quickly broken? Perhaps, the Lord, His Word, and His people gathering together? Try to go alone in the Christian life without the church and we destine ourselves to defeat and self-deception.
So, as the Lord’s Day approaches, take time and ask ourselves, “Why do we go to church?” and then ask the Lord to help us make sure it is for the right reasons.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to go to Your house each week to behold the beauty of Your Son.”
QUOTE: “Worship is not about the experience we had in church but from encounters with God.”