Here’s a good Sabbath activity for all of us. My wife, having had to miss church today because of stomach issues, came up with the following nine reasons she goes to church. See if you blog-surfers out there can come up with the tenth and final reason.
1) After a hard week (isn’t every week a hard week when you have children at home?) I need to be recharged. I need to go see other believers and be reminded that we’re all doing this “hard-life” thing together.
2) After a week of sinning, I need to go to church and hear about God’s forgiveness and mercy. I know that I can get this by reading my Bible or with encouragement from my husband, but it’s just not the same as being in a sanctuary filled with other sinners who all need to hear the same thing.
3) I need fellowship with the saints. Many times, the only face-to-face conversations I have with people outside my own home are at church. I need to hear that other Christians are struggling just like I am, and I need to discuss with them how to deal with life biblically.
4) I need to sing. I love to sing, and doing so with other believers reminds me that it’s not just “Me and Jesus”, but I’m just one small part of the whole Body of Christ, and that we’re all working together to glorify God.
5) I need to take communion. This is a *tangible* reminder of God’s grace and mercy – something you can’t get anywhere else. It is also a reminder of my need to forgive others.
6) I need to hear the preached Word. I want to learn more about God, myself, and how to apply Biblical teaching to my life.
7) I need to pray with the saints. There’s something about all of us praying together that brings us not only closer to God, but closer to each other, too.
8- Because I get to. I grew up thinking it was something I “had” to do. Now, I think of it as something we “get” to do. What a privilege that the Creator of the universe would want us to meet with each other once a week to worship Him! He didn’t have to do this for us. He could have left us to ourselves. But instead, He wants to remind us of His tremendous love for us, that He wants to have a relationship with us, that it is His great delight to forgive us and to hear our prayers. And I want my children to grow up excited about going to church and being confident of His love for them. (Another aspect of the “get to” concept is there are many nations where Christians have to worship in secret and don’t have the freedom that we have.)
9) Lastly, because God commands us to in His Word, not because He wants to add another rule or duty to our lives, but because it’s what we need from Him. Why deny myself this blessing?