Dear Precious Friends,
On this Fill Our Soul Sunday, we are reminded of the importance of gathering together with other believers to worship our Lord. For the Christian, there is no sweeter moment in the week than Sunday. How good it is to meet with God and His people! There are many excuses to watching online, and for many this is not an option but a huge blessing. Praise God for those the ability to hear messages online and for those who are not able to gather due to health reasons, caregiving, other reasons... this is completely understood.
One thing we cannot allow to be the reason we miss gathering together is sinful, broken people (those who look just like me and you) to be a stumbling block, that will keep us away from our perfect Heavenly Father, who draws us into communion with Him.
Let us keep our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we are able to forgive quickly and love each other deeply.
Here are a few important reasons why it is essential that every Christian gather with other Christians in the same local church weekly to hear the preaching of God’s Word from the under shepherds of that congregation.
A CHRISTIAN’S FAITH IS FUELED BY HEARING GOD’S WORD
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome and plainly said, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). This has implications for not just the unbeliever, but for the believer also. We will be most inclined to listen and engage with preaching by being present where it is preached alongside others who have also come for the express purpose of hearing and submitting to God’s Word proclaimed. This is clearly one of the reasons the author of Hebrews commands that Christians not neglect regularly gathering together (Heb. 10:25).
HEARING GOD’S WORD FROM YOUR OWN SHEPHERD IS UNIQUE TO EVERY OTHER ENCOUNTER WITH GOD’S PROCLAIMED WORD
It is one thing to hear your favorite preacher expound God’s Word to his church or to a random conference crowd. It is an entirely different experience to sit in person and hear God’s Word expounded and applied directly to you from your pastor, the man who knows your struggles, difficulties, and doubts, and who will give an account for your soul (Heb. 13:17).
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PERSONAL CONNECTION
There is a powerful connection made between a shepherd and his flock when he preaches God’s Word to those he has been thinking about and praying for as he prepared. The Holy Spirit uniquely uses eye contact, facial expressions, and body language in both the preacher and his hearers to create a powerful connection between them during a sermon. .
SPIRITUAL FRUIT COMES FROM HEARING WITH OTHERS
When the church gathers, the Holy Spirit works in unique and powerful ways that are missing in private gatherings (1 Cor. 14). When a congregation collectively sits under the preached Word, a level of accountability is established and nourished among the hearers to urge each other to go and apply that sermon. A greater obligation to “do something” with the Word preached and to rely on one another for help and strength to obey it exists in this kind of community life that is not present when we listen in isolation or hop churches depending upon who is preaching that week.
There is much about modern technology that can be redeemed for God’s purposes and glory, but what technology cannot do is replace God’s design for us to grow spiritually and to receive care for our souls. God has powerful and unique purposes for every Christian in the local church. So many of those purposes are fueled when a group of God’s redeemed people covenant together to gather in person with one another weekly to hear from God through his preached Word.
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.
1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.
Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Let us not forsake the assembling of God's people together. Find a church under the leading of the Holy Spirit, go and grow your roots that you may flourish. We need each other, the body of Christ is incomplete without us.
Source: Gods word, Holy Spirit, Beauty for ashes, Table Talk Magazine