You who don’t go to church…

I often use the analogy of a person who claims to be a Christian, but doesn’t go to church  is like a ship sailing alone in pirate infested waters.  It’s easy pickings for the enemy.  It’s much more difficult for pirates to attack a ship that is sailing in an armada.

Yesterday morning I had breakfast with some people and one of them is a missionary.  He shared about a safari tour he was on and watching a gazelle give birth. He said a hyena came up behind the gazelle and killed the baby as it was born and the mother was helpless to stop it.

kuduHe said the very next day he saw a pack of kudu (look like gazelles to me) chasing a predator away when one of the kudu was giving birth.  All the other kudu were watching out for the helpless one in her time of need.  It’s safe to assume the helpless one had been the more able one watching out for others at other points in time.

When someone hangs around with people who do drugs, how hard is it to give up drugs?  When all your friends go out and drink all the time, it’s too easy to drink too often and too much, and you may not even see anything wrong with it.  On the other hand, there’s something beneficial to gathering together as a bunch of imperfect people trying to live life like Jesus.

transformedThere’s something beneficial to having the Word of God poured into you an a weekly (or twice weekly) basis.  And it’s not that you will remember every sermon or song, but you’re being formed. We’re always being formed.  We’re all on a path.  The question is what path are you on, who is influencing you, who is looking out for you in your lowest moment? Who is helping to form you?  If you don’t attend church, I hope you will consider checking out church – our church or any church. 

When Diane and I started checking out churches in Sistersville in 1985, we settled on the Sistersville First United Methodist Church and that church changed our lives.  That’s why we’re United Methodist today. And it didn’t happen overnight. I went for 15 years off and on until I was saved and gave my life to Christ.  And that church and the pastor there eventually saw something in me that led me into the ministry.  It wasn’t going to happen without the church.  Diane and I wouldn’t still be married without the church. And it’s not about “church worship”.  The church is merely the means to connect with and grow closer to Jesus.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:25

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