For Christmas last year, my daughter, Amber, got me a gizmo to hold my phone while I am driving. It fits in the air vent. You may have seen one or have one yourself. On the first Sunday morning of this year, I took it out to the car and installed it. Next, I attached my phone.
Now, please understand. I know the way to get to the church I attend while at home. However, on this morning I decided to check out the GPS function. So, I opened the map system to input the address of the church.
I was asked where I would like to go and was given a few suggestions. At the top of the list was Apostolic Worship Center. I found this interesting since I have never used my GPS to get to church, which means I have never plugged in the address or the name of the church.
What this meant to me was that even Apple knows where I am going on Sunday morning. They just assume, and I might add correctly, on Sunday at 9:15 am, if I am at home and leaving the house, I’m headed to Apostolic Worship Center.
Over 56 years ago, I joined this human race in real time. I was born on a Monday and on Sunday I was in church. It’s been that way ever since. I may have missed ten Sundays in life but most of those were because I was traveling to a church event.
Many of you have similar stories.
During my 56 years I have watched people come and go. There are a variety of ways people respond to the ebbs and flows of life. When life is great, some are faithful to church while others fail to attend, or when life is a rut, some are faithful to church while others fail to attend, or when life brings crisis and disaster, some are faithful to church while others fail to attend.
While the reasons for faithful church attendance are myriad, the excuses for a lack of faithful church attendance or non-attendance are many.
God knows every heart. My heart. Your heart. If something is present, which we love more than God, He will bring it to the surface. Then we respond.
When faced with the reality of his actions Judas hung himself. When faced with the reality of his actions Peter wept bitter tears. Judas turned away from God. Peter turned toward Him. It was a few days but he did.
The question is a valid one. Where do you turn in time of struggle? In times of depression whom do you turn to? When anxious and tied up in knots what direction do you take?
David wrote in Psalm 61:2, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
If we turn inward during times of struggle, we are in trouble. If we turn to society in times of struggle for the answer, we are in trouble. Our only hope is in Jesus. He is the answer at all times.
There is never a time in life in which we can safely say it is okay to skip going to the house of the Lord. During times of rejoicing we need to be in church. During times of deep sorrow, we must not turn away from church.
In my work with couples it seems most of those referred to me are at a critical point in their marriage. As concerned as I am about their relationship with each other, the greater concern is in their individual relationship with God. If each one loves God, I know regardless of the struggle they will make it. I have great confidence in the ability of God having been honored to witness the miraculous many times over.
However, if one is cold in their heart, I know the battle will be fierce. As long as they will find themselves in church for each service there is hope. They may not feel or see it but I do. They may not respond as others in the church service will. It may not seem any progress is taking place. But there is power in the Word. I know, against all human reasoning, if they will be faithful, something within will crack and that’s all God needs. It may be during the worship, the preaching or some other part of the service. But it will happen.
If one or both refuse to attend church, I know there is little hope. They may stumble through life salvaging some semblance of their relationship (not likely), but they will pay a price and so will, many times, their children.
Consistent attendance to a church that stands for truth and where the presence of God is readily felt and encouraged in paramount to our spiritual survival.
Preacher, saint, father, mother, husband, wife, single person, is attending church still important?
As one youthful elderly man within the congregation of Apostolic Worship Center would say, “You better believe it!”
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