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Devotionals 2005

Refocus - Church
January 10, 2005By Ed Wrather

01.10.05

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. - Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. - Matthew 18:20 NKJV.

I love the testimony of a woman whose name is Shari that I have posted on my website. Shari was living with someone and using drugs when she was 17-years-old. She left this man after a couple of years and started living with another man that she married after a year. She was still using drugs, and she left her husband when her daughter was five months old and eventually divorced him. Three and a half years later, she married again, but this time there was something different in her life. That something different was church.

Here is what Shari says in her own words, “I have been married to him now 10 years. During that time, I have constantly gone to church and looked to the Lord for guidance. It's wonderful how loving and forgiving the Lord can be when you've spit in his face for so long.”

“My husband came to know the Lord in September of 1994, was baptized, and is an active member of our church. We now have 4 daughters altogether. Our youngest is five and she knows nothing but going to church on Sunday mornings and evenings, and Wednesday nights. She even prays on Wednesday nights at prayer meetings! My oldest daughter is now 15, and thinks that people who do that kind of thing (drugs, living with someone outside of marriage) to themselves are stupid, and searching for something. I have always been honest about my past experience with my two oldest daughters, hoping that it will help them decide not to do those things. So far, it has worked.”

“It's a joy to see what the Lord can do with someone who thought they weren't worth much. I am now our Sunday School Director (4 years now), our VBS Director (this year will make 9), and the church Secretary. And I totally enjoy my life.”

You can grow as a Christian without going to church, but that growth will be really slow, and it will be painful. For several years after I was saved I did not attend church regularly just on a sporadic basis. I only began really to grow as a Christian when I made a commitment to be in church for every service including Sunday School, Discipleship Training, and the Wednesday night service.

Sometimes during those early years of church attendance the preaching wasn’t the best, in fact, it was simply bad. However, the Word of God was preached by the man of God and God used it in my life. Much of the time during those early years of church attendance the worship service was not even bad it was worse than that. But you see, church is not about just the preaching or the worship service. Church is a God thing. Church is God’s idea, and it was created and ordained by Him. Even if Billy Graham or Charles Stanley is not preaching in your church, you can still grow and will grow if you are faithful in attendance. Even if the worship style is not the style you prefer whether traditional or contemporary or a blend, you can and will grow if you are faithful in attendance. Why? Because God is in the midst of the church (Matthew 18:20) when those who make up the church assembles together. Also because those who are the church stir up each other unto love and good works.

You will never really grow as a child of God until you commit yourself to regular faithful church attendance. Not a partial commitment to part of the church program but a full commitment. Refocus your life - commit yourself today to faithful and regular church attendance.


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