I run into so many people who rarely, if ever go to church. They often get a perplexed look when they find out that my wife and I actually go to church. Many don’t understand why we would get up on a Sunday morning and give up sleep, TV, breakfast out, or just lying around the house. I am not perfect and I miss church too much. However, I believe that starting the day at church trumps all other possible ways to spend my valuable Sunday time.
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[d] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Church revives my spirit and connects me to worship of Jesus, the Savior and Redeemer of my soul. I am recharged, refreshed, reminded, pruned, guided, encouraged, sanctified, saved, taught, loved and enabled. But more importantly I am brought to the presence of God to worship, to give thanks and hear Him speak Words of wisdom … Loving, Fatherly, Caring, Nurturing, Protecting, Sheltering Words where in His perfect Grace I am walking in peace beside still waters.
Acts 2 gives us a brief description of the early church. It tells us ‘and Awe came upon every soul’. Do you want Awe? Do you want peace in your daily life? The formula is very simple- “they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
Church is where we are taught the Word of God. For me that is the most exciting part. I enjoy the sermon more than anything. Preaching is not dull, boring, old-fashioned; it is an opportunity for God to speak clearly to my heart, resonating with the Spirit already there that needs fed and nourished to grow continually in grace. I learn more about my Father and the one who saved me by His death and resurrection paying the debt and penalty that my sin sentenced me to.
Church is also the place where my Family gathers together. There I am in the company of all those called to be sons and daughters and heirs of the King. We are gathered as royal priests charged to serve, encourage, build and pull each other through times of trials, sharing the blessings that God has given us with others.
And we are to break bread to remember how precious the Grace bought us on the Cross is so that we do not forget. It helps us to treasure and give thanks for the salvation the Jesus us purchased. Our sins are remembered no more and we are empowered by Jesus righteousness. We dare not neglect this that brings us into fellowship.
Finally, we pray for one another. We have the full privilege of being in God’s family as His sons and daughters. Christ has facilitated access to the Father. This gracious Father is perfect and sure to give us what we need, to care for and shelter us. He never loses sight of us. It is wonderful that we can ask and know that He hears and grants us answers to our prayers. As a family in fellowship with Christ as our head we must care for the hurts, needs and trials of our brothers and sisters. Also, we must praise God with thanksgiving.
I do not find church out-of-date, boring, unnecessary or dull. It is possible to make it through the week without the fellowship of God and my brothers and sisters, but a week without church is like wearily walking through a thorny, desert with no water to quench my thirst. I would rather begin the week with the One who turns the dry harsh desert into a plentiful green land where the still water quenches my thirst.
As we follow the words of Acts 2 preaching the true Word, embracing our family in Christ, abiding in Christ’s atonement and righteousness, and praying for and serving one another we will find that Church is the best place to be not only on Sunday but each day of the week.