And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
Last week someone observed that I make a point of finding a church home wherever I travel. And they wondered why I did that instead of simply watching Charles Stanley. I like Dr. Stanley’s televised teachings, however the writer of Hebrews knew that his audience were Jewish Christians struggling with how to incorporate their Jewish heritage into their walk with Christ. Therefore he spends a lot of time explaining the importance of fellowship.
That was difficult for them to accept because Jews were used to participating in a variety of ceremonial washings and offerings to be cleansed from sin, going directly to God was a challenge to their way of thinking. Not only that, but they were instructed to help one another, meet together and to watch out for each other’s faith, knowing that without encouragement they would tend to drift. Sound familiar?
God wants us to regularly meet with other believers. He wants His people in church! How many times I’ve witnessed to people telling me they can worship God at home. They don’t need to go to church. But worship isn’t the only reason we are commanded to meet, otherwise they would have a good argument. And it’s not just to learn the Word, because we can do that through technology. The reason is to safeguard against drifting.
Face it, humans are easily distracted. Very few people have the strength to stay committed. At time we feel like our faith makes little difference. We don’t see the fruit of our labors in our lives and don’t seem to be making a difference. That’s when it’s tempting to pull up anchor and drift … isn’t everybody else?
That’s when we need to drag ourselves to church and discover we’re not alone. The accountability and encouragement found in church anchors us against the tides that work to sweep us away. To neglect the regular assembly of fellow believers is to miss out on this essential element in the development of our faith.
I hope you have a church that is encouraging you to cling to the hope that is in you. If not, I recommend you visit another church that demonstrates God’s love with encouragement.