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.
You’re busy, you’re tired, life has been tough this week, you’re frustrated and don’t want to talk to anyone, you’re on the verge of tears, you are not about to go to church with all this emotion; you will stay home.
Ever think this way? Everyone does. Let’s look at two scenarios:
1st – You stay home.
Your emotions get the better of you. There is yelling, arguing, hurt feelings, and now everyone in the home is feeling miserable. Or, you curl up in a ball and cry all day, or sleep all day but are not refreshed. Maybe you lock yourself in your bedroom and everyone in the family is wondering, “Is it my fault? Is she mad at me? What did I do? Why doesn’t she want to be with me?”
Your week of stress robs you of a restful weekend and carries over to Monday.
2nd – You go to Church.
You stumble in exhausted but you drag the kids and a pouting spouse along with you. Someone greets you, someone else offers to take your kids. You are too upset to sing but the worship song penetrates into your very soul. People come out of nowhere to hug you, speak to you, pray with you, ask about your week. You are able to relieve yourself of the burdens you carried in with through fellowship with other believers, through the Word spoken, and through the music. You leave refreshed, rejuvenated, ready for the coming week.
You get back the peace you were missing.
This is why we shouldn’t give up meeting together; meeting together is both Sunday services and small groups of believers. Don’t believe the lie that we can have church anywhere by ourselves. We need other believers around. We need people to pray with us when we have no strength left. People who have been through what we are presently going through can offer a word of advice. People who have talents and knowledge that we may not possess, but need, are willing to share because we are there to listen.
John Donne, a preacher and a poet wrote, “No man is an island entirely to himself.” Why? Because an island has no resources unless you bring them with you. If you need a hammer but didn’t bring one, how will you build? If you need refreshing water, but there’s none on your island, how will you quench your thirst? We need others who will lend us that hammer and offer us that quenching drink of water.
So, don’t neglect meeting with other Christians. They will encourage you and you can encourage them. Remember the Day (the return of Christ) is short in coming; then we will all meet in Heaven together. Let’s practice a little heaven now; let’s have church everywhere we meet!
~ Denise Ouellette