Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Corporate Experience

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25, NIV).

Whenever His people gather and worship Him, God promises He will make His presence known in their midst. On the other hand, where God's people consistently neglect true spiritual worship, His manifest presence is rarely experienced. - Ralph Mahoney

When we worship together as a community of living Christians, we do not worship alone, we worship "with all the company of heaven." - Marianne H. Micks

Corporate worship, the weekly assembling of the local church, is essential in the worship experience of the rich Christian. The ideal church would have all of its members engaged in private worship Monday - Saturday, and then a coming together to worship the Lord as a united body of Christ.

Unfortunately for us in America, we now live in a secular-progressive, post-Christian society where regular church attendance is no longer valued. In the past, even secular society would honor Sunday as a day to cease activity, rest, and allow time for worshipers to attend church. Today, it's a different story. Every secular activity imaginable is scheduled on Sundays so that families struggle making choices between good things and the best thing. In the end, though, believers are the ones who are making these poor choices because they don't understand the value and importance of the corporate worship experience.

Why is weekly corporate worship attendance so important?
  1. for God's honor and glory.
  2. to experience His manifest presence on a regular basis.
  3. to be obedient to His Word.
  4. to give and to gain encouragement from our fellow believers who are on the journey with us.
  5. to be a witness to the community.
  6. in order to use our God-given talents and abilities to serve Him and others.
  7. because the church is our spiritual family. I know in my own church, church members that have gone through difficult times in their personal lives have been surrounded by members of their various small groups and given help at a time when they have needed it the most. Meals have been cooked. Childcare has been provided. Home repairs have been completed. Money has been given. This is the family of God in action to support one another!
  8. to go deeper in our knowledge of Almighty God through sermons, small groups, and other Bible studies.
  9. the church is the vehicle God has provided for the believer to give back to Him in tithes and offerings.
  10. to be spiritually renewed in order to go back out into the world and be salt and light in our various spheres of influence.
So, are you going to church on Sunday?

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