The original of this was written fourteen years ago. The message remains the same, if not even more important and powerful in this day and time. We are seeing daily incidents of harm, of pain, of darkness. A blogger I follow posted this link and commented that there had been another shooting since the article was published: https://abc7.com/us-mass-shootings-2023-monterey-park-shooting-how-many-in-america-gun-violence-archive/12728848/ It is seemingly a constant factor any more. Mass shootings, drive by shootings, stabbings, domestic violence, drug overdoses, homelessness. The list goes on near endlessly. The one question always asked, if God is a loving, good God, why does He allow bad things to happen. Remember, we are not robots, created to hear and obey. We were given free will, so we choose whether we wish to obey, to love, to worship…or not. It is not all of the or not, who cause all of the bad. Those who worship God do not always have what we would call a perfect life, we aren’t meant to have one. But all of that is too much for this write.
why go to church?
Why attend church? So many believe, but find no reason to attend a church. Some have dealt with negative things in the past that still affect them to this day. Some see how so called churches twist and warp the word of God to fit their needs and agendas. There are those that will find a reason, find an excuse or simply not go, just because they see themselves as an adult that can and will make their own decisions.
It is their choice.
It is also a loss. For them, and for the church family that is missing them. For we all make our church families stronger. We bless each other, as we are blessed.
Why attend church?
Yes, it is possible to believe in God without attending a brick and mortar church. But its like drinking a soda without the carbonation. Syrup without the fizz.
A good church family works together, praying for each other, building each other up- taking care of each other. As our Lord instructed. A good church family believes in and follows the Bible as the true word of God. Doesn’t twist it, edit it, add to it to make it fit where they want it to. A good church understands it is their hearts and lives that need to change, not the Word, as the word is perfect as God is perfect.
A good church family checks on you not only when you are sick or injured, but when they have not heard from you for a time. They visit, they remember your birthday and they can see behind any blinds you attempt to put up to hide behind.
They follow the Lord’s instruction to care for the poor and the widow and even move beyond that to care for those that are in need. When a job is lost, or illness is present, they step in and assist in what ever ways in necessary. When a member of the family moves on to be with the Lord, they step in and make sure the remaining family has the support they need.
When a member finds themselves in need of something- repair work on a home or vehicle- those that have been blessed with the gift steps in. Those not blessed with the talent of carpentry or mechanics may be able to assist in another way.
One of the greatest, simplest, most powerful things a church family can do for you is pray. The power of pray is amazing. Miracles happen. Healing happens. Repairs are done before the devil can cause problems. Financial aid appears, once, twice repeatedly for the Lord God knows our needs and he provides. Some times through strangers, oft times, through those that are family. Church family.
But it is not simply to see what you can receive that one should find a church. It is true that one cannot earn their salvation. There is no work that one can do that will save them. No money they can spend, no gifts they can give, that will get them into Heaven. Only believing and accepting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will save one. Only believing that He lived, died and rose again. That He loved us enough to die for us, to shed His precious blood– for us. Believing in Lord Jesus, saves one– but once saved, the Spirit within seeks ways to help other believers become stronger, become better. Once saved, work for the Savior becomes a pleasure. Being with other Believers a joy.
Why attend church? To share the joy and the blessings that are a gift from the Lord. To be a part of something special that one can not find out in the world.
How can I say all of this? Personal experience. Even as our church was family from the beginning, they become even more important and special to us when we were going through the storms of my husband being out of work and my battling breast cancer. Just days before my cancer surgery members from our church were out here on the roof of our house replacing a bad roof. Just days later we received a letter from our insurance company saying they couldn’t renew our insurance because of the roof. The devil beaten once again. I could call our insurance agent and happily proclaim that our roof had just been replaced. Our house is mortgaged, we have to have insurance. All during the time my husband was out of work, when something was needed, it was provided for. We were blessed time and time again by people following the instructions of the Lord to care for those in need. We did without nothing and lost nothing. My cancer was caught early and I was able to return to work quickly. In all of the job applications I had helped my husband submit, we suddenly heard from a company I didn’t recognize. Even as my husband’s former employer tried to black ball him, this company decided to take a chance- he was back at work.
Even today, two years later they continue to take care of us when we run into a problem. Questions are answered when we are seeking someone to help us with a specific problem. People have come out and worked on the pickup truck that seemed more than once to be on its last mile. (Its going stronger now than ever) They pray for my family, they pray for my husband when he is out on the road driving that big rig. They know I burn wood in a woodstove for heat and have provided me with several loads- most of it cut and split- ready to burn. They ask questions, they greet us with handshakes and hugs and smiles of love and welcome. We are not just bodies in the seat, dollars in a collection plate. We are a part of the family. Just as important a part as the richest, the most intelligent, the most popular. We are just as special as the one gifted with the ability to sing, or play an instrument. We are just as needed as the one who can swing a hammer or drive the bus. We are a part of the family- God’s family.
In all that we have been given, I look for ways to return the love. This is my family that joyfully reach out to me. I can do no less than joyfully and with love reach out and do for them.
If you follow me at all, you may have read what I have been dealing with recently. I had a large section of the flooring in my house that needed to be replaced. Several members of the men’s Neighborhood Mission Group from the church I attend stepped up and helped this widow. They came into my home with all respect and with a great professional manner. These gentlemen are not carpenters by trade, but they have worked many times in many different ways before. Listening to them, several things were obvious. Not only did they know what they were doing, they work well together and the brotherly, Christian love they have for each other shone brightly. There were no derisive comments or attitudes on how I had allowed this to happen. They came in love and proved it over the several days they were here. They proved it when there was no hesitation in building that handrail for my parents. They are coming back to help me finish up the flooring. That I was not expecting but accept the gift and blessing for what it is. A showing of love. I’m not sure when they are coming. It may be this week, it may be later. I have no problems in the waiting because this for me is a great blessing. One that I would not as easily have had but for my church family. There was no red tape to battle. There were no hoops to jump through. I did not have to meet any qualifying restrictions. And before you ask, as they were preparing to leave on one of the days and I told them I would be writing about it, they made sure I understood, that those who are in need, do not have to be members of the church. God did not say to them, go help your fellow church members only. God instructed them to help those in need. The widow, the orphan, the hungry, the hurting, the helpless. And they fulfill that command to the best of their ability, every chance they can.
And that, is why being part of a church is important. Going to church is not your ticket to Heaven. Going to church isn’t salvation. You find that in a relationship with Jesus the Christ. You find that in believing in Jesus and what He did, the price He paid for all of us, even those who choose the ‘not’ route. Attending church is where you find instruction and understanding of God’s Word yes. But also in attending church you find fellowship, you find camaraderie, you find family, you find love.
A wonderful post and testimony, Rebecca. 🙏🏻❤️
Thank you my friend..