I Am Missing My Church!

I wish I could remember where I read it; however, it bears repeating; if you see someone at church by themselves – it’s an emergency. How can anyone survive without a church family? How could you survive by yourself – forever? Because of the Covid-19 quarantine, we have been isolated physically from our church. We miss it terribly, others have no idea what they are missing, because they have never experienced it. When we come back together, soon, let’s remember – if you see someone at church by themselves – it’s an emergency. They have been quarantined by their status as stranger. And what do you do in an emergency? You help. Immediately. You have a new friend. Sit by them, listen to them, don’t jabber on about yourself, invite them to lunch – just do something. And hang with them the entire morning if they will let you. By your love remove their quarantine.

My wife and I miss our church: our friends, our Sunday school class, the sermon, the singing, the Lord’s Supper, EVERYTHING! This is an excellent time for all of us to think about the benefits of being placed in the church – universally and locally. And to savor our local church when we are able to receive the full in person benefits. Here’s my partial list:

Fellowship with other believers is fellowship with God, 1 John 1:1-5.

Fellowship with other believers is one of the goals of evangelism, 1 John 1:1-5.

Without fellowship our love for God can grow cold, and we can fall into sin, Hebrews 3:12-13

We are commanded to gather together, Hebrews 10:23.

The Bible was written to be read corporately, that cannot happen unless we gather, Colossians 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:27.

The early church ate meals together, Acts 2:42.

Loving one another requires that we know each other and are together, John 13:34-35.

Jesus spent time with his disciples, Mark 3:14.

We cannot pray together if we are not together, Acts 1:12.

God deals with groups of people, Israel, the Church, the Bible.

The apostles wrote many of their letters to groups of Christians in the church, 1 Corinthians 1:2.

We cannot practice all the one-another’s without the church, John 13:34-35.

Paul established fellowships of churches, it was his goal, Acts.

Jesus chose twelve disciples so that they could be together, Mark 3:14.

When we get to know other believers we all called to forebear with them, which is a Christ-like attitude. It necessitates being together so we can irritate each other, don’t worry it will come naturally – both being an irritation and forbearing irritation, Ephesians 4.

Christ said he would build the church, which is a fellowship of Christians, Matthew 16.

The church is the means by which the wisdom of God is made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places, Ephesians 3:10.

The fellowship of the church is called on to care for widows and orphans, 1 Timothy 5.

The older women, of the church, are called to teach the younger women, of the church, how to love their husbands and keep a neat home, Titus 2.

In the fellowship of the church we listen to preaching and teaching which keeps us from error and motivates us to godliness, 2 Timothy 4:1-8.

The fellowship of the church brings together different cultures, races, ethnicities, Ephesians 2.

When the church eats together those with more can bring more and those with less can just come. The giver and receiver are blessed, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; 2 Corinthians 8-9.

The fellowship of the church places us under the authority of the elders and other Christians who keep watch over our souls, Hebrews 13:17.

We are encouraged when we hear each other sing, give thanks, Ephesians 5:18-21.

Without fellowship (read membership) in the local church we cannot protect others in Christian love by helping them with their sin, Matthew 18.

Without a commitment to (read membership) in a local church you cannot come under the care of qualified elders, Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-5.

Without Christian fellowship you have no one of church like-mindless to rejoice with, to weep with, to pray with. You need the like-mindedness of Christians who are like-minded about the local church, Romans 12.

Fellowship with God necessitates fellowship with other believers, 1 John 1:1-5.

The older men, of the church, are called to train the younger men, in the church, Titus 2.

I wish I could remember where I read it; however, it bears repeating; if you see someone at church by themselves – it’s an emergency. How can anyone survive without a church family? We miss our church family terribly, others have no idea what they are missing, because they have never experienced it. When we come back together, soon, let’s remember – if you see someone at church by themselves – it’s an emergency.

My current reading, maybe your video devotions

From time to time, well, maybe 3 times, someone has asked me what I’m currently reading. I’m usually working on several books at the same time, and sometimes, in a Mortimer Adler kind of way, if the book isn’t top notch, I don’t finish it. There is too much out there that is excellent to waste my time on something pedestrian. Adler’s book, entitled, How to Read a Book, was required reading in the past for college freshmen. It should still be required reading for everyone. One of his guidelines is that if the book starts well and drops off in quality, don’t finish it. If after a giving it a go, it isn’t that good, don’t waste your time.

Additionally, it is helpful to read books that are recommended by reliable sources. I seldom, if ever, read something that has not been highly recommended. There are many average and good and pretty good books out there. I want to read the great ones. This is a great one. And, it doesn’t drop off in qulaity, in fact, in get better!

Here is the video introduction of a 14 day devotional based on the new book by Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly: the Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers. I highly recommend this book for everyone. GREAT BOOK!! The link to buy the book is below.