Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Let us Gather Together

As I sit in Bradley International Airport (Connecticut) awaiting my flight home to Anaheim (CA) I began to contemplate the passage I am studying for this up coming weeks sermon, in light of last weeks sermon.

How lightly in this individualistic age do we take gathering together! As I continue in my study of Hebrews and get to Heb 10:26-31 I began to think about it’s connection with the preceding “Let Us…..” passages which includes one on stirring up one another by gathering together (10:24-25).

Not that the continual deliberate sinning mentioned in V26 is confined to “gathering together” but it would seem the thought that would enter the original listeners mind would at the least first go back to what was just said (V24-25). But, how many today see avoidance of fellowship with other beliers as a sin? I would suggest that many see it as some sort of necessary bother if even that. That may stem from a number of reasons with the first probably simply being the unregenerate nature of the professing church today. But right up there is the narcissistic preaching of many that is so focused on the individual that a natural consequence would be for the listener to seek ones own desires before that of the community, if there is any time left for community.

This is not to say that God is not interested in the individual but we must realize that a believing community is made up of individuals connected by the blood of Christ. Hebrews, in dealing with perseverance, speaks to this in 3:12-14. We are to care for one another not just physically but also spiritually. How can this be done if we are intent on our own self-interest above all things. Let us” sitr up” (Heb 10:24) and “exhort one another” (Heb 3:13) as we are called to by scripture. Let us gather together not simply to fulfill a duty but as a delight to be with the people of God in the presence of God.

If gathering together feels like it has become a chore, and you are truly a believer, God may have set this dryness as a sign to wrong motives for gathering together. While there is an aspect of being recharged for the week ahead in the world that can come from gathering together it sure seems like the vast number of “one another” verses would say that gathering is for service others rather than primarily self. This dryness may be ones sign to seek the heart God desires when gathering together. It is not a time to quit gathering until the correct motivation arrives but one of a time to continue gathering and repent of the attitude of duty and ask God to give you the delight that should come from obeying God and being with His people.

I pray that while the call to repentance is not always appreciated that you take this as intended because it is with repentance we can gain the joy we are designed as believers to have from communion with other believers. If need be come before God today and ask Him to set your heat as He intends it for this up coming Lord’s Day.

By the way Scott at These are the generations of.. has a good quote from Martyn-Lloyd Jones on going to church from Jones’ book Preachers and Preaching.

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