I WAS GLAD:
“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1).
This Scripture was on my heart one morning when I was getting ready for church. When you wake up and get ready to go to church, is your heart’s attitude the same as David’s? Do you say, I was glad when they said to me, let’s go to church? If not, then it’s time to ask ourselves why.
Why is it people don’t get excited about going to church? When I first became a Christian, and started going to church in the fall of 1990, I would go to church every single time the doors were open. Jesus Christ had saved me from my sins, and made such a difference to me, I WANTED to go to church. They didn’t have to send someone knocking on my door to make sure I was going to church. If they were having a worship service, a mid-week Bible study, I wanted to be there. And you know what? That’s still true today. Why? Because church is not just a religious exercise for me – it’s a time to meet with my God. It amazes me that there are people who debate whether or not to go to church on a Sunday morning. “Should I go to church or stay in bed, or watch TV, or go to the beach?” Unbelievable. But sometimes when people lose their vision for something, they lose the joy that accompanies living on purpose. So here’s a quick reminder of three of the benefits to going to church.
1. TO ENCOUNTER GOD
Psalm 27:4 – “One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.”
King David, the person that the Bible says was “a man after God’s own heart” said that he had one passion in his life: to dwell in God’s house, to see Him, and hear His voice. The first and most important reason we go to church is to meet with God and to behold His beauty. It’s not just to sing songs and hear stories about what God did in the past, but to actually encounter our living, loving Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. As we encounter the Lord, we are blessed, encouraged, transformed, healed, delivered and refreshed by His presence.
2. TO BUILD UP OUR FAITH
Romans 10:17 – “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
The Bible says that when we sit under the preaching of God’s Word, it builds up our faith. Faith is our spiritual muscle. Jesus also said that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from God’s mouth (Matt. 4:4). When we hear God’s Word, our faith grows. The more we learn about how good God is, and how much He loves us, the more we will confidently trust Him in every situation.
3. TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS
“Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.” (Heb. 10:24-25)
The third reason we go to church is to get together with the rest of God’s family. God wants us to encourage one another, to pray for each other, and to bear one another’s burdens. There are no Lone Rangers in the body of Christ. If you’re a Christian, then God wants you to get connected with other believers and be an active part of His family. If you need encouragement, then church is the place to find it. If you are encouraged and blessed, then it’s a place to encourage and bless others.
The next time someone says, “Let’s go to church” then get happy. It’s a time to encounter God, to build up our faith, and to encourage others – God’s purpose for church.
Pastor Chris Jordan