Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
We need each other and we need to prioritize gathering together.
Paul Tripp, in his excellent devotional book New Morning Mercies (I wish I could buy each of you a copy and have you read it for a year–you’d never recover!), captures our need to prioritize gathering together:
Corporate worship is designed to alert us to the war for control of our heart and to the help that is found only in Jesus. One of the reasons God has called us to gather together regularly is that we are so forgetful.
- We forget who God is and endeavor to live based on our own merit and strength.
- We forget who we are and the empirical evidence that we lay down every day of our desperate need for redeeming grace.
- We forget how broken is the world in which we live, so we live with unrealistic expectations and naïveté toward temptation.
- We forget how magnificent our resources are in Christ, how complete his provision is, and how precious it is that he is always near.
- We forget how wise, encouraging, protective, and freeing God’s Word is.
- We forget our need for the body of Christ; that our spiritual life is meant to be a group project.
- We forget that we have not only been blessed to be recipients of God’s grace, but have been called to be tools of that grace in the lives of others.
- We forget that there really is an enemy who prowls around to devour us spiritually.
- We forget that life can never be found in the physical creation.
- We forget that we have been created to live for a glory that is bigger than our own and for a kingdom that is greater than what we would construct on our own.
- We forget that the major, big-deal war in our lives is not a war with things outside us; it’s the war that still rages inside us.
In every situation, location, and relationship in our lives, there is a war for control of our hearts. This is the war of wars because we were made by God to live out of our hearts. This means that what rules our hearts shapes our words and actions. So the big war is not any of the smaller wars we have with other people, debt, material possessions, sex, and so on. No, the war is more foundational than all of these. It is captured by 2 Corinthians 5:15: “He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
Will we live for ourselves, reducing life down to the small confines of our wants, feelings, needs, demands, expectations, and so on, or will we live for God? It all sounds so theological, but it is very practical.
- Every day we attach the hopes and dreams of our heart to something.
- Every day we look to something to give us life.
- Every day we give ourselves to something in the hope that it will give us peace and joy.
- Every day we attach our identity to something.
We need to gather weekly because we need to be reminded again and again where life can be found so that we can quit searching horizontally for what we have already been given in Jesus.
This weekend we will gather together at 8:55 (Worship Center) and 9:05 (Gym) and then engage in our Spring Stakeholder Summit (what used to be called our Annual Congregational Meeting) to approve next year’s budget and leadership, as well as receive updates on the 2025 Vision. The Stakeholder Summit will happen at 10:45am in the Worship Center. You can learn all about it here.
It will be an incredible Sunday!
I love being your pastor!