Saturday, August 6, 2016
I have often heard these verses used to put pressure on people to come to church. And, in truth, it does say pretty clearly that believers should come to church.
But I think the stronger message is found in the first part of verse 24 where it tells you WHY you should come to church. And it tells you HOW you should come to church. And it tells you what should happen while you are at church.
Why should you come to church? You should come prepared to bring encouragement to others. The Scripture suggests that during the week you should be praying and thinking of ways to encourage. You probably know from week to week who in your congregation needs some encouragement so that gives you all week to pray and prepare to encourage.
It also says you should come regularly because there will never be a week that someone doesn't need to be encouraged. So, there shouldn't be a week you fail to come so you can encourage!
Church should be like that mythical, musical "Home on the Range" where never is heard a discouraging word. Encouragement should be one of the main things that happens to church when people come.
Doesn't it make sense that if people knew they were going to be encouraged every week when they went to church they would be more likely to come to church regularly?
I think so!
There is a by-product of coming to church to encourage others, you get encouraged too! Who doesn't want to attend a fellowship like that?
Does that describe your church?
Does that describe how you go to church and why?
There is one more important qualifier in these verses, you and those you go to church with should dial up the encouragement as "the day" approaches. What day is that?
The last days. The trying and testing and troubles. The days when encouragement will be at a premium and churches that do it well will see their fellowship grow and expand and deepen.
Let this thought from God's Word encourage you to encourage!