In this sermon, Pastor Neil reminds us of the importance of meeting together with believers– for encouragement, worship, and spiritual growth. Here are some excerpts:
I treasure our church family gatherings here at Faith, as we gather Sunday after Sunday to worship God, to celebrate His love and grace and worth-ship, to renew our relationship with Him and our relationships with one another, to love and encourage and care for one another as members of our church family, and to learn and grow together in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is something sacred about rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep (Romans 12:15) when we meet together under the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates the value or importance of getting together each Sunday. This is not a new problem. It is not a problem unique to our church family. It has been a problem since the 1st century, when the author of the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews wrote: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day (of Christ’s return) approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Already in the 1st century, you see, some believers weredropping out of the fellowship.
Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t think of our weekly gathering for worship, fellowship, and spiritual growth as an optional extra in your life, or the life of your family. Make it a priority. Keep it a priority. Encourage one another, especially those members of our church family who are less regular or less consistent in their attendance, not to allow things of lesser importance to hinder them (or any of us) from full participation in the church’s life and ministry.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go on vacation. Everyone canbenefit from some time away. I’m not saying you shouldn’t take advantage of opportunities to visit family members who live in other places. I’m not saying that at all. I know you have good reasons to be away at times. There may be extenuating circumstances in our lives at times that prevent us from being at church. I know. But I want to remind you that you need the church. And the church needs you. All of us need the church. And the church needs all of us. Don’t undervalue the church or the importance of your connection to other members of the body of Christ…