3 Reasons to Attend Church (or Rather be the Church)

3 Reasons to Attend Church (or Rather be the Church)

And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works,  not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 (CSB)

It may not shock you, but I think people should be in church. But why? I could readily resort to the saying, “The Lord said so.” However, I will give more of an explanation. Although there are many reasons to attend church, I will narrow the focus on three ideas found in Hebrews 10:24-25.

Reason #1 – Accountability to Others

The author of Hebrews states, “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works…”  Accountability is key to living a fruitful Christian life. Without others to hold us culpable, we tend to fall into complacency.  The sad thing is we don’t recognize our worldly drift. We all have blind spots.

A spiritual gathering of the saints will keep us accountable. It aids us in seeing our shortcomings.   For example, has anyone ever pointed out a smudge on your face? It may make you uncomfortable at first, but you’re grateful for your friend pointing it out before it was a greater embarrassment. Church helps us be to stay focused by accountability.

Reason #2 – Encouragement of Fellowship

The biblical writer exhorts us to be “encouraging each other.” We all struggle. Often, our struggles hid under the mask of “I-got it-all-together.” Nevertheless, we grapple to stay afloat. Let’s be real. We all need a pat on the back or a kind word from time to time.

True Christian fellowship inspires and restores. It encourages us to keep pressing forward in faith. It restores a proper perspective of reality. The valleys we walk through are only temporary. Heaven is on the horizon. Genuine fellowship is truly divine!

Reason #3 – Jesus is Coming!

I believe this sums up everything. We should be busy provoking love, doing good deeds, and encouraging others because Christ is coming back. This is the hope we all have in Christ. We need the reminder that one day all wrongs will be right.

Of course, I could think of more reasons to gather together in Jesus’s name (Like the fact, Jesus promised to be in our assemblies.) However, I think these three will suffice for now. Where do you gather with the saints? Leave a reply in the comments below.

 

PS-

Ray, thanks for encouraging email. God bless!  😉

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog at www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God’s Holiness Demands our Reverence

God’s Holiness Demands our Reverence

Daily Readings

 

Psalm 99

1 Samuel 2:11-17

Romans 9:19-29

Daily Reflection 

LORD our God, you answered them. You were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their sinful actions. Exalt the LORD our God; bow in worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy. Psalm 99:8-9 (CSB)

 

God’s holiness demands our reverence. 

Our society has lost the proper sense of reverence.  Although the term is still in our colloquial language, it is often misdirected. We glamorize that which is wicked and shun what is right. God alone is to be revered. His holiness demands it. The reason is that God is good.

It has been said, that the goodness of God is the most terrifying concept in the Bible. Why? Because we are not good.  In other words, if God is good and we are not then this means we are at odds with the all-powerful, holy Creator.

In 1 Samuel 2:11-17, Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, did not respect God’s holiness and perverted the worship of Israel. Later, judgment fell on Eli’s family because he took no action to prevent their irreverence. God’s holiness demands our reverence. Yes, God is a God of love, but He is a holy God. Therefore, he should not be toyed with!

Many will cling to God’s goodness without realizing His goodness condemns their wickedness. For comparison, God’s is like the sun and His holiness like the sun’s rays. Without the sun, there would be no life. If you approached the sun, its life-giving rays would prove fatal. However, God has provided a way into His holy presence through Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 CSB).

 

In the age of grace, reverence for God’s holiness is not negated. Like the sons of Eli, we are commanded to approach God through properly offered sacrifice. Jesus is the Lamb of God offered once and for all. By faith in his name, is the only means by which we can approach the radiance of the Father’s glory.  Hophni and Phinehas chose to abuse God’s grace in sacrilegious worship.  What will you do? Reverence the Jesus Christ with a life of submitted to his grace or live in rebellion to God? God’s holiness demands our reverence.

 

 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for the access given to His presence through Jesus’s sacrifice. Ask God to help you live a God-honoring life for His glory. 

Reflection on Previous Sunday’s Reading

1 Samuel 3:1-10[11-10]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God is Speaking – Will you Listen?

God is Speaking – Will you Listen?

Sunday Readings

1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6

Daily Reflection 

 The LORD came, stood there, and called as before, “Samuel, Samuel!?” Samuel responded, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 (CSB)

 

God is speaking – will you listen?  

What would you do if you heard God speak? Would you listen? In the days of Eli, the Bible says the “word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread” (1 Samuel 3:1 CSB). It was in this spiritual dearth that God called Samuel. Samuel mistook God’s voice for that of Eli, but after several visits, Eli understood it was the Lord calling Samuel. After Eli’s instruction, Samuel received a word from God by listening. 

Will you listen? God is speaking now. Although God speaks in many ways, He communicates primarily through His written revelation – the Bible. Many desire a supernatural encounter like Samuel’s but neglect reading what God has spoken. The Bible is God’s word to you. Will you listen?  

 

Suggestion for Prayer

 Thank God for His infallible and inerrant written revelation. Ask Him to speak to you as you read its pages. 

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God has the Final Word!

God has the Final Word!

Daily Readings

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

1 Samuel 2:1-10

John 7:9-24

Daily Reflection 

Do not boast so proudly, or let arrogant words come out of your mouth, for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by him. The bows of the warriors are broken, but the feeble are clothed with strength. Those who are full hire themselves out for food, but those who are starving hunger no more.The woman who is childless gives birth to seven, but the woman with many sons pines away.1 Samuel 2:3-5 (CSB)

God has the final word. 

Hannah carried the shame of barrenness for years. She endured the whisperings of those around her. She persevered through the proud boastings of her rival, Penninah. It has been said that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. How untrue is this statement! Words hurt. 

Every time Penninah hurled an insult at Hannah it cut. However, Hannah’s prayer reveals to us that God has the final word. Some may think you’re a hopeless cause, but God sees you for who you are – His child.  A child made in His image that is full of potential. 

In life, people will slander you, saying all kinds of hurtful things. However, you mustn’t dwell on their words, because they are fleeting. God’s word is established in eternity. God has the final say. Remember some arrogant men, blinded by their own self-righteousness, viewed Jesus as a demoniac. But now Jesus has a name of above all names! 

 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for having the final word in your circumstance. Pray for those that hurl hurtful words to see their error before God humbles them. Also, pray for your own words to be seasoned with grace. 

Preparing for Sunday’s Reading

1 Samual 3:1-10[11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God Hears Your Cry

God Hears Your Cry

Daily Readings

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

1 Samuel 1:19-27

Romans 8:31-39

Daily Reflection 

After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the LORD.”
1 Samuel 1:20 (CSB)

God Hears Your Cry. 

We live in an age of the instant. We are annoyed by the buffering of a Youtube video, long lines at the grocery store, and drive-thrus that take more time than expected. If not careful, this instant-grits-mentality bleeds over into our spiritual walks. We wonder, “How many times have I prayed about this situation? Shouldn’t God have answered by now?” Rest assured, God hears your cry. 

Hannah prayed for Samuel, and it was “after some time” before she received an answer.  Before this answered prayer, Hannah was in agony over being barren. A “double portion” from Elkanah would not suffice. This gesture of kindness from her husband wouldn’t soothe the ache of Hannah’s heart. She desired a child – a son. 
 
Why did God take so long to answer? Could it be that God used this time to prepare Hannah’s heart? Did Hannah desire a child to prove she was as “good” a Peninnah? It’s possible. Regardless, the hot tears of Hannah’s brokeness washed away any prideful ambition. This delay prepared a young mother’s heart to be willing to say, “I prayed for this boy, and since the LORD gave me what I asked him for,  I now give the boy to the LORD. For as long as he lives, he is given to the LORD” (27-28a). 

 

In seasons of silence, we question if God hears our prayers. He does. He is working on your behalf. However, patience is a virtue forged in the flame of heartache and tribulation. But God is working during the pain.  He may be shaping your motivations to align with His purposes. The Apostle Paul encourages us by saying, “He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything?” Romans 8:32 (CSB) Take heart. God knows your situation, and He hears your prayer. 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for hearing your prayer. Ask for the grace to patiently wait for His answer. 

Preparing for Sunday’s Reading

1 Samual 3:1-10[11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

Image Attribution**

Victors, Jan, 1619-1676. Hannah Giving Her Son Samuel to the Priest, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55181 [retrieved May 31, 2018]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hannah_VICTORS,_Jan.jpg.

 

You’re on God’s Mind

You’re on God’s Mind

Daily Readings

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

1 Samuel 1:1-18

Acts 25:1-12

Daily Reflection 

 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began. God, how precious your thoughts are to me; how vast their sum is! Psalm 139:16-17 (CSB)

You’re on God’s mind. 

Life can be difficult. Often, we are forced to trudge through valleys that we would instead bypass. Places where the dark mountains taunt us asking, “Where is your God?” You may be there now. If not, you will be.

Life can be hard. However, we can take courage in knowing that no matter the heartache, we are known by God. Hannah suffered the pain of being barren. But God knew her. Paul faced impending death. But God knew him. Nothing in their lives caught God by surprise. In fact, God used their hardships to bring about His purpose in their lives. Don’t you think He’ll do the same for you? He will. He is. Take heart. God has you on His mind.

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for having you on His mind. Ask for the grace to walk the path before you.

Preparing for Sunday’s Reading

1 Samual 3:1-10[11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

Image Attribution**

Victors, Jan, 1619-1676. Hannah Giving Her Son Samuel to the Priest, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55181 [retrieved May 31, 2018]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hannah_VICTORS,_Jan.jpg.