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.

 

 

Train Your Brain with the Bible

Train Your Brain with the Bible

Daily Reading

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping your word. 10 I have sought you with all my heart; don’t let me wander from your commands. 11 I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you. 12 LORD, may you be blessed; teach me your statutes.13 With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in the way revealed by your decrees as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on your precepts and think about your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:9-16 (CSB)

Daily Reflection

If you train your brain with the Bible, the Spirit will tame your heart.

Be honest. You struggle to do what is right. Me too. We struggle with thinking wrong thoughts, saying the wrong words, and even doing wrong stuff. We’re flawed humans. However, there is hope for us.

In today’s reading, the biblical author provides some valuable insight on how to live a godly life. He writes, “I will meditate on your precepts and think about your ways” (15). This mediation is not that of Eastern religions but means merely to murmur or converse with oneself about the Scriptural precepts. (Yes, speak the word out loud to yourself. Don’t worry, people already think you’re crazy anyway.)

This process of “meditating” on God’s word or reading it out loud to oneself is what the Apostle Paul called “renewing your mind.” (see Romans 12:1-3). This discipline spiritually rewires your thought making process (Paul calls it taking captive every thought to obey Christ. See 2 Corinthians 10:5).  As you are thinking over and over again on the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit cements these things in your heart (i.e., internalization) and changes your behavior.  It has been said, “This Book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this Book.” Train your brain with the Bible, and the Spirit of God will tame your heart. Remember, a desire for a pure life should motivate us to memorize God’s Word by meditating on its precepts.

 Suggestion for Prayer

Ask the Lord to develop a hunger for his Word in your hearts and feast on his words. Find a verse or two to memorize this week. (Hint: There are some gems in today’s daily reading.) When you find a verse, comment below and let me know what your memorizing. 

 


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.

 

 

We Must Commit to God’s Word

We Must Commit to God’s Word

Daily Reading

Psalm 119:1-8

 If only my ways were committed to keeping your statutes! Psalm 119:5 (CSB)

 

We must Commit to God’s Word. 

Do you want to live life to its fullest potential? Then we must commit to obeying God’s Word. The Bible is the bedrock of faith and practice.  Often, people read the Bible and their sinful nature zeroes in on the “Thou shalt not’s.” They ignore all the blessings God provides. This is no new trick. Satan – that slithering Serpent – has cast doubt on the validity of the Word of God since the Garden. True happiness and fulfillment come only from obeying God’s commandment.

God’s commands are like guardrails on the road of life. They keep us from veering into danger. The problem is, we often leap over the barriers in disobedience. This will only result in setbacks and sorrow. We must resolve to travel on the right path.

It’s true we cannot keep all the commandments of God. And I am not arguing for a legalism. However, Jesus did say, ” “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” John 14:15 (CSB) Are you committed to God’s Word? Are you struggling? God’s grace is sufficient.

 Suggestion for Prayer

Ask for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to help obey God’s Word. When you fail, ask for forgiveness and press forward in faith. That’s what grace is for. 

 


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. To learn more about its origins click here.  

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.

 

 

Trusting God in New Directions

Trusting God in New Directions

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (CSB)

 

We must trust God to guide us.  

This reflection will be different from the previous posts. I am deviating from the Daily Readings for the Revised Common Lectionary. Why? Because the thought of a new direction for the In the Word Together blog flooded my heart last night. It was to the point that I could not sleep. I was so restless, I gave in grabbed a notepad and began to scribble down my swirling thoughts to make sense of it. (Honestly, it reminded me the time God prompted me to plant a church in 2009.) Could this be God steering me in new paths? It’s possible. Will you help me pray?

What is it this new direction? For now, all I will say is the change would combine things for which I am passionate about. Don’t worry. I will still be posting content daily unless God prohibits. All I desire to do is glorify God with my writing. Please help me pray. If you would comment below to let me know you’re interceding. Or let me know how God is leading you and I will pray for you.

 Suggestion for Prayer

Pray for guidance in our lives.

 


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’s Blessings Flow through Open Hands

God’s Blessings Flow through Open Hands

Daily Readings

Psalm 99

1 Samuel 2:18-21

Acts 15:1-5, 22-35

Daily Reflection 

Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife: “May the LORD give you children by this woman in place of the one she has given to the LORD.” Then they would go home. The LORD paid attention to Hannah’s need, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD. 1 Samuel 2:20-21 (CSB)  

 

God’s blessings flow through open hands not clenched fists. 

  After receiving her heart’s desire, Hannah dedicated Samuel to be raised in the service of Yahweh under Eli. She could have renigged on her vow to God, but she didn’t. She could’ve clenched her fist on God’s blessing, but that would have stopped the flow of favor on her life. 

She followed through with great faithfulness to her commitment. Of course, her heart ached, as any mother’ heart would, for most of the year when she was away from her little “Sammy.” Year after year she watched him grow up from a distance. However, God soothed her heart by blessing her with more children. 

God’s says, “Give, and it shall be given to you…” (Luke 6:38). God’s blessings flow through open hands not clenched fists. For example, the same waters that collect in the Dead Sea once flowed through the Sea of Galilee. The ecosystems of the two bodies of water are vastly different. One is teeming with life, the other cannot support life. The difference is that the Sea of Galilee has an inlet and an outlet, but the Dead Sea only holds water. As the Dea Sea attempts to hoard all the waters received, evaporation steals her liquid leaving just the salt behind. The salinity increases stifling the opportunity for life.  And so it is with those that tightly grip things and refuse to return it to God’s service. 

What are you holding on to that God has called for? Of course, many immediately think of finances, but that is not the only area God desires to bless you. We can hold on to relationships, aspirations, or some other thing. Again, God’s blessings flow through open hands not clenched fists. Give it to God and watch his favor flow over your life.

 Suggestion for Prayer

Thank for His blessing in your life and ask how you can use them to serve Him. 

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’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.