“Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
It is obvious from this verse – Hebrews 10:25 – that even back in the days of the early church there were people who had gotten into the habit of neglecting the church. For these believers, church just wasn’t a priority. For whatever reason they just decided that walking together with other believers and living life in Christian community was not important for them. Not much has changed in 2,000 years.
It is important today, more than ever, that believers understand that coming to church is not just about you, or me. We live in a time where church hopping and church shopping is a normal and accepted part of Christianity. If you don’t like one thing, or you get “bored” at one place, just move on and look for something different. Little emphasis is placed on commitment to the people of a faith family. Instead, emphasis is often put on the things like music style and facilities. While it is not wrong to want to be a part of a community where you feel comfortable, if this supersedes God’s command to love and serve His Body something has gone wrong.
The truth is – we need each other. More than we need nice buildings, a certain dress code, or coffee in the lobby we need relationships. We need a safe place to share our struggles, fears, and deepest needs. We need encouragement from other people who are living for the same purpose. We need to be reminded of what is important when we get off track. We need to be counseled in the truth of God’s Word. We need to be loved and prayed for and at times, corrected.
But this only works when it is a two-way street. How healthy is any relationship where one partner is always giving and the other is always receiving? Such a relationship is not healthy at all. The same is true in the Church. We must give and receive. And we cannot do either if we do not show up consistently and willingly use our gifts and abilities to serve our brothers and sisters. And the more we give, the more we will receive.
Everyone needs encouragement. It is a tough world out there. It is a hard life out there. It gets pretty lonely. But when we come together as believers in Jesus Christ we find the breath of love, the warmth of encouragement, and the depth of hope.
Application: Are you upholding your commitment to other believers?