Devotional Word for Monday, July 20, 2020
Last week, I spoke of how individuals are joined to the Church when they are joined with Christ. I said that we would be looking at what churches were supposed to do in subsequent devotions. Today, I would like to begin looking at what churches are expected to do. To start our thinking, I would draw your attention to Hebrews 10:24,25. It says, AND LET US CONSIDER HOW TO STIMULATE ONE ANOTHER TO LOVE AND GOOD DEEDS, NOT FORSAKING OUR OWN ASSEMBLING TOGETHER, AS IS THE HABIT OF SOME, BUT ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER; AND ALL THE MORE AS YOU SEE THE DAY DRAWING NEAR.
Here in the book of Hebrews, the author is concerned that Christians would gather together regularly. The purpose is for Christians to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. It would be good for us to consider how exactly meeting together might stimulate us toward love and good deeds. First, when Christians meet together, the Scriptures should be read. Paul, in his first letter to Timothy says, UNTIL I COME, GIVE ATTENTION TO THE PUBLIC READING OF SCRIPTURE, TO EXHORTATION AND TEACHING. We might wonder why reading the Scriptures would be done publicly with the gathered assembly. The answer is quite simple. The Lord reveals Himself and His commands in the Scriptures. If we are seeking to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, we have no further to look than the Scriptures. After all, Psalm 119:9 says, HOW CAN A YOUNG MAN KEEP HIS WAY PURE, BY KEEPING IT ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD.
In addition to the proclamation of the Word of God, we see that the Scriptures indicate we should sing. Again, Paul writes that Christians should SPEAK TO ONE ANOTHER IN SONGS, HYMNS, AND SPIRITUAL SONGS. This singing, though spoken to one another, is supposed to be unto the Lord. As we corporately sing, we are reminding each other of the awesome glory of God, our own depravity, and the wonderful grace of Christ that our sin might be forgiven. Whether your vocal abilities are quite advanced or quite basic, we are all to sing with one voice. Yes, unfortunately for the people standing around me on a Sunday morning, that means people who sing as poorly as I do are to lift up their voice and praise the Lord. You might then wonder about style or content; that is a discussion for another day. For today, let us suffice it to say that fundamental to Christian worship is the singing of God’s people.
Another key element of Christian worship is prayer. We as God’s people are commanded to pray both individually and corporately. As we pray, we are able to bring our requests to God and have confidence that He hears us. We are also able in prayer to confess our sin (both privately and corporately) and praise Him for His wonderful work in us, through us, and around us.
While there are other elements of worship that we might take time to highlight (and it would be right to do so). Today, we are going to stop with these three. Again, as Christians we are called to assemble together. As part of our assembly there should be the public reading and teaching of God’s Word, there should be songs of worship sung to God, and there should be times of corporate and individual prayer. All three of these should be done so that we can stir one another up toward love and good deeds. If you believe in Jesus but have not joined with other Christians in worship, I encourage you to do so. If you don’t know where to go, come to Leidy’s Church. We would love to have you.
Let us pray. Lord, we recognize that we too often forsake assembling together. We often allow the cares and the messiness of life to intrude upon what should a wonderful time of worship, encouragement, and blessing. We pray that you would help us to grow in our love for and desire to worship you. We pray this in the name of Jesus who has made worship possible. Amen.