|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “You are loved”
Our Bible verse for today: “Love the brotherhood of believers.” 1 Peter 2:17 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Love others by being there for them.”
It has already been noted several times in this series of devotional messages that God’s love is often experienced best and most when the church is gathered. This is one of the reasons the writer of the book of Hebrews instructed us to not neglect meeting together (Hebrews 10:24-25). When you are gathered with your church family God will express His love for you through the words and actions of other Christians. And, He will express His love for others through your words and actions.
That being the case, being present when your church is gathered is an act of love on your part. You are making yourself available to be used by God to express His love to others. And if you are not there, then you are not available to be used by God for that purpose.
In 1 Peter 2:13-25 Peter gave us instructions for proper Christian living. He listed things like submission to civil authorities, showing respect for everyone you encounter, being a good worker, and honoring God as you deal with difficult situations in life. Included in that long list was the instruction to demonstrate love for your brothers and sisters in Christ. But in order to demonstrate love for your brothers and sisters, you need to be with them.
We’re in a time right now when our churches are struggling with attendance issues, purportedly because of the COVID 19 pandemic but in reality, that’s only partially true. Some church members in high risk categories are still staying home in an effort to avoid exposure to the virus. That’s perfectly understandable. But many others who could safely come to church have simply gotten out of the habit of faithfully attending. They’re either sleeping-in on Sunday and having a lazy morning of coffee and donuts in their pajamas, or they’re off going here, there, and everywhere, instead of coming to church. It has been rightly said that rather than other things being your excuse for missing church, church should be your excuse for missing other things. (Can I get an “Amen!”?)
Your church family needs you to be there. If you genuinely feel you need to stay home as a health and safety issue, of course we understand. But if you’ve simply gotten out of the habit of faithful attendance, it’s time to get back in the habit. Not only are you missing the experience of God’s love coming to you through your brothers and sisters, but they’re missing it coming through you.
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