|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The end of anxiety and despair”
Our Bible verse for today: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
Our thought for today: “Too much of one and not enough of the other”
The church is a gift from God. The fellowship of believers was God’s idea. He created the concept of local churches so that you and I would have a small group of brothers and sisters in Christ to lift us up, to encourage us, and to help us stay focused on God.
One of the most important aspects of church life are the times the church gathers for worship, study, and fellowship. That typically happens on Sundays and Wednesdays, and there’s a good reason the writer of the letter to the Hebrews cautions us not to miss those times (Hebrews 10:24-25). We derive many benefits and blessings from being with our brothers and sisters, but one thing in particular that those times accomplish is they help us to reorient our focus to God.
The fact is that life is busy and it’s filled with responsibilities, pressures, expectations and distractions. Coming together with the church for worship, study, and fellowship helps us to refocus. Isaiah reminds us in 26:3 that when our mind is on God, we get to experience the peace of God. So, it stands to reason that the more focused we stay on God the more of the peace of God we will experience. Anxiety and despair come from too much focus on worldly concerns and not enough focus on God. We have too much of one and not enough of “The Other”.
Gathering with the church shifts our attention back to God, where it belongs. Then, if we take our reoriented focus with us back out into life, we discover that life becomes less pressured. Not only that but when we are less pressured, less anxious, less despairing, we will actually accomplish more and we will do it better because we aren’t wasting our emotional energy on useless anxiety.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on you …” Peace is the gift that God bestows upon those who keep their minds focused on Him. The gatherings of your church family are designed to help you accomplish exactly that. We all need that time of refocusing and refreshing, and we need it as often as we can get it. I encourage you to gather with the church this Sunday. You need it. We all give too much attention to the world and not enough attention to God. Church gatherings help to restore a better balance.
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