Wednesday, October 7, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...the lone ranger

We are living in a society where people are becoming more and more isolated from each other. In fact, with the convenience of internet these days, it is possible to not get out of the comfort of your home for hardly anything anymore.

Many of the things that people used to do together, now do in the privacy and isolation of their own homes.

~ Instead of going to the movies, we rent a video and watch it at home...alone.
~ Instead of going to the mall to shop, we shop online or on ebay right from the living room of our homes .... all alone.
~ Instead of going into the office to work, we work from our home office, all equipped with a fax, a phone, a computer and a copier...we work all alone.

Seems like people are becoming accustomed to living life within the four walls of their homes. Isolating themselves from the stress and danger that the world offers. Some people even take this isolation to the extreme of how they worship. Instead of attending a local church service, they turn their living rooms and dens into a house of worship. Turn alittle bit of TV preaching on, insert some gospel music into the cd player and open your Bible up, all while sitting in the comfort of your lazyboy recliner.

Isolation. Why is it not good to isolate ourselves like this?

First reason....lonliness. Isolating yourselves from others may or may not keep you from the stress of everyday living. Ultimately the cost of isolation will be lonliness. Everybody needs somebody. Talking to people on the phone or even thru email is nice, but once in awhile it is nice to have some skin to a smile or a hug.

Secondly, and most importantly, God did not make us for isolation. Genesis 2:18 says, "It is not good that the man should be alone." Ordinarily this passage is quoted when we reference marriage, but the context is also true when we talk about all of our relationships. I can't think of any other better place than the house of God to bring together people. The church is God's tool for bringing people together focusing upon Him.

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the following question: "If you were asked to be on a committee to name the ideal church, what would the name be?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 28% of those voting said that they would name the ideal church, "THE OLD TIME GOSPEL CHURCH", a place to return to traditional values.
2. Another 28% voted and said the ideal church would be called "THE HOUSE OF LOVE", a place where the light would be left on.
3. 14% of those polled said that they would name the ideal church "COME AS YOU ARE", because it's not what you wear but who you are.

I know people who say that they can be a Christian without going to church. And typically that statement is true, because your salvation is only based upon your relationship with Christ and not how often you attend a church service. And for many homebound people, attending church services is impossible...but does that make them less of a Christian? Absolutely not.

Alot of people choose to not attend a local church for different reasons. One reason may be because they just haven't found that "ideal" church. When looking for a church, I think there is no better description of what a church should be and can be than the description we find in Acts 2. Keep in mind, that a church is not a perfect organization of perfect people.

Only one person walked this earth that was perfect and He gave His life for us at Calvary! If you read the Old Testament, you will find that even the church in Bible times had conflicts and shortcomings.

ACTS 2:42 "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

ACTS 2:43 "Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles."

The church described in Acts was a place where exciting things were happening! People did not want to miss church because they did not want to miss anything that was happening. Compared to today, that would be like sports fans not wanting to miss the World Series Games or the Superbowl game. No matter would want to be there. This is how the people in the church of Acts were.

Not only was the church of Acts exciting, but it was also a place where people's needs were cared for and people were loved. Look at what verse 45 says of Acts 2:

"Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need."

Belonging to a local church has many rewards but looking at the church of Acts, I see that it would be very difficult for me or you to reap the benefits of experiencing the "aweness" of God's power if we did not attend church. More importantly, we would not be able to meet the needs of others or have our own needs met if we did not come together with those of like faith.

God's design for us Christians is not to go it alone .... there is a reason He encourages fellowship among us and it is more than just sharing a potluck dinner. Fellowship with believers will not only strengthen our faith in Him but it will encourage and build us up, especially when we are in need.

Don't miss out on the awe and the wonder of the fellowship of believers!

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...a weekly post devoted to share my thoughts on a recent personal study. This week I have been looking at the reasons for fellowship. It is my prayer that you are part of a great fellowship of believers. There is so much blessing in serving others and being a part of building His Kingdom.


Denise said...

I enjoyed this, bless you.

Karen said...

Your title caught my attention because I had just posted about the Lone Ranger being my son's favorite character! Your post is very true. We need each other!