I became a Christian as a late teen, and for a time I did not attend Bible study services. That all changed after receiving a phone call from my friend, Anthony Washington. He invited me to Wednesday night Bible study.
Anthony kindly explained to me that it is really a great time to be encouraged by my fellow Christians and by God’s word. Sometimes we need that extra strength in the middle of the week to not lose heart when it gets hard. Knowing that people love you, and seeing others overcome daily struggles has an amazing impact on our faith.
“Isn’t Sunday Enough?”
Despite my faith in Christ, I was a little hesitant to come to services. Why? Honestly, because I had to get ready and take time out of my own schedule. I had TV to watch, video games to play, and I went to church on Sunday – wasn’t that enough? Bottom line, I had not learned to practice selflessness. We are suppose to love God with our whole being, and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22.37-40).
I knew Anthony was right, and I went. Coming together to study the Bible, to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God, to approach God in prayer, or to just be a part of the assembly should be an incredible experience for us. If only we would give ourselves the chance to live by faith and not by sight (Hab. 2.4).
Oft We Come Together
Romans 15.5-7 is an amazing description of the powerful moments that occur when we come together as a church:
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (ESV)
This passage is very rich. It takes only a moment to read, but it can change our lives forever.
Being with our brethren provides us with opportunities to develop lives of harmony in a dysfunctional world. When we feel alone with questions of faith, we gain strength through solidarity with others when we join together in study and worship. And, when we feel rejected by the world because we live differently, we have the arms of Christ to embrace us when we gather with our brethren for services.
So when mom, dad, uncle, aunt, or whoever it is that invites you (or takes you) to services for Bible study and worship, remember amazing things are happening there. People are being cheered up, people are learning about Jesus, God is being glorified, and we are experiencing the harmony and warmth of the dwelling place of God (Eph. 2.22).
An Invitation to You
I will never forget that one phone call that changed my Christian life forever. I will ever be thankful for what my friend Anthony Washington said to me. Through his invitation to Bible study, I have come closer to God (Phil. 3.7-14). Today, I invite you, “will you come to Bible study?”
This article was written for a younger audience, but I want to take this opportunity to encourage our older saints with the same message. We have a wonderful blessing in our midweek services and Sunday morning Bible study.
It has been observed that the American church is becoming more and more biblically illiterate, and such a problem echoes the haunting words of the prophet Hosea: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (4.6).
If we are not well versed in Scripture, we will run into two extremes. We will either become traditionalists, doing things because that is the way it has been done “at this church”; or, we will not be able to detect false teaching because we are ignorant. Both are destructive.
I applaud our members every Sunday and Wednesday because it does communicate your interest in the gospel, wherein you were saved (1 Cor. 15.1-4), because this action is honorable. So many times, we sing songs such as “Seek Ye First” (Matt. 6.33), but by our fruits it is not always apparent.
As the older members to the younger “church” growing in our midst, what example and pattern are we training them to follow? Again, thank you for those who bring visitors, or grand children. Thank you for coming early or on time.
Let us continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who struggle with their attendance. Let us reach out in tenderness and love to invite them to Bible study, to invite them to worship; all the while having a humble attitude (Gal. 6.1-5).
We are not suggesting that there is never a genuine reason for being late, absent, etc., we do not need to be overly critical as if we are a spiritual brute squad. But if we are to grow as God wants us to, we need to assemble with the church, learning the word of God.