My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Why go to church?
The trend is for regular attenders to be in church less frequently. Are you a part of the trend?
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
(Psalms 122:1 NASB)
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
(1 Corinthians 10:12 NASB)
The Psalmist rejoiced in the fact that he could go to Jerusalem and
visit the house of God. It was a joyous and blessed occasion when one
was privileged to make the journey to Jerusalem to worship God in His
holy house. However, over the years the Israelites forgot the real
reason for their worship. Little by little they just didn't bother with
the pilgrimage. God's house became something God had never intended it
to be and God's people took for granted that they would always be
protected by Him. While they no longer participated in regular
worship of God, they expected God to be there for them whenever they
wanted to call on Him. Today the ruins of the great temple in Jerusalem
are all that remain because they did not take heed, they no longer went
up to the house of the Lord, they no longer worshiped God, and they
I recently sat in a meeting of Pastors who were discussing the
changing trends in church attendance in the last five years. The
"average" regular attender no longer attends church on a regular basis.
The "average" regular attender now visits church 1.8 times a month. I
remember the days when people would get an award for perfect attendance
and there were those people who hadn't missed a Sunday in years. Yes,
society has changed and the heavy work week, coupled with easy mobility
has made the weekend the time to visit family, friends, and even just to
get away for fun. However, I wonder how much of all this "good" stuff
is a ploy of the enemy. If he can get regular church attenders to no
longer "go to the house of the LORD" under the pretense of "good" things
to do, won't he have won the battle? In the midst of our busyness and
decreased attendance at church we have convinced ourselves that it is
okay because we are good people, we are followers of Christ, and we are
doing good things. But Paul warns us and tells us that when we
begin to think that we are okay, be ware -- that we do not fall!
Why do we need to be attending church? Because there is something
that happens exponentially when the people of God get together. Aletha
Hinthorn recently wrote in a devotional that one horse can pull 9,000
pounds, but two horses hitched together can pull 36,000 pounds. There
is a reason that we are invited to be a part of a community of faith,
and to participate in corporate worship -- because God knows that it is
good for us! It is within the community of faith that God's communal
nature found in the holy Trinity is lived out. The Bride of Christ is
the Church -- and wouldn't we want to be a part of that community?
Maybe we need to revisit our busyness. Maybe we ought to ask whether
the enemy is deceiving us into believing that being away from Church
won't hurt us, because we are standing firm. There are major shifts
occurring in Christianity in the US today, and we must ask ourselves
whether we are being pulled along by those shifts.
Lord, please help us to fall in love with your bride, the Church
and help us to worship You within that community of faith! Amen.
Scripture: 1Tim. 5:22 Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. Observation: Timothy may have been a very compassionate and sympathetic individual, but that could have led to problems in the church. There are two ways to see this passage of scripture. One has to do with the selection of leaders who are a part of the church. To avoid scandals, those who are to be in positions of leadership are to be well examined. There should be a process and a period of time in which the life and character of the individual is examined. Ordination is never a right, but it is a covenant of grace bestowed upon an individual by the church. Those who lay hands on an individual to be ordained bear responsibility for the future actions of those who are receiving ordination. This is why the ones who do the ordination must carefully examine and prepare those to be ordained. This is also where the second concern may have occurred, and that relates to individua…
1 Timothy 5:1-2
Do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as to a father, to younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters—with absolute purity. Observation:
Timothy was being instructed as the spiritual leader in the way in which he was to have conversations with people in his congregation. Obviously, there would be those who would not always agree with him. Therefore, he was to show respect for his elders. The older men may have been a minister, or an overseer.
Timothy may have struggled with things that he was being told by those who were his supervisors. Even if he didn’t agree with them, he was to speak and respect these individuals as if he were speaking to his father.
Younger people within the life of the church were also to be shown respect. Just imagine that these were your brothers, for this is the family of God. Older women were to be treated as mothers, and younger women, as if they were sisters. The final statement,…
Scripture: Luke 4:31 He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. 32 They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. 36 They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, “What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!” 37 And a report about him began to reach every place in the region. Observation:
The passage begins with Jesus teaching by great authority. Next he encounters a man who has an unclean demon who begins to cry out, seemingly to announ…