"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lent - Day 12 Sunday March 20

“Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but encouraging each other….” (Hebrews 10:25)

Habits are hard to form and easy to break. For example, I’ve always been a fingernail biter….ever since just a wee lad. Tried the stuff you buy at the drugstore, pepper sauce, scrapings of bar soap and even…ear wax. I know. I know. There have been brief periods when I managed to stop, but before too long had passed, I was back to chomping away. One finger at a time. I just cannot form the habit of not biting them, but it’s so easy to break the habit once it begins to form. To form a new habit, whether it be stopping nail biting, limiting the foods I eat, exercising more, whatever it may be takes awhile and I have to be diligent and serious. Even when I do want to go out for a run (or even a walk), I have to force myself to get up and go. But, once the habit becomes deeply ingrained in me, then it isn’t so bad. Like learning to drink skim milk. Sorta.

Church is that way. We go, enjoy a bible study group, a worship service, being around friends and think it will always be that way. But, one Sunday you are just really tired and decide to stay home. You go back the next. Then you spent a busy week at work, spent all day Saturday doing yard work and really just need a day to rest up before the job on Monday. So, you head to the lake. Or the golf course. Or the mountains. Or the recliner. The next week, it kinda works the same way. Before long, you are out of the habit of Bible study, but may still show up for worship. But, you might not know everybody like you did in your class, so you aren’t quite so comfortable. Before long, you just don’t go at all. Anywhere. After a week or two, folks aren’t calling saying you were missed. Oh, you may see them at Kroger and you think you’ll try and get back the next week, but you don’t.

The most important part of the journey I’m on right now is to stay in touch with God’s people. Through corporate worship, through Bible study groups, through individual worship and Bible study, just be around the family of God. Your family. My family. Our family.

This is my accountability place. This is my growing place. This is my learning place. This is my place of strength. How could I ever attempt to draw closer to God and discover His way for my life if I avoid His house and His people? Sure, God can speak to me directly, but more often it is through pastors, Bible study teachers, through music and through friends.

As you travel along, searching for God’s way in your life, please do not forsake God’s house and people. I’ve been there, done that and it was a time that I will never repeat. Dark days and many lonely hours without feeling the connection with God. Stay assembled. Associate yourself with Godly people.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.


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