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Commitment to Regular Corporate Prayer & Worship

Going to church is not intended to be a regiment that is attended spitefully or begrudgingly, or a place where we go to get our dose of religion for the week, nor is it intended to be for the sake of keeping up some sort of social commitment. I mentioned in the introduction to the 7 Spiritual Disciplines, that God’s plan for us is that once He saves us and forgives our sins, we begin our trek toward spiritually maturity - we start conforming to the likeness of Christ in our attitudes and behavior. This is a feat that God Himself is working out in our lives by His Spirit as we respond in obedience (Ephesians 4:11-13). It is certainly worth considering that Biblically, this path to maturity is not a path we walk alone. To the contrary- we who are maturing must do so together, concurrent with and alongside the rest of God’s children. We go to church in order to mature the way God intends for us to mature- together. In fact the writer of Hebrews reaffirms this importance:

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting each other and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

When God’s children come together in church we all share in a time of praise and worship as we sing songs of praise and adoration to God for who He is and what He has done in our lives. We get fed Spiritually by hearing the Word of God taught by a Pastor or teacher in order to be better equipped for works of service and ministry. We come together as one body through prayer, offering adoration and thanksgiving, confession and supplication. We are also to give our time, talents, and tithes to the church. This is not a predetermined percentage of our income decided by others, but individually determined. We are to be stewards of what God has given us in life, giving joyfully an amount that has been prayerfully considered. This giving, when pooled together, is usually allocated toward missions, the needs of people in the community and toward supporting those who work full time to shepherd God’s people. Becoming involved in a church that is based on Biblical principles is an extremely important step toward achieving spiritual maturity.

It should be clearly understood that a person is not saved because he or she regularly attends Church or has their name on the church roster. Church is one important place where justified believers (saved believers) gradually become sanctified (Christ-like) and/or receive the tools that will equip them to become sanctified. In fact, you may be looking for a Christian Church to fellowship at and to grow in spiritual maturity. Perhaps you have for a long time viewed many of these churches as divisive, since there are so many different denominations that coexist.

Its not an uncommon misconception for those on the outside looking in to view the myriad of Christian denominations as being an indication that dissension has split the church into many different Christian religions teaching many different things. I think that recently, many of these denominations have made it a priority to show the world that this is mostly a myth and that we are in fact one united body simply made up of different parts.

As the apostle Paul spoke plainly about in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, the body of Christ - the Church- is made up of different parts. It is quite long so I would recommend you read it for yourself, but in short, Paul says that the Church is like a human body with many different parts. The foot is not the hand, and the ear is not the eye which is not the nose, and so forth. Though each is different, each is necessary- so it is with the Body of Christ- the Church. There are differences within this Body- however these differences are not intended to divide but to compliment as a whole, each part being essential in its own way. Though there has been division in the church in some areas, many Christians of different denominations are seeing the bad name this has given the Lord Jesus- and so have made it a priority to live as one body despite some of these differences, showing that we are still one single united body who worship the same God in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:22-24).

Though, these different parts don’t always agree on everything, we are in agreement concerning the essentials of the Christain faith, and so we fully consider each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that when I get to heaven many of my Christian friends who fellowship at a Baptist Church as well as many of my Christian friends who fellowship at a Pentecostal church will be there with me (I fellowship at an Evangelical Free Church), the only difference between us will be concerning all those nonessential issues we disagreed upon. In heaven, they will finally understand that I was right all along and they were wrong (just kidding of course).

So find a Bible-teaching and practicing church and get plugged in. Begin worshiping and glorifying God corporately, developing spiritual maturity, and serving the needs of your brothers and sisters around you. As Proverbs 27:17 says: “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

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