And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 NLT
Being born the son of a preacher had its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages was having the importance of attending church instilled in me. We belonged to a denomination that held worship services three times each week, and since Dad was the pastor, we went for every service. I had no choice; it was an expectation.
Later, after I left their home, I faced a very important decision: would I continue to attend church as I had been doing, or was this an opportunity for a little freedom from the “You have to go” chains.
As much as I sometimes despised being made to go every time the doors were open while I was growing up, I now found myself wanting to go. Taking a job that prevented me from doing so was disturbing. Ironically, what I once pulled away from I was now pulling toward.
Early Christians needed togetherness and encouragement. Persecution was rife. Only by meeting together and garnering strength from each would they be able to survive. Without this togetherness, they would be tempted to renege on their commitment to Jesus. Going it alone wouldn’t work either. In solitude would also be the temptation to turn away from what the church offered.
Meeting with other believers holds me accountable. Left to myself, I’m tempted to wander onto paths I shouldn’t walk. If no one is looking or walking with me, I may very well take the road traveled by many others. Letting others tag along increases the chances I’ll stay on the straight and narrow.
Assembling with other Christians provides the encouragement and help I need to move from one day to the next…from one mountain to the next…from one disaster to the next. Alone, I’ll sink, but with many helping hands I’ll face the next valley with a different attitude.
Rather than letting life’s difficulties drive me farther from the church, I let them pummel me toward it. Find your source of strength through togetherness with other Christians.
Prayer: Father, help us find joy and strength by worshiping together.