Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” – Mark 2:27
God is pleased that man works Monday through Friday. But on the Sabbath – which may be Saturday for you – or Sunday… He’s pleased if you are in His house, giving Him your undivided attention – your praises – your thanksgiving. God is a jealous God and will not have any other gods before Him.
Why do we need to be in church? Why can’t we go out on the fishin’ bank, or climb a mountain, or watch Dr. Stanley on television and call it good?
Being off somewhere alone and keeping your focus on the Lord is not a bad idea – but there’s something about being with others who believe the same way you do… it’s a sense of community and support of sorts, you might say. If you’re a lone ranger, with whom do you take communion? Who is around to challenge your spiritual backbone? With whom do you pray? Who prays for you and for whom do you pray?
If I didn’t visit the gym and use the machines, I’d soon gain my weight back and be out of shape. The church family, ideally, plays a similar role with each member. I was reminded recently however, that we mustn’t focus on the horizontal view – as much as we focus on the vertical view – we have to keep our eyes on Christ – because people are so – well – human and will fail us at one time or the other. And guess what? We will fail them too. We have to remember that Christ is our example and the one with whom we measure our own standard. When we do that, it makes all the difference in how we relate to others.
The church family is there to encourage when needed. It’s there to challenge when needed. We help each other grow because growth and change are signs of maturity in faith. There’s nothing worse than stunted growth. It’s a bit like having cut flowers in a vase too long. If you wait too long to toss those flowers – it can be a very smelly job.
I don’t want to be a stinky child of God. I want to grow in my faith, in love, in joy, in peace that passes all understanding. It’s God’s will for my life – and it’s what I want for my life.
Sometimes a church family is not found at a brick and mortar. Sometimes it is found in the most unusual and creative way – and God is leading toward an exciting adventure in ministry. If we don’t put Him in a box, He will make everything work for good. We just have to place our trust completely in His plan.
What do you do on the Sabbath? It was established for you, you know. It’s for your own good – from a God who thinks you are pretty special. 🙂