I know church attendance is valuable because it was God’s idea and God requires it. The Lord’s Day worship assembly is valuable because it allows us to gather around the Lord’s table as the family of God. The assembly helps us keep a proper perspective on life and death. The assembly helps us to grow up in our faith. The assembly helps prepare us for heaven. The assembly helps equip ourselves to overcome temptation. The assembly gives us opportunity to encourage others.
A woman, who was capable of attending the church assemblies, asked the preacher, “Do you think I will go to hell for consistently missing the public worship assembly on Sunday?” He answered “No, but you might go to hell for not loving the Lord and His people enough to attend.” Imagine a school in which students could come and go as often as they wanted to or not at all. Could that school be the educational blessing it was designed to be for those who do not attend? Imagine an army in which half of the soldiers were AWOL most of the time? Could that army function properly? God wants us to meet together not to place a burden upon us, but to benefit us.
I want to remind you of a few things that church attendance, or public worship, in itself cannot do. Have you considered that church attendance alone cannot assure that you really worship God? Jeremiah Chapter 7 tells us some Jews were coming to worship God. God wanted them to worship and acknowledge His greatness, but the people were only going through the rituals of worship. Though the acts of New Testament worship may be correct, if we in our hearts do not really bow before the Lord of the Heaven and Earth, the acts we perform are hollow.
Church attendance alone cannot take the place of preparation of heart and life (Jeremiah 7:3). The Israelites thought they would dwell in the Jerusalem of God regardless of their lifestyle, but God clarifies that was conditional. Church attendance a day or two a week cannot bless our lives if we are not living right on the other days. Church attendance alone cannot guarantee forgiveness. And church attendance alone cannot remove the consequences of disobedience. Church attendance is very valuable when we have the right heart.
It is great to be a part of such a loving and giving congregation. I direct your attention to the all-important subject of stewardship. To be a good and faithful steward of God, means we will manage our lives and resources for His glory. The idea of becoming a faithful steward is so imperative, that the idea surfaces in the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke on an average of one out of every six verses.
The fourth chapter of Philippians tells us Paul received from Epaphroditus gifts from the church. He spoke about these gifts as “…as a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18). He looked at his fellow Christians as partners or co-laborers in Christ (Philippians 1:5). He understood their offerings were a spiritual investment that would build up the Kingdom and bless their own lives. The church at Philippi gave materially to Move God’s Kingdom Forward.
What a blessing it is to be member of a congregation that understands God views our stewardship as a pleasing aroma and a spiritual sacrifice. It is a wonderful thought; God has called us to be partners with Him in Kingdom work. The apostle goes on to say to these believers, (Philippians 4:19) “…my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” This promise from God is directed towards people living in the will of God, serving to the glory of God, and giving to the work of God.