It is Wednesday and we have hope and we have HOPE Wednesday this evening at 6:30pm-7:30pm. Right now, I want to encourage you to come without excuse and I pray you will leave without regret.
When we come into the house of God, we come to gather with the church family. We gather in a building where we have a sanctuary. We call it the church as well although we know that we, the people, the Body of Christ, are truly the church.
When you gather with the Body in the building, how do you come to church?
Do you come with low expectations? Do you come out of routine? Do you come expecting a worship experience? Do you come desiring a life-altering and changing encounter? Do you just come and whatever happens, so be it?
How do you come to church?
If you are struggling or uncomfortable with how you might be thinking about answering that question, perhaps Hebrews 10:19-23 has an answer that might help.
The scripture reads, "Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the santuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful."
Beloved, in short form, we should come to the church, family and building, confidently, assuredly, excitedly, openly, honestly, faithfully, peacefully, and steadfastly because God is with us.
Gathering with the church family in the church building should be a place of refuge, restoration, renewal, and revitalization.
We come out of the world for a time to be invigorated with and by those who share a belief in the word, will and way of God as we strive to be transformed people who will make a stand for God as His ministers of reconciliation in a world that is still full of sin and far from the best that God would have it to be.
Do you come to church with an expectation for all of that to happen in you, for you, through you, and by you, so help you God?
If not, perhaps that is why it is so easy for some to stray and stay away. They have low expectations out of their relationship with God and God's people.
I tell you that it should not be that way and you, YES YOU, are one of the keys to making sure that whenever someone encounters the church family or enters the church building that they never leave that encounter the same.
If you will dare to embrace all that Christ has given you in salvation and seek to be all that you can be in Christ, there is no way that you will ever be anything other than a change agent for God through Jesus Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit.
Somebody probably just said, "Amen!" in their mind, heart and spirit.
And, "Amen" means "so be it."
Beloved, if you want God to fully be in you and make you who God has fully imagined that you can be, then you have to come be with the church family in the church building. It will not happen any other way.
So, then again, I ask, "How do you come to church?"
If you are still struggling with answering, come to church. The answer will be found there...with the church family and in the church building.
The church will be together this evening to continue our journey in learning more about the fruits of the Spirit. Tonight, we will be covering Love. Come be with the church family in the church building.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!