How many of you go to church, and how many of you make excuses not to go even though you claim to have a relationship with the Lord? There are 168 hours in each week. Can you really not spend one or two of them at church? There are many explanations that people give for not going to church. Most of them are nothing more than lame excuses: they do not want to get out of bed, they do not want to tithe, the people at church are not any better than they are, and on and on. There is one excuse that sort of bugs me, though.
I have a personal relationship with God, and I do not have to go to church to worship Him.
That is correct. You do not have to go to church. If you truly have a personal relationship with God, though, then why would you not want to do what pleases Him? God wants us to fellowship with one another, to worship Him, to be a family -- His family.
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." -Hebrews 10:24-25
Did you know that Jesus Himself attended what we call church? Luke 4:16 tells us that "He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom."
Jesus...went to the meeting place...as was his custom. Hmmm.
There are also practical reasons for being a part of a church family. "Family." You need people in your life with whom to fellowship and worship and learn and feed your spirit. You need to be surrounded by Godly love and support. You need others.
In addition to attending a church on Sundays, my family and I are a part of a Life Group on Fridays. This is a small group of people that has the opportunity to dig deeper in the Word and build relationships on a more personal level. Our Life Group has a Bible verse that is "our" verse.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." -Acts 2:42
If you are someone who has reasons not to go to church, yet you love the Lord and want to be a part of His family, please let me encourage you to find a church home. You may be surprised when you find new relationships, renewal for your spirit, and possibly a place where you will actually enjoy being.
One last thing. Matthew 18:20 tells us, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." What better company could you hope to find?