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What’s the Point, Anyway?

~~ 1 John 1:7 (NIV84)~~   But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.


 
by Carley Cooper

Free Source Photo
Weekends are supposed to be our time off; a break from our busy lives to regenerate.  Ever notice that does not always seem to be what actually happens?!  Saturday’s there is cleaning to be done, kid’s functions to go to, shopping and errands to be taken care of, Aunt Esther’s 85th birthday party, and that is just to start with.  Sunday mornings are often the same routine as through the week.  You have to get everybody up and fed, and get ready to head out the door to church.  We go because... well, we have to go to church... right?!  Have you ever stopped to wonder why you go to church?  Truly deep down in your heart, what is the point?  Stop and think about that for a minute.

Was your first thought to the ‘why’ question something like ‘Well, I go because you’re supposed to.  It says so in the bible somewhere.”?  Well, if you are thinking along those lines, you certainly would not be alone.  However, this is not what God wants to see in our hearts as we go to His house.  Imagine if your family came to your house for a celebration dinner for your big promotion.  When you asked them why they came the response you got was ‘Well, I had no choice to come.  I knew you would freak if I didn’t come.”  That would not make you feel very loved or appreciated, now would it?!

God led me through a specific set of circumstances one day to bring this subject to light for me.  I was having a bad Bipolar Disorder episode and was quickly on my way to the bottom of a depression wave.  I got invited to spend the afternoon with my parents at their trailer at a nearby Christian campground.  I went because I did not want to disappoint them; but deep inside I was frustrated, irritated, had a big headache and I simply could not focus on any one thing.  The enemy had me believing that I wanted to stay home and wallow in it.  I listened to depressing music on my MP3 player to ‘drown out the world’.  The music I was listening to was the saddest songs I could find.  I really cannot say that I understand this next connection, but after a while it started to remind me of home.  That is, Newfoundland where I was born.  This in turn, reminded me that I love where I am living now more; and today, that is partly because of my church.  Thinking about the church reminded me of how much I love God, and how much He has changed my heart and my life.  Thinking about my blessings made me happy again.  I suddenly became very thankful that I decided to spend the afternoon in the park with my family.  Without that, I may not have come think about church and why I love it so much.  That is when I changed my music to something upbeat and stimulating!

When I realized the circle that God had just taken me on to pull me back into the light; I started to think about why some people go to church for the wrong reasons.  Whether we admit it or not, there are people who use the church for many bad reasons.  Things such as:
  • To get help with various needs and necessities of life; like food, financial help and other resources.
  • To hide from responsibility of spreading the gospel – to feel like you are being a ‘good Christian’ without having to step out of your comfort zone and do the work we are all called to do.
  • Position and power.
  • You like the pastor.
  • To find a spouse.
  • Because you are ‘supposed to go’.
  • Convenient location.
  • Networking with the ‘right’ people.
  • To place themselves in a desirable set of circumstances.

After thinking about this, I felt the need to re-evaluate my own reasons for going to church.  Here is what I came up with (in no particular order).  I go to church because:
  • It honour’s the Lord’s Day (Exodus 20:8)
  • It is a Home base for my life (read my blog post ‘How God Led Me Home’ for more details).   
  • I feel safe – there is a certain peace we all have at home that we do not usually feel elsewhere.  To have that foundation gives us something to build our lives on.  The same is true for our spiritual lives.
  • I have friendship and church family (read my blog post ‘Families are like Fudge’ for more details on how wonderful I feel my church family is).
  • I am learning who God is, what His Word says, and how to apply it to my life.
  • It helps me to be closer to God – God is everywhere; but many of us feel closer to Him during worship times when we are in His house surrounded by other Christians.  Not going to church, for me, would be a little bit like talking to Grandma over Skype and never going to visit her in person.  It is just not the same.
  • The Bible tells us to fellowship with other Christians (1 John 1:7)
  • I am exposed to more opportunities to serve God.
  • I am part of something bigger than me – I have a place and a purpose.
  • I am learning to safely step out of my ‘box’.
  • I am learning to forgive and trust again.
  • I am learning more about knowing when God is talking to me, and how to include Him in every part of my life.
  • It builds my faith (Romans 10:17)
  • It encourages me to do things I would not likely have done otherwise – such as writing, socializing and participating in ministries.
  • I am exposed to Godly people who help and teach me – counsellors, mentors and others.
  • I am exposed to unconditional love – from God and from my Church Family.
  • I am learning to build healthy relationships with others.
  • I am learning to see myself the way God sees me, and that I can do what He says I can do.
  • It gives me accountability (Hebrews 13:17)
  • God tells us that we are to go to church (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Do you truly care about going to church?  How often do you go?  Do you tell people you are a Christian and yet only go at Christmas, Easter, or special family occasions?  Does your family worship at home together?  How about, family Bible studies at home?  Are your decisions based on what God’s Word says?  Does your family pray together?  Is devotional and quiet time alone with God a part of your daily routine?  Are you part of a small group or Bible study group?  There was a time when I went to church only on special holidays; and I figured that was OK as long as I believed that God is real.   I thought that having to go every Sunday was a bit ‘over the top’.  Now, it is a different story.  I really love going to church.  Sunday’s are my favourite day of the week.  It is worship day!  Yea!!!  So, what keeps me going back to church every week?  There is only one good and perfect reason... because I love Jesus and I want worshiping Him to be the biggest joy in my life!



~~ Dear God ~~ Thank You for making me a part of the church home and church family that You have chosen for me - A family that strives to be disciples and to create disciples for Jesus.  Thank you for helping us to be so open that the Holy Spirit can move so freely among us.  Thank You for all the blessings that You have given to me through this church, because of Your awesome grace and mercy.  Please always let my heart always be open to receiving more lessons that will bring me closer to Jesus with each and every day.  Do not let me ever lose sight of the point of why I love going to church.  In Jesus name, AMEN. 



25 comments :

  1. Thanks so much JRSMITH775 for your continued support. I so very much appreciate it. Hugs.

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  2. Carley, good blog. I enjoyed it.
    The reasons I go to church are to worship God,
    To learn from the Scriptures.
    Because my birth family is all very far away, and the people at church have become my family.
    Because I want to praise God with my family.
    And also because God does call me into his presence to worship Him with other believers.
    God bless you and keep you and give you grace.

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  3. Thanks so very much Ravyna for sharing! Sometimes I wonder how I ever lived without my church family before. God is so good to us. Hugs.

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  4. you are very welcome

    Blessings,

    Jen

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  5. Praise God that I have been blessed with numerous times throughout the week where I spend quality time with my church families. Every aspect of my life (work and play) includes my worship of my Lord with the living faith God gifts me.

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  6. Thanks Evelyn for sharing. Me too! In the average week; I go to church on Sunday, volunteer in the office 2 days, go to 2 bible studies and 1 small group in the evenings; plus I do work with the Welcome Centre ministry, the Decorating Team ministry, the Community Board ministry, and the Give & Take ministry. Then at home I have my Worship Melodies blogging site. All my closest friends are good strong Christian people. My world has changed so much; and I hope it never goes back to the way it was before. Every day I have a personal devotional time and bible reading time after my prayer time. I listen to worship music for at least half an hour per day before I allow myself to listen to other music. I am always in the middle of a Christian book that is about self-help in some way.

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  7. Actually, I have a Sunday job so it is seldom that I get a chance to go to church, so in effect consider this comment as an outsider looking in. N, my job is not food service.

    One of my co-workers turned to me and said, "You would never guess that these people had been to church."

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  8. KHATLADY - Thanks for the feedback. Not all people who go to a Christian church are Christians. Not all people to claim to be Christian are in fact Christians. Unfortunately outsiders don't often realize this; and assume that these people represent us all and that they actually represent Christianity, when they certainly do not. That's why I never judge a book by it's cover

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  9. Great! Thank you.

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  10. Thank you SHOAPIE... Your continued support is so much appreciated. Hugs.

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  11. Thank you LITA. I so very much appreciate your continued support. Hugs.

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  12. Sorry but I profoundly dislike churches. I have a social anxiety disorder and find them enormously boring.

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  13. SEVEN70- I am social phobic as well. I've been through a lot of therapy to help it. I absolutely refuse to let it hold me down. I'm too stubborn for that and I like to push myself overwhelmingly hard. I do very well most of the time now, but it is always there with me in the background. Sounds like you haven't had seen any good churches. Our church is very lively... people dancing to the worship music. Very much filled with love and fun. I could never go back to the kind of churches I used to go to before.

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  14. Thanks Moira... I so very much appreciate the feedback. I hope you have a very blessed weekend. Hugs.

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  15. Your gift of study and sharing the word, Carley, is a blessing that reminds me that we must keep our focus on the things God would want us to focus on. I have some time diversions that need to be adjusted to better fit the priorities my life is designed for.

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  16. God said he would put it in our hearts and minds so that we know the truth when we hear it. We go to church to be fed the word of God and to get our thirst quenched for knowledge and understanding. We are not there to judge others; that's God job; we are there to be blessed by his words with understanding so we can live our lives with joy, health, and happiness. We are there to learn how to live a longer life by loving each other like God loves us. Let the words of God and Jesus Christ meditate in our hearts and minds so that we get the full understanding and knowledge of how to live right and love our neighbors.

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  17. DIAMOND102 - AMEN Sister! Thank you so very much for your comments. I hope you have a very blessed weekend. Hugs.

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  18. Interesting

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  19. Thank you SEPTLEFTY for the input. I hope you have an awesome weekend. Hugs.

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  20. Loved your blog!!! Thank you for sharing!!!!

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  21. Thank you so much CINDYLOU58 for the feedback. I am so happy that you enjoyed it. Hugs.

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