Welcome to another installment of Saturday Scripture. I’m glad you chose to join us as we explore the Apostle Paul’s letter titled “Ephesians.” As we discussed in previous posts, the letter is believed to be a circular letter intended to be shared among the local churches throughout the Asia Minor region and not solely intended for the Christian church in Ephesus. Ephesians is a rich letter filled with doctrinal truths and practical life applications helping believers to love God and others more deeply, knowing what God has done on our behalf through Christ.
One of the truths that permeates Ephesians is the importance of the local church in the lives of believers. It is incredibly important, if we are to live godly lives, that we belong to a local church. The local church is a place we go to so that we can grow in our knowledge of God and mature spiritually. The local church is where we are discipled and mentored and where we are available to disciple and mentor others. This demands we get out of our “selves” and join God in the work He is doing in the local fellowship of believers.
Being part of a local church keeps us accountable and frees us from being paralyzed in our own echo chambers. When we have questions, we can get answers. When we question doctrine, we can receive sound instruction. During challenging times, our local church is a place of encouragement and support. Our church family prays for us and with us. The local church is a necessity to successfully working out our salvation and living a life that glorifies the Lord. In the local church, we can find wisdom and love.
I know church isn’t perfect. Truth is, if you find a perfect church to attend, you probably shouldn’t. Why ruin a good thing? That’s right. None of us are perfect and it makes no sense to hold our local church body to a standard we cannot meet ourselves. God knows we aren’t perfect. He knows we fall short. Yet, He willingly sacrificed His son so that we might have the opportunity to get on the right track.
3 Verses Encouraging Believers to Meet Together
And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
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.
2020 has been a difficult year in many ways, including attending church. Something many took for granted suddenly isn’t as set in stone as we thought. We had to find new, innovative ways to meet. Overnight, every pastor became a televangelist. Many people met in their front lawns—I had the privilege of leading fellow church members in a couple of those services. We were reminded that the church itself exists—lives and breathes—beyond the walls of the building. We remembered to be the church wherever we found ourselves. That said, let us not forsake meeting together.
This weekend, I encourage you to attend church somewhere. If you can’t make it in person, visit online. But, if possible, go fellowship in person, because I believe that’s the fullest way to experience your local church. Your local church is where you will find faith, hope, and love in the unity of Christ, by the power of the Spirit. Hope to see you Sunday at God’s house!
The Devotional Guy™
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Thank you. This is a much needed reminder of the importance God puts on His people worshipping together on a regular basis.
As I’ve mentioned before, COVID-19 has brought a strain on my church—particularly in regard to our fellowship. Some feel the government is persecuting Christians by discouraging them from meeting together publicly (due to the virus). Others, believe it’s our Christian duty to not congregate in large groups in areas where the virus 🦠 is spreading rapidly.
Above all, we must lay aside our differences in opinion and submit to the leadership of God.
Blessings to you as well, and thank you for serving our Lord as a under shepherd for His people.
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Thanks for reading, David. Yes, it has been a trying time for many, including churches. I do not envy those in leadership tasked with making these decisions as it seems a no-win. Unity, something else Paul highlights in Ephesians, is critical. Unfortunately, unity appears difficult to find during these divisive times. But, as is true with love, Christians should be the standard-bearers of unity. And we aren’t-me included. I’m just a simple blogger trying to share Jesus with folks. 😃 I appreciate your encouraging words. Blessings.
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Awesome post, Rainer. I totally agree with you! And, yes, we are learning that “the church” is not a bunch of buldings but rather a bunch of little bodies of Christ.
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Amen, Lily. The people under the steeple are the church. I’m hopeful that this is a lesson we will takeaway from 2020. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your encouraging comments. Blessings.
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