by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25, MSG)
This week we are looking at five keys to have a great spiritual start to 2018. Yesterday we looked at the power of prayer and how it centers our heart, comforts our soul, and connects us with the eternal. I hope you took some time yesterday and again this morning to pray for your brothers and sisters in the faith, and the leaders charged with caring for the church. Today I want to look at the second component of the church membership vows, which is to support your church with your presence.
Participation is key. Participation is where the face-to-face connections occur. Whether it’s in a worship service, a fellowship activity, service opportunity, or study time, your participation is important. There have been some times I’ve even been inclined to think I wouldn’t be missed if I stayed home or did somewhere else, but the church is a family, and when your family is missing, so is a big piece.
Today’s Bible lesson connects participation and encouragement. Encouragement is about building up others. When we participate and encourage others along in their faith, guess what also is strengthened? That’s right, the church! Your participation helps build up others so the entire church is built and made stronger. We also see in today’s passage that the propensity not to participate isn’t a modern conundrum, because it’s as old as the church itself. But much like prayer, your presence and participation in the life of the church makes everyone stronger…yourself included, if not especially.
Your participation in the life of the church is important for yourself and others. Will you resolve to support the church with your presence and participation in this new year?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your family, the church. I know I have a need to belong, and it is in participating in the life of the church where I find that need met, as well as help meet it for others. I resolve to participate in the life of the church this year as I grow closer to you and others. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.