“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”(Hebrews 10:24-25)
As the holiday season quickly approaches, I must confess that my heart and mind could use some rest from the weekly responsibility of producing content for Sunday In Advance. And it seems like now’s a good time of year to embrace my limitations as a human being. Which is why I’ll be taking a hiatus from writing regular posts for the remainder of the year. I’ll resume my normal posting schedule the week leading up to Sunday, January 8.
Until then, let me encourage those of us who are covenant members and regular attenders of LifePoint Church by saying that we should not stop making the most of the Lord’s Day.
If you read the passage above closely, you’ll see the writer of Hebrews warning the church not to neglect its gatherings. He exhorts the Body of Christ to be faithful and diligent to meet together on a regular basis for corporate worship and mutual encouragement. And to do so until Christ returns.
Moreover, the kind of gathering he prescribes is most likely to happen when we are taking the time each week to faithfully prepare for the Lord’s Day in our habits of personal worship. As he says, we must take ample time to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”
You see, such consideration requires intentionality on our part. It’s an act of love by which we can bless others immeasurably on the Lord’s Day. So let’s be sure not to miss that. After all, just because there won’t be a new Sunday In Advance every week doesn’t mean that it no longer matters whether the members and regular attenders of LifePoint give due consideration to the faithfulness of our worship gatherings. No, it still matters a great deal. It matters for the life of the church, for the advancement of the Gospel, and for the condition of your own soul.
So over the next several weeks, please don’t stop being intentional about how you come to church; but rather, allow your intentionality to take a different form.
To that end, I’d like to offer a few suggestions. I believe that putting one or more of these suggestions to good use in the weeks to come will help us make the most of the Lord’s Day until Sunday In Advance returns after the holidays.
(1) Take some time to meditate upon and pray through key passages of Scripture.
There are numerous passages of Scripture that instruct the church in regard to its gathered worship. A few examples include:
“Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!” (Psalm 96:7-9)
“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:5-7)
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16)
Perhaps you might select one of these or a similar passage which speaks clearly about the nature and practices of a church that worships together faithfully. Then spend some time prayerfully meditating on it throughout the week so you can be ready to apply it on the Lord’s Day.
Additionally, I wrote a post earlier this year about how the prayers in Paul’s letters can be used to help us make the most of the Lord’s Day. Revisiting that post might be helpful, which actually brings me to my next suggestion.
(2) Check out some older posts.
The Sunday In Advance site features both a built-in search engine and archives which are categorized by key words. Take a few minutes each week to read an older post that you haven’t read yet, or re-read one that previously resonated with you. Some of my personal favorites from the past year include:
- 01/17/16: Do You Delight in The Saints?
- 02/28/16: What The Rich Young Man Couldn’t See
- 05/29/16: Is Our Worship Believable?
- 08/28/16: What Difference Does Believing Prayer Make?
(3) Pray for Sundays with your Community Group.
There’s something deeply biblical about a group of believers agreeing together in prayer. So as your Community Group spends an evening together, or serves a family in need through our Adopt-A-Family initiative, take some time to ask God to be undeniably present on Sundays. Perhaps you might even start a conversation with your group about some of the ways God has ministered to you personally through LifePoint’s gatherings. Invite people to share their thoughts and experiences as well. Such testimonies have potential to bless and encourage others to make the most of Sundays.
Whatever you do to make the most of the Lord’s Day over the next several weeks, I pray it will be fruitful for the Kingdom of Christ as we gather to worship Him, bless others, and bear witness for the sake of the Gospel. See you Sunday!
Songs for Sunday, November 20, 2016:
The Glorious Three
(Tyler Greene, Sean Lea, Corey Martin, Nathan Shaver, Craig Wieneke)
This I Believe (The Creed)
(Ben Fielding, Matt Crocker)
You Alone Can Rescue
(Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman)
All I Have Is Christ
How Rich A Treasure We Possess
(Matt Boswell, Matt Papa)